TWIC enforcement hits ports in Pacific Northwest and Northern CA

| Friday, February 27, 2009

Truckers who visit ports in the Pacific Northwest and northern California better have their Transportation Worker Identification Credential in hand by this weekend.

Ports in Captain of the Port Zones in Puget Sound, Portland and San Francisco Bay begin TWIC enforcement on Saturday, Feb. 28.

The TWIC program eventually will require more than 1.5 million port employees, longshoremen, mariners, truckers and others who require unescorted access to secure areas of ports to have background checks before being issued cards with their biometric data and residency documentation.

Nationally, TWIC cards will be required for truckers and other port workers who need unescorted access into secure areas by April 15, although most ports are implementing earlier mandatory TWIC enforcement.

Specific ports beginning TWIC enforcement this weekend include the Washington ports of Vancouver, Tacoma, Seattle, Pasco, Longview, Everett and Anacortes; the Oregon ports of Portland and Coos Bay; and the California ports of Benicia, Eureka, Oakland, Richmond, Sacramento, San Francisco and Stockton.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association has been critical of several TSA processes during the TWIC rollout, including the price of enrollment and the ability of foreign nationals to access ports without background checks required by TWIC applicants from the U.S. One filing of the Association’s comments on TWIC can be found here.

Standard TWIC enrollment costs $132.50, although workers with “current, comparable” threat assessment background checks such as hazmat endorsements, Merchant Mariner Documents or Free and Secure Trade (FAST) cards may obtain a TWIC card for $105.25. The card is designed to last five years.

Replacement cards for those who lose or damage their TWIC card cost $60, according to the TWIC Web site at www.tsa.gov/twic.

As of February 19, TSA had enrolled 950,616 TWIC workers, printed 853,746 TWIC cards, and activated 719,698 cards.

TWIC workers classified as truck drivers and drayage truckers combined to total 170,037 enrollments.

The Record newspaper reported Friday that the TWIC office in Stockton, CA, will remain open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday to hand out hundreds of TWIC cards needed for port access beginning Feb. 28.

Nico Melendez, a spokesman for TSA, told the newspaper that 3,200 workers in the Stockton area had applied for a TWIC through the Stockton enrollment office, but said only 1,800 TWIC cards had been activated.

For more information, visit twicinformation.com.

– By Charlie Morasch, staff writer
charlie_morasch@landlinemag.com

 

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