Mariners in the U.S. tugboat, towboat and barge industry serve as eyes and ears on our waterways and provide an extra layer of support in protecting our nation’s homeland security. AWO supports practical and effective security measures that ensure high standards of security without imposing undue economic hardship and administrative burdens on American mariners and American companies. With these principles in mind, AWO has worked with Congress, the Coast Guard, and the Transportation Security Administration to reduce unnecessary burdens imposed by the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program.
In 2012, AWO worked with bipartisan leaders in Congress to pass legislation that requires TSA to reform the TWIC enrollment process and eliminate the redundant and unnecessary requirement that mariners make two trips to a TWIC enrollment center to apply for and activate a TWIC. AWO supports prompt implementation of the TWIC OneVisit program, the TSA initiative to implement the law and eliminate the second trip requirement.
The Coast Guard is currently developing regulations regarding the use of electronic TWIC readers, which will be required to be installed on certain vessels and at certain marine transportation facilities. AWO believes that card readers add no security value on vessels with small crews, such as towing vessels, and supports the Coast Guard’s proposal not to require TWIC readers on vessels with 14 crewmembers or less.