TWIC Card Readers and the problem it will cause ports.
By Denessa Bacallan


TWIC Card Readers and the problem it will cause ports.

Ever since the TWIC Card Reader Final ruling came out in August many ports have assumed that the rule doesn’t apply to them since they do not receive or handle CDC cargos. However, that is where the problem lies. On page 57681 of the TWIC Reader Final rule the USCG is quoted saying “Several commenters requested clarification of the use of the word ‘‘handle.’’ Proposed § 105.253(a)(1) categorizes facilities that handle CDC in bulk as Risk Group A facilities, but commenters had questions about how to interpret this phrase. These commenters requested clarification on how a facility would be classified if a vessel carrying CDC in bulk were to stop at a facility, but not transfer any of the bulk CDC cargo there. After considering the comments, and to clarify risk groups, we have determined that any facility that handles or receives vessels carrying CDC in bulk will be classified as Risk Group A. While moored at a facility, a vessel must rely on the facility’s security program to adequately secure the interface between the facility and vessel and mitigate the threat of a TSI. For that reason, the facility should conduct electronic TWIC inspection to meet the security needs associated with handling or receiving vessels that carry CDC in bulk.” This is where many ports face a problem. Often vessels with CDC in tow stop off at ports waiting their turn to load or unload at another facility. Often ports believe that just because the barge is empty it doesn’t comply, in fact that is wrong as well, but another discussion for another time. However, you can see from the statement from the USCG that indeed a vessel towing CDC mooring up for the evening before it loads does in fact make your facility applicable to the new TWIC Card Reader Ruling. In fact, the biggest problem that we see along the Mississippi Gulf Coast, is one of CDC tows seeking refuge from foul weather. This in turn would also make the facility in which they seek refuge applicable to the new ruling.

So, what do you do to combat this problem? Well there is no re-designating Secure/Restricted Areas in this case. However, you can include verbiage into your FSP stating that during foul weather when a notice to mariners has been issued, that the facility will grant refuge to all vessels and that at this time the TWIC Card Reader rule will not apply. In all other cases, you will just have to deal with it and purchase a hand-held TWIC Card Reader.

Joseph Powell

P.O. Box 2054

Gautier, MS 39553


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