MTSA

Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC)

TWIC Reader Requirements

 

After reviewing public comments received in response to the March 2013 TWIC Reader Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) and other relevant issues, the U.S. Coast Guard issued the TWIC Reader Final Rule on August 23, 2016. The Final Rule requires certain Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA)-regulated facilities, which have been determined to present a heightened risk of a Transportation Security Incident (TSI), to conduct electronic TWIC inspections. The effective date of the Final Rule is August 23, 2018, which originally provided facilities two (2) years to comply with the electronic TWIC inspection requirements.
 
Recently, however, several important MTSA and TWIC Reader developments have occurred:
  1. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM): The NPRM –  TWIC Reader Requirements – Delay of Effective Date, which proposes to extend the compliance date until August 23, 2021 for facilities that handle (or receive vessels carrying) Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) – but do not transfer CDC to or from a vessel – closed for public comment in late July.
  1. Judicial Stay: After a hearing on July 24, 2018, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a temporary stay of the TWIC Reader Rule later that same day. On September 17, 2018, the judge dismissed the lawsuit, in part, because of the suspension of the TWIC Reader Rule by the TWIC Accountability Act described below.
  2. Legislation: On August 2, 2018, the President signed the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Accountability Act of 2018 into law, which prohibits the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) from implementing the TWIC Reader Rule at any facility until 60 days after the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) completes and submits its previously-mandated TWIC study to Congress. The White House Press Release is available online.
 
As a result of the lawsuit dismissal, and based on present facts, facilities that transfer CDC across a marine dock to or from a vessel should be prepared to comply with the TWIC Reader Final Rule next year – likely in the late Q3 2019 or Q4 2019 timeframe. Facilities that have CDC in their TWIC areas (but do not transfer CDC across a marine dock to or from a vessel) remain on hold until pending further, ongoing regulatory review.