Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ask the MSSC - You have questions. We have answers from the USCG Marine Safety and Security Council.

Why is the TWIC not required for public vessels sailors (Navy/Coast Guard)? CG places this on commercial mariners, but is it required for mariners who sail on public vessels?

Answered by the USCG Office of Prevention Policy, Cargo & Facilities Division.

Under Title 46 Code of Federal Regulations, by April 15, 2009, all mariners holding an active license, certificate of registry, MMD, or STCW endorsement must hold a valid Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) issued by the Transportation Security Administration under 49 CFR Part 1572. Title 46 does not apply to a public vessel of the United States (a “public vessel” means a vessel that is owned, or demise chartered, and operated by the United States government or a government of a foreign country; and is not engaged in commercial service). Mariners who sail on public vessels are not required to hold a license, certificate of registry, MMD, STCW endorsement, or TWIC.

Even though these individuals are not required to hold a CG-issued credential by law, many (for example: mariners aboard Military Sealift Command vessels) are required by the operator to hold a valid qualification document as a condition of employment. As such, they will be required to obtain a TWIC before their credential will be renewed.

In addition, Under 33 CFR § 101.514, federal officials, including employees of the armed services, are not required to obtain or possess a TWIC.

Additional information on TWIC is available on the U.S. Coast Guard’s Homeport website at