Tuesday, July 8, 2008

TWIC Delayed

The long delayed Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) has been delayed again, this time from September 25, 2008 to April 15th, 2009. On May 2nd, the Department of Homeland Security "realigned" the compliance date stating, "The seven month extension is a direct result of collaboration with port officials and industry and realigns the enrollment period with the original intent of the TWIC final rule."
Originally mandated by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 and then given a mandatory compliance deadline of September 25, 2008 by the SAFE Port Act of 2006, the first TWIC enrollments did not even begin until October 2007.

While the final compliance date of April 15, 2009 is for all facilities and vessels nationwide, the compliance date for the Captain of the Port Zones Boston, Northern New England and Southeastern New England is October 15th, 2008. These three ports were selected because of their geographic proximity, size of their TWIC enrollment population and enrollment efforts to date. "Compliance date" means the date that a TWIC card is required for unes­corted entry to facilities and vessels.
According to DHS, "The TWIC program is progressing steadily and has opened more than 100 fixed and dozens of mobile sites nationwide. More than 250,000 have enrolled to date and thousands more are processed each week."

The Coast Guard will provide at least 90 days notice prior to enforce­ment in any particular Captain of the Port Zone. The first of those notices was published May 7th for Boston, Northern New England and Southeastern New England Zones. In light of the reported problems in the TWIC rollout thus far, I applaud the decision of DHS to extend the deadline for enrollment. When workers must pay to enroll in a program necessary for them to do their jobs and provide for their families, they have the right to expect reliable, efficient service with little to no interruption to their schedules."

May 8th statistics show 277,177 enrollments, 89,696 cards activated and 104 enrollment centers open. The estimate for the total number of workers requiring cards is 1 to 1.5 million. TSA also released a report of en­rollments by port and by occupation showing 55,140 facility employees, 31,666 merchant mariners, 27,893 truckers and 16,454 longshoremen have enrolled so far. Interestingly, the largest group, 38,339, showed "no occupation specified." For those interested in the details, or those having trouble sleeping at night, both the TWIC Dashboard and the Enrollments by Port by Occupa­tion are available through the Marine Exchange of Delaware River and Bay at www.maritimedelriv.com/index.htm.