Ports Look Forward to Partnering With DHS on TWIC Implementation Roll-Out
During the American Association of Port Authorities' (AAPA) annual convention here today, United States port authority executives learned that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will begin enrolling port workers in its Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program Oct. 16 at the Port of Wilmington, De., and continue enrollments at 11 more ports in November, with the goal of enrolling all U.S. port workers by Sept. 25, 2008.
Kurt Nagle, AAPA's president and chief executive officer, said the port industry looks forward to working with DHS on the TWIC roll-out process. "TWIC is the next step for personnel security at America's ports, and we are partnering with DHS to ensure the program is implemented in a way that enables freight movements to continue to move efficiently."
The TWIC program, which includes longshoremen, truckers and other workers, is meant to ensure that any individual who has unescorted access to secure areas of port facilities and vessels has received a thorough federal background check and is not a security threat. The TWIC program will include criminal background, immigrant status and terrorist watch list screening.
The enrollment schedule was one of a number of details about the program announced by DHS today. Other developments include the publication of an updated enrollment location port list (available at http://aapa.files.cms-plus.com/PDFs/twic_fixed_enrollment_sites.pdf) and a revised final rule that lowered the credential fee to $132.50.
Workers at the Port of Wilmington will be able to pre-enroll for TWIC starting Oct. 9. A link to the pre-enrollment website will be available on the TSA website (www.tsa.gov). Pre-enrolling online speeds up the process by allowing workers to provide biographic information and schedule a time to complete the application process in person. This eliminates waiting at enrollment centers and reduces the time it takes to enroll each individual.
Along with the start date for enrollment at the Port of Wilmington, TSA and the Coast Guard also announced the next 11 ports that will begin enrolling in November. They are:
- Chicago/Calumet, Ill. - Houston, Texas - Port Arthur, Texas - Providence, R.I. - Savannah, Ga.
The order of ports is based on a variety of factors including risk, geographic location, size and contractor resources. Specific dates for these ports will be released by DHS later this month along with information on other major ports.
More information on the TWIC program is available on TSA's Web site at www.tsa.gov and more information on port security is available at the Coast Guard's Homeport site, http://homeport.uscg.mil, by clicking on the Maritime Security link.