Coast Guard urges Tidewater area maritime workers to apply for TWIC

NORFOLK, Va. – The Coast Guard urges maritime workers who have not yet applied for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to apply as soon as possible. The requirement for port workers to have a TWIC in Mid-Atlantic ports, including the Port of Hampton Roads, is projected to take effect in January 2009. Once the requirement becomes effective, Coast Guard personnel will verify that all required maritime workers possess a valid TWIC.

The Coast Guard will announce a specific compliance date through the Federal Register 90 days prior to the required use of the credentials at port terminals. Captain Patrick Trapp, Captain of the Port for Hampton Roads, advises all workers requiring a TWIC to enroll immediately. “It is important for all workers who do not already have a TWIC to enroll now so that the maritime economy is not disrupted when the TWIC compliance date arrives,” said Trapp. The Coast Guard also encourages port facility owners and operators to immediately begin checking for TWIC possesion as part of their routine access control procedures on a daily basis.

To minimize waiting time at the Newport News and Chesapeake enrollment centers, applicants should pre-enroll online at https://twicprogram.tsa.dhs.gov/TWICWebApp/. Pre-enrollment allows workers to provide biographic information and to schedule a time to complete the application process in person. Additional information can be found on the Coast Guard’s Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil/, and on the Transportation Security Administration’s web site at https://www.piersystem.com/pjzohorsky/Local Settings/Temporary Internet Files/OLK262/www.tsa.gov/twic.

A TWIC is required for any individual requiring unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and all U.S. Coast Guard credentialed mariners, regardless of whether they require unescorted access. Other personnel who should apply for a TWIC include vessel crewmembers, longshoremen, truckers, agents, or port chaplains. Port facilities have security officers of capable of answering questions relating to requirements of their facilities.

“In an effort to increase the security posture of the Port of Hampton Roads, TWIC will serve as another layer of security to safeguard the maritime transportation system. Our goal is to eliminate the risk of dangerous personnel entering our ports by doing a complete background check on individuals working in and around the ports and giving unescorted access only to those who do not pose a threat,” Trapp said.

The Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program was established as part of the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002.

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