DHS extends TWIC deadline

SSN Staff  - 
Sunday, June 1, 2008

WASHINGTON--The U.S. Department of Homeland Security last week moved back the final compliance date for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential program to April 15, 2009, which reflects a realignment of the Sept. 25, 2008, original date set in the final rule (see related story, page tk). The seven-month extension is a result of collaboration with port officials and industry.

TWIC was established in the Maritime Transportation Security Act and the SAFE Port Act to serve as an identification program for all Coast Guard credentialed mariners and personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas within a port. The program is on track to complete enrollment for a substantial number of jurisdictions by the end of 2008, DHS said, and several ports will be required to comply with TWIC regulations this year.

Owners and operators of facilities located within Boston, Northern New England and Southeastern New England will need to comply by October 15, 2008. These three ports were selected based on conditions that facilitate near-term implementation. Additional ports will be announced in the coming weeks, and the Coast Guard will provide at least 90 days notice prior to enforcement.

According to DHS, the TWIC program is progressing steadily and has opened more than 100 fixed enrollment centers and dozens of mobile sites nationwide. More than 250,000 workers have enrolled to date and thousands more are processed weekly.