The latest chapters in the TWIC saga relates mostly to the biometric issue, although they touch on other topics.  First, on August 2, 2018, Transportation Worker Identification Credential Accountability Act of 2018, delayed implementation of a pending Coast Guard regulation (the “reader rule”) which would have required certain higher risk vessels and facilities to use biometrics beginning 23 August of this year.  Even more recently, a report on the TWIC program by the Department of Homeland Security’s Officer of Inspector General (OIG) identified a number of challenges and made recommendations to the Coast Guard on the TWIC program, and in how it oversees the security of waterfront facilities.  The Coast Guard and the Department of Homeland Security agreed with the OIG’s recommendations.

So what does all this mean for vessel and facility operators? 

First, the recent TWIC Accountability Act of 2018 delays implementation of any electronic reader requirement by three years. Of course, Congress could always revise that legislation, and might do so if and when the Coast Guard and DHS complete a previously required report on the TWIC program.  But for now, vessels and facilities are not required to use electronic readers.

  • The OIG report recommends that the Coast Guard more clearly define the facilities that have certain dangerous cargo (CDC) in bulk and which must use electronic TWIC readers as an access control measure.  One issue, yet to be resolved, relates to the presence of bulk CDC on a facility, even if it isn’t transferred to or from a vessel. 

Seebald Analysis:  At a minimum, facilities that store or handle CDC in bulk, even if they don’t transfer it to or from a vessel, must consider that fact when conducting their required security assessments. 

  • The OIG report recommends that the Coast Guard improve (i.e. increase) its use of electronic readers to verify TWICs during Coast Guard inspections at regulated facilities.

Seebald Analysis:  Expect the Coast Guard to significantly increase the number of electronic TWIC verifications they conduct during routine and unannounced inspections.  If they find fraudulent or canceled cards, those workers will not be allowed unescorted access to secure areas.  It could also result in fines or penalties.

  • The OIG report recommends that the Coast Guard “revise and strengthen” its guidance to its facility inspectors concerning TWIC and related facility security requirements. 

Seebald Analysis:  Expect greater consistency and attention to detail by the Coast Guard during routine and unannounced facility inspections. 

Finally, it is worth noting that a common theme in 10 years of TWIC reports, guidance, laws, and regulations has been that the program is fundamental to maritime security, and that the biometric aspect of the TWIC is a key feature, even as the Coast Guard and industry struggle to quantify and leverage its full benefits.  TWIC is certainly here to stay.  Coast Guard inspectors will be using their own electronic readers to verify them during inspections, and certain vessel and facility operators will be required to use readers in the future.  In the meantime, facility and vessel operators who voluntarily use TWIC readers can keep one step ahead of the Coast Guard – and more importantly, potential threats.

First - the definitions we covered in week one of this Blog series explain the differences between these two areas.  In week two, we reviewed Coast Guard guidance regarding these areas.

Second - TWIC requirements address the different areas when an individual who has not applied for a TWIC requires access.  Non-TWIC individuals are required to be escorted by a TWIC holder trained in escorting responsibilities.  In a Secure Area, a TWIC Escort is permitted to escort up to ten Non-TWIC individuals visually or by monitoring.  In a Secure/Restricted Area, the TWIC Escort may escort up to five Non-TWIC individuals side-by-side.

Third – as an FSO, you are also required to implement the provision in your facility’s FSP.  Ensure your facility diagrams are properly labeled, the correct verbiage is being used and that it is up-to-date with the physical infrastructure in use.

Stay secure, others are relying on you!

For all Cruise terminal owners and operators, this blog highlights the regulations on what is required for the Cruise Terminal Screening Program (TSP) and what important dates you need to know.  The Coast Guard issued a final rule eliminating outdated regulations that imposed unnecessary screening requirements on cruise ships and cruise ship terminals.  This final rule replaces these outdated regulations with simpler, consolidated regulations that provide efficient and clear requirements for the screening of baggage, personal items, and person on a cruise ship.  This final rule enhances the security of cruise ship terminals and allows terminal operators to use effective screening mechanisms with minimal impact to business operations.

No later than October 15, 2018, cruise ship terminal owners or operators must submit, for each terminal, a TSP that conforms with the new requirements in 33 CFR 105.505-550, as noted below, as an amendment to their existing Facility Security Plan to the cognizant COTP for review and approval.

No later than April 18, 2019, each cruise ship terminal owner or operator must operate in compliance with an approved TSP and Subpart E – Facility Security: Cruise Ship Terminals.

33 CFR 105.505 through 105.550 highlights the different sections of what is required for the Terminal Screening Program.  The following sections provide details on:

  • 105.510 - Screening responsibilities of the owner or operator
  • 105.515 - Prohibited Items List (PIL) requirements
  • 105.525 - Terminal screening operations
  • 105.530 - Qualifications of screeners
  • 105.535 - Training requirements of screeners
  • 105.540 - Screener participation in drills and exercises
  • 105.545 - Screening equipment
  • 105.550 - Alternative screening

For platinum members to review the regulations, click on the following link:  Cruise Terminal Screening Program

Then click on “FSO Training” tab then “Course Materials” tab and then on the right click on “FSO Course Materials” and you will find it near the bottom.

