[Federal Register Volume 76, Number 50 (Tuesday, March 15, 2011)]
[Pages 14038-14039]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2011-5893]



Coast Guard

[Docket No. USCG-2011-0129]

TWIC/MTSA Policy Advisory Council; Voluntary Use of TWIC Readers

AGENCY: Coast Guard, DHS.

ACTION: Notice of availability and request for comments.


SUMMARY: The Coast Guard announces the release of and seeks comments on 
Policy Advisory Council (PAC) Decision 01-11, ``Voluntary Use of TWIC 
Readers.'' This PAC Decision provides guidance for using Transportation 
Security Identification Credential (TWIC) readers as part of a Vessel 
Security Plan or Facility Security Plan. This PAC Decision is directed 
at owners and operators of vessels and facilities regulated under the 
Maritime Transportation Security Act, for the purpose of purchasing and 
installing TWIC readers and systems.

DATES: Comments and related material must either be submitted to our 
online docket via http://www.regulations.gov on or before May 16, 2011 
or reach the Docket Management Facility by that date.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments identified by docket number USCG-
2011-0129 using any one of the following methods:
    (1) Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov.
    (2) Fax: 202-493-2251.
    (3) Mail: Docket Management Facility (M-30), U.S. Department of 
Transportation, West Building Ground Floor, Room W12-140, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590-0001.
    (4) Hand Delivery: Same as mail address above, between 9 a.m. and 5 
p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. The telephone 
number is 202-366-9329.
    To avoid duplication, please use only one of these four methods. 
See the ``Public Participation and Request for Comments'' portion of 
the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section below for instructions on 
submitting comments.
    The PAC Decision is available in the docket and can be viewed by 
going to http://www.regulations.gov, inserting USCG-2011-0129 in the 
``Keyword'' box, and then clicking ``Search.'' This policy is also 
available at http://www.homeport.uscg.mil; under the Maritime Security 
tab, click on the ``MTSA/ISPS Policy Advisory Council'' link, PAC 01-

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: If you have questions on this notice 
or the policy, call or e-mail LCDR Loan O'Brien (CG-5442), U.S. Coast 
Guard, telephone 202-372-1133, e-mail Loan.T.O'[email protected]. If you 
have questions on viewing or submitting material to the docket, call 
Ms. Renee V. Wright, Program Manager, Docket Operations, telephone 202-


Public Participation and Request for Comments

    We encourage you to submit comments and related material on the 
Policy Advisory Council (PAC) Decision 01-11, ``Voluntary Use of TWIC 
Readers.'' All comments received will be posted, without change, to 
http://www.regulations.gov and will include any personal information 
you have provided.
    Submitting comments: If you submit a comment, please include the 
docket number for this notice (USCG-2011-0129) and provide a reason for 
each suggestion or recommendation. You may submit your comments and 
material online, or by fax, mail or hand delivery, but please use only 
one of these means. We recommend that you include your name and a 
mailing address, an e-mail address, or a telephone number in the body 
of your document so that we can contact you if we have questions 
regarding your submission.
    To submit your comment online, go to http://www.regulations.gov and 
insert ``USCG-2011-0129'' in the ``Keyword'' box. If you submit your 
comments by mail or hand delivery, submit them in an unbound format, no 
larger than 8\1/2\ by 11 inches, suitable for copying and electronic 
filing. If you submit them by mail and would like to know that they 
reached the Facility, please enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard 
or envelope. We will consider all comments and material received during 
the comment period.
    Viewing the comments and PAC Decision 01-11: To view the comments 
and PAC Decision 01-11, go to http://www.regulations.gov, click on the 
``read comments'' box, which will then become highlighted in blue. In 
the ``Keyword'' box insert ``USCG-2011-0129'' and click ``Search.'' 
Click the ``Open Docket Folder'' in the ``Actions'' column. If you do 
not have access to the Internet, you may view the docket online by 
visiting the Docket Management Facility in Room W12-140 on the ground 
floor of the Department of Transportation West Building, 1200 New 
Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., 
Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays. We have an agreement 
with the Department of Transportation to use the Docket Management 
    This PAC Decision 01-11 is also available at http://www.homeport.uscg.mil under the TWIC tab of the ``Featured Homeport 
Links'' section, click on the ``Policy Advisory Council Decisions for 
TWIC'' link, PAC Decision 01-11.
    Privacy Act: Anyone can search the electronic form of comments 
received into any of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, labor union, etc.). You may review a 
Privacy Act, system of records notice regarding our public dockets in 
the January 17, 2008, issue of the Federal Register (73 FR 3316).

