The effective date for implementation of the electronic reader rule for Transportation Worker Identification Credentials (TWIC) has been postponed, the Passenger Vessel Association said today.
The rule was scheduled to go into effect on Aug. 23, but in July Congress passed the TWIC Accountability Act (H.R. 5729), and the president signed it into law on Aug. 2 (Public Law 115-230).
The TWIC Accountability Act restricts the Department of Homeland Security from implementing any rule requiring the use of biometric readers for TWICs until after Congress receives the results of an assessment of the effectiveness of the TWIC program. This assessment has been contracted out to the RAND Corporation. PVA said that it anticipates that the required report will not be delivered to Congress until the summer of 2019 at the earliest.
When it was finalized, the TWIC reader rule exempted nearly all vessels operated by PVA members and most of their facilities as well. However, the rule does require TWIC readers at facilities that receive passenger vessels with a capacity of more than 1,000 passengers. Approximately two dozen facilities of PVA members are affected.
The effect of Public Law 115-230 is to supersede the scheduled Aug. 23 implementation date for the TWIC reader rule, PVA said. PVA was in support of this legislation.