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DHS/USCG RIN: 1625-AB80 Publication ID: Fall 2011 
Title: ●Revision to Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) Requirements for Mariners 
Abstract: This Policy Letter describes both short-term and long-term steps that the Coast Guard is taking to implement the requirements of section 809 of Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, Public Law 111-281. Section 809 excludes certain mariners from the statutory requirement to obtain and hold a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) in order to receive a Merchant Mariner Credential (MMC). In the short-term, while working to promulgate implementing regulations, the Coast Guard is relaxing its enforcement posture for mariners without a valid TWIC who operate on board vessels that do not have a security plan. The Coast Guard is also altering its policies to allow these mariners to obtain a MMC without holding a valid TWIC. Specifically, mariners already hold or held a TWIC, and who no longer require a TWIC, may skip the TWIC enrollment process and apply for a renewal MMC directly with a Regional Examination Center (REC), in accordance with title 46 CFR, section 10.209. However, mariners that are being issued an initial MMC, or who never held a TWIC, will need to enroll for a TWIC at a TWIC enrollment center. They will also have to pay all applicable fees associated with getting a TWIC. This is required because the TWIC enrollment center is the only place where the Coast Guard can obtain biometric information (fingerprints) from the applicant. In the long-term, as part of a rulemaking to promulgate implementing regulations, the Coast Guard is considering waiving a portion of the fees for a MMC in order to compensate the mariner for the cost of enrolling for a TWIC. However, it is emphasized that such action is contingent on the promulgation of a regulation to adjust the fee structure. 
Agency: Department of Homeland Security(DHS)  Priority: Other Significant 
RIN Status: First time published in the Unified Agenda Agenda Stage of Rulemaking: Final Rule Stage 
Major: No  Unfunded Mandates: No 
CFR Citation: 46 CFR 10; 46 CFR 11; 46 CFR 12 ; 46 CFR 15 
Legal Authority: sec 809 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, PL 111-281, codified at 46 USC 70105(b)(2); 46 USC 2110(g) 
Legal Deadline:  None

Statement of Need: The Coast Guard is revising its merchant mariner credentialing regulations to implement changes made by section 809 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, codified at 46 U.S.C. 70105(b)(2), which reduces the population of mariners who are required to obtain and hold a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). Prior to section 809, 46 U.S.C. 70105(b)(2) required each mariner required to hold an MMC issued by the Coast Guard to also obtain and hold a valid TWIC issued by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Section 809 removes this requirement, and now a TWIC is statutorily required if the mariner is "allowed unescorted access to a secure area designated in a vessel security plan approved under section 70103 of title 46 [U.S.C.]" The Coast Guard is revising the applicability of the TWIC requirements in Coast Guard merchant mariner credentialing regulations as well as revising some of its merchant mariner credentialing processes contained in Coast Guard regulations. Current Coast Guard regulations in 46 CFR parts 10, 11, 12, and 15 contain the processes for issuing an MMC that are intertwined with TSA processes for issuing a TWIC. The Coast Guard utilizes the TWIC enrollment process to capture information necessary to issue an MMC. Although the Coast Guard is changing some of its processes for obtaining an MMC, some mariners no longer required to hold a TWIC may still have to complete the TWIC enrollment process in order to provide information necessary to obtain an MMC. For any such mariner that must still go through the TWIC enrollment process, including paying the full TWIC enrollment fee, the Coast Guard is revising its regulations to exempt these mariners from paying a portion of the MMC fees in order to offset the TWIC fee and to minimize the burden on those mariners of paying for a TWIC when the mariner is no longer statutorily required to hold one.

Summary of the Legal Basis: The Coast Guard's statutory authority to promulgate regulations addressing TWIC requirements for mariners is found in 46 U.S.C. 70105(a) and (b). The Coast Guard's statutory authority to promulgate regulations addressing fee exemptions is found in 46 U.S.C. 2110(g).

Alternatives: This rulemaking implements section 809 of the 2010 Coast Guard Authorization Act. The Coast Guard is currently evaluating the alternatives as we complete the Regulatory Impact Analysis.

Anticipated Costs and Benefits: This rulemaking would provide certain mariner populations a fee exemption when applying or renewing an MMC. These mariner populations would also benefit from cost savings associated with reduced travels to TWIC enrollment centers.

Risks: No risks.

Timetable:
Action Date FR Cite
Interim Final Rule  04/00/2012   
Additional Information: DHS has included this rule in its Final Plan for the Retrospective Review of Existing Regulations, which DHS issued on August 22, 2011.
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis Required: No  Government Levels Affected: Federal 
Small Entities Affected: No  Federalism: No 
Included in the Regulatory Plan: Yes 
RIN Data Printed in the FR: No 
Agency Contact:
Davis Breyer
Project Manager
Department of Homeland Security
U.S. Coast Guard
CG-OES-1, 2703 Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue, SE., STOP 7509,
Washington, DC 20593-7509
Phone:202 372-1445
Email: davis.j.breyer@uscg.mil

 
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