Background and Purpose

    In accordance with the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 
(MTSA) (Pub. L. 107-295), and the Security and Accountability for Every 
Port Act of 2006 (Pub. L. 109-347), this PAC Decision facilitates the 
use of transportation security card readers to leverage the full 
security benefits of the Transportation Worker Identification 
Credential (TWIC). The Department of Homeland Security, Coast Guard, 
and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) remain in the 
process of finishing the TWIC reader pilot program. As such, many 
facility owners and operators who received grant funding have been 
reluctant to move forward on purchasing TWIC

[[Page 14039]]

equipment. This Policy Advisory Council (PAC) Decision 01-11, 
``Voluntary Use of TWIC Readers'' provides guidance on how vessel and 
facility owners and operators can use TWIC readers to meet existing 
regulatory requirements for effective (1) identity verification, (2) 
card validity, and (3) card authentication.


    TWIC regulations state that all persons requiring unescorted access 
to secure areas of MTSA-covered vessels, facilities and outer 
continental shelf facilities must possess a TWIC before such access is 
granted. 33 CFR 101.514. At each entry, the TWIC must be checked for 
(1) identity verification, (2) card validity, and (3) card 
authentication. 33 CFR 104.265(c)(1), 105.255(c)(1), or 106.260(c)(1). 
The current requirement for identity verification is to visually 
compare the photograph on the TWIC to the person at the access point. 
The Coast Guard, however, may determine an alternative method of 
identity verification if the method meets or exceeds the effectiveness 
of a visual inspection. 33 CFR 101.130.
    With this PAC Decision 01-11, the Coast Guard determines that a 
biometric match using a TWIC reader from the TSA list of readers that 
have passed the Initial Capability Evaluation Test to confirm that the 
biometric template stored on the TWIC matches the fingerprint of the 
individual presenting the TWIC meets or exceeds the effectiveness of a 
visual identity verification check. An owner or operator of a vessel or 
facility may also use a TWIC reader to check for card validity by 
either (1) comparing the card's internal Federal Agency Smart Card 
Number to the TSA Cancelled Card List, or (2) using a Certificate 
Revocation List. An owner or operator may also perform card 
authentication by using a TWIC reader to perform the CHALLENGE/RESPONSE 
protocol using the Card Authentication Certificate and the card 
authentication private key on the TWIC.
    PAC Decision 01-11 also contains additional guidance. It states 
that TWIC readers used under this determination should be used in 
accordance with manufacturer instructions, and operated by trained 
personnel. Additionally, it points out that TWIC readers allowed 
pursuant to this interim guidance may no longer be valid after 
promulgation of a TWIC reader final rule requiring the use of readers. 
Finally, it reminds vessel and facility owners/operators using PAC 
Decision 01-11 that they must submit a Vessel Security Plan or Facility 
Security Plan amendment in accordance with applicable regulations.
    Comments on PAC Decision 01-11 may be submitted to the Coast Guard 
via the docket as described above under ADDRESSES. PAC Decision 01-11 
is considered a ``significant guidance document'' under the terms of 
the Office of Management and Budget's ``Final Bulletin for Agency Good 
Guidance Practices,'' which was published in the Federal Register on 
January 25, 2007 (72 FR 3432).

    Authority: This notice is issued under authority of 5 U.S.C. 
552(a) and 33 CFR 101.130.

    Dated: March 7, 2011.
Kevin S. Cook,
Rear Admiral, U.S. Coast Guard, Director of Prevention Policy.
[FR Doc. 2011-5893 Filed 3-14-11; 8:45 am]