TSA Releases Advance Copy of TWIC Proposal

Friday, May 12, 2006
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) released an advance copy (277 pages in length) of its Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) for implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) in the maritime sector. Under the proposal, TSA would collect worker’s biographic information (including but not limited to ten fingerprints, name, date of birth, address, telephone number, photo, employer, and job title). All individuals (including US merchant mariners) with unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act would be required to have a TWIC. Background checks would include a review of criminal history records, terrorist watch lists, immigration status, and outstanding wants and warrants. The TWIC would utilize Smart Card technology and include the individual’s photo, name, and biometric information and would include multiple fraud protection measures. The program is expected to cover 750,000 individuals and would be funded by user fees (estimated to be approximately $139 per person). Port facilities and vessels would be required to implement TWIC into their existing access control systems and operations, purchase and utilize card readers, and update their approved security plans. Implementation costs are estimated to be between $8,900 and $11,900 per facility or vessel. Public meetings will be held in Newark, NJ (May 31); Tampa (June 1); St. Louis (June 6); and Long Beach (June 7). Written comments on the proposal must be submitted within 45 days after the NPRM is published in the Federal Register. Hold on – we are in for a bumpy ride. Source: HK Law

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