Coast Guard announces crewmember identification final rule

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Coast Guard’s Marine Safety, Security and Stewardship Directorate announced Tuesday the publication of a final rule establishing new identification document requirements for crewmembers of certain vessels in U.S. navigable waters.

This rule affects crewmembers aboard foreign commerical vessels operating in U.S. waters and calling on U.S. ports, and crewmembers aboard U.S. commercial vessels returning from a foreign port.

The rule requires crewmembers to possess and provide on demand one of the following acceptable identification documents: a passport, a U.S. permanent resident card, a U.S. merchant mariner document, a U.S. merchant mariner credential, a transportation worker identification credential (TWIC) or a seafarer’s identification document issued by a country signatory to the International Labour Organization Convention 185. The vessel operator will also be required to ensure that crewmembers comply with this regulation.

This rule, which becomes effective May 28, 2009, implements a Congressional mandate under the Maritime Transportation Security Act, Title 46 United States Code, Section 70111, and helps ensure the Coast Guard can authoritatively identify crewmembers aboard vessels in U.S. waters.

The rulemaking and its related materials may be viewed online at http://www.regulations.gov, docket number: USCG-2007-28648.

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