DHS announces TWIC compliance information

NEW ORLEANS – The Department of Homeland Security has announced that the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) compliance and enforcement date for the Coast Guard’s Lower Mississippi River Captain of the Port (COTP) zone will be Dec. 30, 2008.

As of Dec. 30, 2008, individuals requiring unescorted access within designated secure areas of facilities regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act will need to have a valid TWIC.

The Lower Mississippi River COTP zone includes, but is not limited to the Ports of Alexandria, Bossier City, Caruthersville, Catoosa, Greenville, Helena, Little Rock, Memphis, Monroe, Muskogee, Natchez, Rosedale, Shreveport, and Vicksburg.

The Transportation Security Administration operates numerous TWIC enrollment centers located throughout the United States including Memphis, Greenville, Vicksburg, Little Rock, and Tulsa. Addresses, hours of operation, and pre-enrollment information are available on-line at twicinformation.com or calling toll free at 1-866-DHS-TWIC.

Facility Security Officers are encouraged to remind their employees, vendors, and especially truck drivers about the TWIC requirements and compliance date.

The TWIC is a biometric identification card that features an embedded chip that contains the bearer’s photograph, fingerprints, and a personal identification number. The TWIC is just one part in a layered port security system. TWIC card readers will be incorporated into the regulations in the near future.

To date, 454,521 transportation workers have applied for a TWIC nationwide and 8,751 have applied within the Lower Mississippi River COTP Zone. TWIC applicants are reminded to return to the enrollment centers to activate and pick up their TWIC following initial enrollment. If you enrolled for a TWIC, please schedule an appointment to activate your card by logging on to twicinformation.com or calling toll free at 1-866-DHS-TWIC.

The compliance date for mariners is April 15, 2009.

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