The US Coast Guard has proposed delaying the electronic TWIC reader requirement for some facilities that are regulated under the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 until August 23, 2021.
Due to irregularities when the Coast Guard adopted its final TWIC reader rule, a coalition of shipper groups that represent MTSA-regulated facility owners has filed a lawsuit, according to Boyd Stephenson, National Tank Truck Carriers senior vice-president of government affairs. A proposal published June 22 recognizes that the government erred and takes the first steps to ensure TWIC readers are required only at the highest risk facilities.
The Coast Guard only delays the reader requirement for high-risk facilities whose status is not in doubt. The proposal would still require that facilities that were definitively designated high-risk under the 2016 TWIC final rule to use electronic TWIC readers beginning August 23 of this year.
Truck drivers who visit these facilities are already required to hold a TWIC card for entry. These drivers have been required to present the TWIC card as a flash pass for almost 10 years. That requirement does not change, according to Stephenson.
However, NTTC is supporting its shipper allies in their challenge. “We believe that requiring readers at some facilities while leaving other facilities’ status in question creates uncertainty for shippers and carriers alike,” Stephenson says. “Further, we are concerned about throughput times at major facilities that would be required to install the readers, and we want to ensure that carriers are able to appropriately dispatch their drivers and to minimize both transportation service disruptions and potential hours of service violations.”