The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002 created new regulations for certain facilities located in ports and along waterways. These facilities were working toward compliance with the TWIC Final Reader Rule (FRR) that was issued on August 23, 2016. The anticipated deadline for installation and validation by the US Coast Guard (USCG), with a two-year window for inspections, was August 23, 2018 for all impacted sites.
There has been much controversy since the FRR was issued in 2016. Below are a few important highlights:
In the first half of 2017, the industry had pushed back from adopting these radical modifications when comparing the initial Reader Rule to that of the 2016 FRR, putting the industry and USCG in divergent positions.
On June 13, 2017, Representative Graves and Rear Admiral Thomas brought further clarity to another TWIC delay. RADM Thomas recognized that aspects of the TWIC FRR were unclear as it pertained to the maritime nexus and the industry was not given ample opportunity to provide input when the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was open for comment.
In late June 2018, the Senate committee approved a bill stating, “the program would be reassessed.” Per this Senate committee report, on June 27, 2018, the Senate committee approved SB3094, a bipartisan bill. The bill restricted the Coast Guard from implementing any rule requiring the use of biometric transportation security cards until an assessment of the program was submitted to Congress.
Three weeks short of the August 23rd date of compliance, on August 2, 2018, the President signed HR 5729which prohibited the U.S. Coast Guard from (1) implementing the rule titled “Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Reader Requirements,” and (2) proposing or issuing a NPRM for a rule that would require the use of biometric readers for biometric transportation security cards
Many months prior, a lawsuit was filed against the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) regarding the TWIC FRR. On September 17, 2018, U.S. District Court Judge issued an order which dismissed the lawsuit. As a result of this dismissal, facilities transferring Certain Dangerous Cargo (CDC) across a marine dock to or from a vessel should be prepared to comply with the TWIC FRR in late 2019. 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.
Convergint Business Development Manager and TWIC expert Darin Dillon has compiled a guide to the challenging Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) legislation. Download it below.
Convergint Can Help
Convergint provides strategic planning, consulting, assessment, design, integration, and services to ensure ongoing TWIC regulatory compliance for its customers. These solutions include:
- Physical Access Control System (PACS)
- TWIC registration engine
- TWIC certificate manager for authenticating and integrating to the canceled card list
- Enrollment readers
- Fixed readers
- Portable readers
We suggest you engage a Convergint security professional who is highly involved in the industry and engaged with the regulators.