New TWIC Policy Letter

The Coast Guard has published a new policy letter concerning TWICs for credentialed mariners.

The Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 amended the U.S. Code provisions about who has to hold a TWIC. The provisions concerning mariners were changed, previously all mariners issued a Coast Guard merchant mariner credential (MMC) were required to hold a TWIC. After the change, the Coast Guard is permitted to exempt any mariner who does not require unescorted access to a secure area of a vessel from the requirement to hold a valid TWIC as a precondition of receiving and holding an MMC. The new CG-543 Policy Letter 11-15 implements this statutory change.

The policy letter is available on Coast Guard “Homeport.” Direct links to documents on Homeport do not work, following are instructions to find it:

  1. Go to Homeport at
  2. In the column headed “Missions” on the far left, select “Domestic Vessels.”
  3. Under the heading “Domestic Vessel Policy” select “Office of Vessel Activities Policy Letters.”
  4. Select Office of Vessel Activities Policy Letters (again).
  5. Find CG-543 Policy Letter 11-15.

PR from USCG

WASHINGTON – The Coast Guard announced Thursday publication of a policy letter that exempts a number of mariners from the requirement to obtain a Transportation Worker Identification Credential when renewing or obtaining a Coast Guard-issued merchant mariner credential.

The policy letter, effective as of Tuesday, provides immediate relief for mariners who otherwise would need to obtain a TWIC to get or renew their Merchant Mariner Credential. The policy letter also provides the Coast Guard with an expedient means to comply with a portion of the requirements set forth in Section 809 of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010.

“These changes eliminate the TWIC requirement for mariners who operate vessels not required to have a vessel security plan or who are not actively sailing on their merchant mariner credential” said Captain Eric Christensen, Chief of the Office of Vessel Activities in Washington, DC. “This policy letter solution uses Coast Guard resources and capabilities to lessen the impact on an estimated 60,000 mariners while we work on a regulatory solution to address the full scope of Section 809.”

Prior to the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 becoming law, all mariners holding a Coast Guard-issued merchant mariner credential were also required to obtain and hold a valid TWIC. Section 809 of the Act, however, permits the Coast Guard to exempt any mariner not requiring unescorted access to a secure area of a vessel from the requirement to hold a valid TWIC as a precondition of receiving a merchant mariner credential.

It sounds like the Admiral who was sleeping with Lockheed’s lobbyists has found another sweetie or has moved on to another honeypot. I wonder what the next scam is going to be.

Well, remember it more than just mariners that get TWICs. I imagine that there are more meth addicted truck drivers with them than anyone else. Those of us that work the waterfront also have them (surveyors, longshoremen, agents, etc.). Foreign seamen don’t.


Or, just grab it here.