Transportation Worker Identification Credentials Required for Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – The Coast Guard began enforcement of the Transportation Worker Identification Credentials for ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands Tuesday.

“Coast Guard Inspectors visited several port facilities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands today and found that the necessary security provisions have been implemented by the port facilities,” said Cmdr. Carlos A. Torres, Chief of Prevention Operations Department. “It is extremely important that individuals who require a TWIC and have not yet enrolled do so as soon as possible.”

In order to minimize disruptions to maritime operations and commerce within ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Transportation Security Administration TSA have developed an alternative method where facility owners/operators may grant unescorted access to individuals who otherwise would have been required to present a TWIC at Maritime Transportation Security Act MTSA regulated facilities.

At the owner/operator’s discretion, an individual can obtain unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA regulated facilities by presenting to facility security personnel:

1 A photo ID that meets the requirements of 33 CFR 101.515, and

2 Proof that their TWIC has been printed and is ready for activation.

Some examples of ways that an individual may prove their TWIC has been printed include, but are not limited to:

1 Printing the e-mail, sent by TSA during the notification process, that their TWIC is ready for pick-up;

2 Providing the Facility Security Officer FSO, or other facility employee with security duties, with the individual’s TWIC application ID number which then can be used by the facility with the “check card status” feature on www.twicinformation.com acceptable statuses under this policy include: Card in Production, Card in Transit, or Card Ready for Activation; or

3 Provide the FSO or other facility employee with security duties, the individual’s first name and last name. This information can then be used by the facility to determine the status of the individual’s TWIC using the secure password protected side of homport.uscg.mil.

This policy will remain in effect until May 13, 2009 for the San Juan Captain of the Port Zone, that includes the ports in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Upon expiration of this policy, only individuals with a valid TWIC will be eligible for unescorted access to a MTSA regulated facility.

In accordance with the requirements of the MTSA and the Security and Accountability for Every SAFE Port Act, the TWIC will serve as an identification card for all personnel requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA regulated facilities. To obtain a TWIC, an individual must successfully pass a security threat assessment conducted by the TSA.

The Coast Guard is 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.

It can take four-to-six weeks from the time of enrollment to the time that an applicant receives their TWIC, so maritime workers including terminal employees, longshoremen, truck drivers, agents, and contractors should apply for their TWIC as soon as possible.

Additional information regarding TWIC enrollment centers in which maritime workers can apply is available the TSA TWIC information website. http://twicinformation.tsa.dhs.gov/twicinfo/CenterSearchAction.do

You may also call 1-866-DHS-TWIC 1-866-347-8942 or 1-877-MTSA-AID 1-877-687-2243 for more information.

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