TWIC Rule Published

Formal rules for the new Transportation Workers Identification Credential (TWIC) have been published in the Federal Register. The Federal agencies will accept public comments on the proposal until July 6, 2006. The Department of Homeland Security officials said a final rule will be out by year's end, but no firm date has been made.

The TSA and the U.S. Coast Guard have also proposed the requirement for identification Credentials for people that need unescorted access to ships and ports. The two agencies have jointly proposed that a "Transportation Worker Identification Credential" be required of everyone, including U.S. Merchant Mariners, with unescorted access to secure areas of U.S. port facilities and ships in those ports. Persons without this new identification would not be allowed unescorted access to sensitive areas on vessels or at marine terminals.

The Coast Guard also announced four scheduled public meetings will be held to discuss the TWIC program. A meeting will be held in Newark on May 31st; Tampa on June 1st; St. Louis on June 6th; and Long Beach on June 7th.