Thursday, June 5, 2008

TWIC Update

A new website has been established for the Transportation Workers Iden­tification Credential (TWIC) program and is located at http://twicinformation. A Google search forTWIC Information will also lead to the site.

The new website was created so stakeholders could more easily find information about enrolment in the TWIC program. It contains Enrollment Center locations, hours of operation, port specific information and generic materials that can be used for distribu­tion within the port community. It also includes Frequently Asked Questions relating to enrollment and links to other TWIC related websites such as the TSA Program and Coast Guard Homeport websites.
Under the "Schedule" tab ports are listed alphabetically. Clicking on the port opens information specific to that port and a map of the enrollment center location or locations in that port.
Under the "Other Resources" tab are helpful links, contact information for the TWIC Help desk and downloadable communications materials in English and Spanish.

The original TWIC website, www., will continue to oper­ate.
According to the new website, as of February 15th, the number TWIC enrollments is 96,797.

Eligibility for Foreign Nationals
When originally mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002, TWIC was intended for US citizens and resident aliens. However, after numerous comments from industry, the January 25, 2007 Final Rule allows certain foreign na­tionals to be eligible for a card.
In developing the Final Rule, the Coast Guard recognized the need for unescorted access for certain foreign experts working on US-flagged vessels and multinational companies with foreign nationals working in the United States.

If these foreign nationals are in a lawful nonimmigrant status with un­restricted authorization to work in the United States, they are also eligible to apply for a TWIC card. These individu­als would enroll in the same manner as a US citizen and their applications would be vetted by TSA similarly. And just like a US citizen, possession of a TWIC card by a foreign national only means they are eligible for unescorted entry and must still be approved by the facility or vessel owner or operator.

TWIC does not apply to foreign flagged vessels and absent a TWIC card anyone leaving the vessel will require an escort. There is an exception how­ever for crew members when working immediately adjacent to the vessel on vessel related activities. Some foreign nationals in nonim­migrant status with restricted access to work in the United States may also be eligible to apply for a TWIC card and TSA has the authority to approve eli­gibility on a case-by-case basis.