New government I.D. program will impact marinas and yards

OAK PARK, Ill. ˆ The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the Coast Guard will begin implementation of a new port security program called the Transportation Worker Identification Credential in early March, designed to enhance security of U.S. ports through background checks and instant worker identification, the Marine Retailers Association of America said in a release yesterday.

TWIC applies to employees of all facilities and vendors who operate within a regulated area of a port. It is anticipated TWIC will have no affect on recreational boaters; however, the program will impact marinas and boat yards with operations within a designated port by requiring employees to secure a TWIC.

The first phase of the implementation of TWIC will impact an estimated 750,000 maritime and port workers in the next 16 months. The numbers of employees affected will grow to over 6 million with the implementation of phase IV.

According to Coast Guard contacts the actual boundaries of a secure port in many cases have yet been determined. For example, rules have been proposed to extend the Baltimore port to the Annapolis area of the Chesapeake Bay. In addition, MRAA understands there is consideration underway to require all licensed captains to also carry a TWIC.

TWIC‚s will be available for a cost of about $137.25 at authorized facilities operated for the feds by Lockheed Martin. More information about TWIC is available on the TSA Web site at or the Coast Guard homeport site,

MRAA said it is very pleased with the progress that has been made and it will continue to monitor the development of TWIC rules and will report more information, especially as it concerns marine retailers, when it becomes available.

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