Transportation Worker Identification Credential enrollment deadline for U.S. Virgin Islands near

SAINT CROIX, U.S. Virgin Islands – The Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) urge maritime workers and truckers who have not yet applied for a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) to enroll as soon as possible before the card is required to gain unescorted access to secure port facilities in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Beginning April 14, 2009, a TWIC will be necessary for individuals requiring unescorted access to facilities in all U.S. Virgin Islands secure port facilities. A TWIC is required for any individual requiring unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities, such as vessel crewmembers, longshoremen, truckers, agents, railroad personnel and contractors.

Port workers need to enroll as soon as possible to meet the April 14, 2009, enforcement date. It can take four to six weeks from the time of enrollment to the time that an applicant receives their TWIC. The fee for the TWIC is $132.50 and the credential is valid for up to five (5) years, Hazardous Materials Endorsement, Free and Secure Trade card, Merchant Mariner Document, Merchant Mariner License, or Certificate of Registry holders will only have to pay $105.25.

The Coast Guard has been working with port facility operators to gauge the progress of TWIC enrollment leading up to the April 14, 2009 deadline. Port leaders estimated that approximately 7,000 workers in U.S. Virgin Island’s ports will need to enroll, and only approximately 3,600 people have applied to date.

“The time to enroll is now,” said Capt. Joanna Nunan, Sector San Juan Deputy Commander for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “There are approximately 3,400 workers in the U.S. Virgin Islands who still need a TWIC. There is no advantage to waiting until the last minute to enroll. Enforcement of the TWIC is being implemented in stages throughout the country to avoid a rush to enroll.”

Enforcement of the TWIC is being implemented in stages throughout the country to avoid a rush to enroll. The April 14, 2009 deadline applies to the ports of the U.S. Virgin Islands and is the nationwide compliance date. To date, more than 825,000 people nationwide have applied for a TWIC.

Starting April 14, 2009, facility security personnel will verify that everyone entering secure areas of port facilities 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.

TWIC is a critical layer of security, ensuring that only vetted workers have unescorted access to secure areas of ports and vessels,” said Lee Duffy, TSA Federal Security Director for the U.S. Virgin Islands. “This program highlights the strong partnerships within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that protect the maritime transportation system.”

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 range from on site education and correction, to letters of warning and civil penalties up to $25,000 per violation per day. In addition, operations could be interrupted at a particular facility depending on the situation/

To minimize waiting time at the enrollment center applicants may pre-enroll online at www.tsa.gov/twic; Pre-enrollment allows workers to provide biographic information and to schedule a time to complete the application process in person.

People in need of a TWIC may contact the following telephone number for assistance: 1-866-347-8942/1-866-DHS-TWIC or visit http://www.tsa.gov/twic. There are two TWIC Enrollment Centers in the U.S. Virgin Islands located at the following addresses:

Saint Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, TWIC Enrollment Center, Renaissance Park

Estate Anguilla, Kingshill VI, 00851.

Saint Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, TWIC Enrollment Center, Suite 217

8000 Nisky Center, Charlotte Amalie VI, 00802

Additional information about TWIC can be found at: http://homeport.uscg.mil/twic or http://www.tsa.gov/twic

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