In an effort to increase security on maritime vessels and facilities, the U.S. Coast Guard’s final rule has mandated that TWIC (Transportation Worker Identification Credential) Card’s now be subject to heightened screening. The security measures stipulate that the cards be electronically read in order to prevent counterfeit cards. This will be in effect on August 23rd, 2018 for ships deemed to be holding dangerous cargo, and/or have 20 TWIC card-carrying crew on board.
The TWIC Card was put in place by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, and it allows workers who have it unescorted access to port facilities in all countries. These card readers cost $17,000 each, but by increasing the threshold from 14 to 20 TWIC crew members, fewer ships will require the readers. In fact there is only one ship which will be covered by this final rule based on passenger and crew numbers, the Pride of America cruise ship. The rule also applies to vessels that carry certain dangerous cargo (CDC) in bulk, facilities that handle CDC in bulk and facilities that handle 1,000-passenger ships. Those in this category, known as Risk Group A, are the only ones that will be affected by the new rule.
Due to how few facilities and ships the rule affects, the estimated ten-year cost of $150 million is about half of what it was originally thought to be. The full 63-page rule can be read here, and it has so far been met with much support from those in the industry.
*Featured image from Ingrid Taylar, via Wiki Commons