The Coast Guard is set to enforce new security measures at port facilities located on the Oct. 31, 2008, as mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) and the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act.
Regulations require that all personnel needing unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA regulated facilities carry Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) as an additional means of security in 's ports. The TWIC program balances the need for a free flow of commerce with the need to maintain a strong, layered approach to security in our nation's ports.
To obtain a TWIC, an individual must provide biographic and biometric information such as fingerprints, sit for a digital photograph, and successfully pass a TSA security threat assessment. They will be required to present the credentials for unescorted access to secure areas of facilities.
Since Jan. 25, 2007, Coast Guard Captains of the Port (COTP) in the , , Lake Michigan, Sault Ste. Marie and zones have been working with port facilities in an effort to make the transition to the new requirements as seamless as possible. Owners and operators of the facilities in these COTP zones must comply by Oct. 31, 2008.
The Coast Guard will conduct routine announced and unannounced spot checks to ensure that owners and operators of MTSA regulated facilities are complying with the applicable TWIC regulations. Owners and operators of facilities may provide escorts to secure areas for individuals who do not yet have a TWIC.
(Source: Ninth District External Affairs, Coast Guard)