TSA, Coast Guard Ease Burden on TWIC Holders

By Matthew Harwood

That sense of annoyance and skepticism among TWIC stakeholders led to the policy change. “The EED TWIC is a one-time temporary extension option intended to provide convenience and cost-savings to workers pending the deployment of TWIC readers,” according to a policy update posted online this morning by the TSA.

While supportive of the TWIC renewal process change, McLuckie says it still remains a burden for workers despite the concession. Many workers will still have to take time off of work to travel to the enrollment center and pay $60 for the EED TWIC. Sometimes that means significant time and expense. During a conference call with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Friday, according to McLuckie, another union representative on the call remarked that he has members that have to drive 600 miles round trip to an enrollment center to get the TWIC at their own expense.

“It’s been somewhat of a waste of money to charge the amount of money they did for this card, that for the most part, is being used as a glorified ID card,” says McLuckie.

According to another TSA briefing released online today, card readers will not be in place anytime soon. Before the end of the year, the Coast Guard expects to publish a notice of proposed rulemaking for card reader requirements and deployment requirement plans.

“By the end of the three year extension period, pending the outcome of this rulemaking activity, DHS expects to have card reader requirements in place, and readers will be deployed at the facilities with the highest risk,” concludes the TSA release.

♦ Photo from Department of Transportation


Readers have been available

This is an informative article about the state of the TWIC world. I just want to point out one thing -

As an employee of a company that has had a mobile TWIC validation reader available since 2007 which is rated to withstand the harshest of environments, and a fixed reader solution available since mid-2009 with outdoor-rated readers, both products which are functioning at some real ports, I think that the real problem is the mandate to buy the readers rather than their availability. Right now it is just the early adopters like port of Charleston South Carolina.

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