Recently, several important Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Rule developments have occurred:
- On July 24, 2018, a federal judge in the Eastern District of Virginia issued a temporary stay of the TWIC Reader Rule.
- On July 26, 2018, the U.S. Senate passed the Transportation Worker Identification Credential Accountability Act of 2018 (the TWIC Accountability Act).
- The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) – TWIC Reader Requirements – Delay of Effective Date, was published by the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) in June.
The judicial stay means that the August 23, 2018 TWIC Reader Rule compliance date for facilities that handle Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) in any manner, including CDC to or from a vessel, is no longer in effect. The Court Order states that the stay is in effect “until further Order of the Court.” If a settlement cannot be reached, additional briefings will likely occur around September or October, and the judicial stay will remain in place until the court decides the case after those briefings.
TWIC Accountability Act
Assuming it becomes law, the TWIC Accountability Act would prohibit the USCG from implementing the TWIC Reader Rule at any facility until 60 days after DHS completes and submits its previously-mandated TWIC study to Congress. This study is expected to be completed on or about April 2019. This means that the USCG would be unable to enforce the TWIC Reader Rule at any facility until approximately the June 2019 timeframe.
Unlike the temporary stay and TWIC Accountability Act, the NPRM only impacts facilities that do not transfer CDC to or from a vessel – but handle CDC by other means (including receiving vessels carrying CDC). The NPRM proposes to extend the compliance date for these facilities until August 23, 2021.
Status of the TWIC Reader Rule
Neither the judicial stay, TWIC Accountability, nor the NPRM vacate the TWIC Reader Rule. While the compliance date has been (and may be further) extended, the regulation remains in place