Restricted Areas outside of the Secure Area are those areas that are deemed essential to the security of your maritime facility and require some level of protection, be it a physical barrier (such as gates and/or fencing), and/or monitoring by security guards, lighting, cameras and/or an intrusion detection system(s).

Common examples of Restricted Areas outside a Secure Area include the FSO’s office with SSI, guard posts outside the fence line, or off-site computer server rooms(s), electrical sub-station(s) that power the facility, and other critical utility feeds such as a water supply value.

However, according to 33CFR105.200 (b)(7) – the facility owner or operator must ensure that restricted areas are controlled and TWIC provisions are coordinated, if applied to such restricted areas. [emphasis added]

INTERPRETATION:  This tells us that if a portion of your Secure Area is also a Restricted Area,  e.g. a Secure/Restricted Area, TWIC provisions must be coordinated. 

Join us this month while we review these regulatory definitions and how they apply to your facility.  Suggested Reading - National Maritime Security Initiatives , 33 CFR 101.105 and 33 CFR 105.200.

Last week we reviewed the regulatory definitions of Secure Areas and Restricted Areas.  Now let’s look at guidance provided by the Coast Guard.  NVIC 03-07 GUIDANCE FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF THE TRANSPORTATION WORKER IDENTIFICATION CREDENTIAL (TWIC) PROGRAM IN THE MARITIME SECTOR issued July 2, 2007 provides additional information regarding these designations in Paragraph 5; which states:

  • The term “secure area” is defined as “the area over which the owner/operator has implemented security measures for access control in accordance with their security plan.” The terms “secure area” and “restricted area” have different definitions and purposes. Regulations at 33 CFR 101.105 define restricted area as “a location requiring a higher degree of security protection” which is used in a number of regulatory requirements. A secure area covers a broader space encompassing restricted areas and includes everything within an access control boundary, as defined in existing security plans. For facilities, the secure area encompasses the entire facility footprint as described in their currently approved facility security plan, with the exception of public access areas and those facilities with significant non-maritime transportation portions who submit an amendment to redefine their secure area. All of these provisions are explained in Enclosure (3) (section 3.3 b) [which follows].
  • 3.3 b Secure Areas

(1) A key element of the TWIC Program is the definition of the secure area. A secure area is defined as “the area over which an owner/operator has implemented security measures for access control.”  For facilities, the secure area is the entire area within the outer-most access control perimeter of a facility, with the exception of public access areas, and encompasses all restricted areas, with the exception of paragraph 3.3 b (3) below. The secure area is bound by the fence line, gates, waterfront, and other means that provide access control to the area. The secure area is the area regulated by 33 CFR Part 105 and is encompassed by the currently approved security plan.

(2) The terms “secure area” and “restricted area” do not mean the same thing. The restricted area is already defined in 33 CFR Parts 101-106 as “the infrastructure or locations identified in a facility security assessment or by the operator that require limited access and a higher degree of security protection.” (33 CFR 101.105) Additionally, reference (a) spells out certain areas within facilities that must be included as restricted areas (see 33 CFR 105.260). Restricted areas of a facility present a heightened opportunity for a TSI. By virtue of the fact that the secure area encompasses the entire facility or vessel, restricted areas fall within this perimeter.

(3) Facilities with a significant non-maritime transportation portion may submit an amendment to their FSP to request to redefine their secure area to include only the maritime transportation portion of the facility. During this redefinition process, some restricted areas may be eligible for placement outside of the new secure area [emphasis added] depending on their type. (see discussion in section 3.4) …which states in 3.4.a. (3) Some restricted areas may be authorized to lie outside the secure area if owners/operators can demonstrate that they do not directly support or interface with the maritime transportation related portions of the facility. The Coast Guard will generally consider that the following restricted areas have a maritime transportation nexus and should always be included in the secure area:
(a) Shore areas immediately adjacent to each vessel moored at the facility
(b) Areas designated for loading, unloading or storage of cargo and stores*
(c) Areas containing cargo consisting of dangerous goods or hazardous substances, including certain dangerous cargoes*.
*However, in some cases, tank farms or cargo storage areas directly support both maritime transportation and industrial processes (e.g. a coal pile supplied by vessel and consumed in a power plant or a tank farm storing product refined onsite intended for shipment by a vessel). In determining whether these directly support or interface with the maritime transportation portion of the facility, owners/operators should consider the following: risk of a TSI, proximity to vessels and the waterfront, and hazards of cargo. The Coast Guard expects that cargo storage areas near vessels or the waterfront will be included in the secure area, regardless of whether or not they also serve an industrial purpose.

This is the reason why your Seebald & Associates’ prepared FSP may use the terms Restricted Area, Secure Area, and Secure/Restricted Area.