Deadline for TWIC enforcement quickly approaches in Los Angeles and Long Beach

San Pedro, Calif. – The Coast Guard urges maritime workers who have not yet enrolled for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to apply as soon as possible before unescorted access to U.S.-regulated waterfront terminals in the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach is prohibited.

Beginning Apr. 14, 2009, maritime workers including terminal employees, longshoremen, truck drivers, agents and contractors must have a TWIC to gain unescorted access to secure areas of any waterfront terminal regulated by the Coast Guard under the Maritime Transportation Security Act.

It can take four to six weeks from the time of enrollment to the time that an applicant receives a TWIC, so maritime workers need to enroll as soon as possible to meet the Apr. 14 enforcement date.

Since the commencement of the national TWIC program, there have been 149 fixed enrollment centers and more than 180 mobile sites opened nationwide. In the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach there are two fixed enrollment centers located at:

301 E. Ocean Blvd. Suite 500, Long Beach CA, 90802

1001 New Dock St. San Pedro, CA 90731

There is also an additional facility located at:

1251 N. Rice Ave. Oxnard CA, 93030

More than 674,900 workers have enrolled to date and thousands more are processed each week. Yet here in Los Angeles – Long Beach there is still much more work to be done. To date, only 38,809 of an anticipated 67,000 workers have enrolled. Of that number only 27,115 have received TWIC cards.

Starting Apr. 14, terminal or facility security personnel will verify that everyone entering facilities regulated under 33 CFR 105 possesses a TWIC, and may turn away those without valid identification. While the new regulations allow people without TWIC cards to be escorted onto facilities under certain conditions, individuals should not expect security personnel to be available to conduct escorts.

The Coast Guard will be responsible for enforcing TWIC rules, and will be assisted by facility owners, port police and other federal, state and local partners to achieve the security goals of the program. To ensure that all port facilities are complying with the TWIC requirements, Coast Guard and other law-enforcement agencies will conduct routine inspections and random spot checks.

Violations of the TWIC regulations may result in a variety of enforcement actions that range from on-site education and correction to letters of warning to civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation per day. In addition, operations could be secured at a particular facility depending on the situation. Don’t be caught on April 14, 2008 without your TWIC card; it could effect your ability to work or conduct business within the ports.

For more information, the TWIC Program Help Desk can be reached at 1-866-DHS-TWIC (1-866-347-8942). The help desk is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. until 12 a.m. EST. The TWIC Help Desk can also be contacted via email at credentialing@dhs.gov. For U.S. Coast Guard TWIC enforcement questions, please contact 1-877-MTSA-AID (1-877-687-2243).

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