Yesterday, the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Coast Guard published the Final Rule for TWIC Reader inspection requirements. This amendment to the Maritime Transportation Security Act requires owners and operators of certain regulated vessels and facilities to conduct electronic inspections of TWICs as an access control measure.
The finale rule is effective August 23, 2018, and facilities have up to two years to be in compliance.
This final rule only affects vessels with more than 20 crew members (only 1 regulated vessel is identified at this time) and about 525 facilities that are in “Risk Group A”.
Risk Group A includes:
Vessels that carry or tow a vessel carrying Certain Dangerous Cargoes (CDC) in bulk.
- Vessels certified to carry more than 1,000 passengers.
- Facilities that handle CDCs in bulk or receive vessels carrying CDC in bulk.
- Facilities that receive vessels certified to carry more that 1,000 passengers also are in Risk Group A.
- As of now, no Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) facility is considered Risk Group A.
This final rule clarifies that for Risk Group A facilities, electronic TWIC inspection is required each time a person is granted unescorted access to a secure area (a limited exception is permitted for Recurring Unescorted Access, or RUA). For Risk Group A vessels, electronic TWIC inspection is only required when boarding the vessel, even if only parts of the vessel are considered “secure areas”.
The regulation states that each person who has been issued or possesses a TWIC must have their TWIC verified through an electronic inspection. They must also submit their biometric and Personal Identification Number (PIN) when requested from the TSA, USCG, DHS, or Federal, State, or local law enforcement.
Facilities and vessels will need to update their Facility Security Plans to meet this ruling.
TSA List of Cancelled TWICs
At MARSEC Level 1, facilities and vessels will have to ensure that the TWIC verification is conducted using information from TSA that is no more than 7 days old. At MARSEC Levels 2 and 3, the information from TSA must be no more than 1-day old. If the MARSEC increases, the TSA information must be updated within 12 hours, no matter when the information was last updated.
We will continue to review the final rule and provide more detailed summaries in future posts.