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Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, Federal Register March 22, 2013


For facilities subject to regulation under 33 CFR part 105, this proposal would place them into one of three Risk Group classifications.  Facilities handling Certain Dangerous Cargoes (CDC) in bulk would be in Risk Group A.  Facilities in Risk Group B would be any that receive a vessel carrying flammable or combustible liquid cargoes or bulk hazardous materials other than a CDC.  Risk Group C includes facilities carrying non-hazardous cargoes.  Additional classification criteria have also been proposed for vessels and for facilities handling passenger vessels.


Facilities in Risk Group A, which pose the highest risk of being involved in a transportation security incident (TSI), would have new card reader requirements under this rule.  Specifically, all persons seeking unescorted access to secure areas would be required to present their TWIC and a fingerprint for card authentication, card validity check, and biometric identity identification upon each entry.  TWIC-integrated Physical Access Control Systems (PACS) with an alternate biometric would also be allowed as a means of compliance.  Facilities in groups B and C would continue to follow existing regulatory requirements for visual TWIC inspections and would be allowed to voluntarily deploy TWIC readers.


USCG clarified that while this proposal attempts to address the highest risks first, it leaves open the possibility of revising reader requirements through future rulemaking.  Comments are due May 21.


Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPR), Federal Register March 27, 2009 Under the ANPR, MTSA-regulated facilities would be assigned to one of three risk tiers.  Most terminals would be part of Group B, which include facilities that handle vessels carrying hazardous materials or flammable/combustible liquids.  Group B facilities would be required to have a TWIC card reader at every gate.  All unescorted personnel would be required to scan their TWIC and would only be required to use biometric verification at MARSEC Level 1 on randomly selected periods during the month. At MARSEC Level 2 and 3, all personnel would be required to verify their biometric identity once per day.  Facilities that handle “certain dangerous cargos” would be in the highest risk tier and would require more extensive use of biometrics.


33 CFR 105 This rule sets maritime transportation facility security standards. Specifically, this rule establishes facility security requirements, and calls for the completion of a Facility Security Assessment (FSA) and the development of a Facility Security Plan (FSP). Once approved by the local Captain of the Port (COPT), a facility’s FSA and FSP are valid for five years from the date of approval.  To view this rule as published in the Federal Register on October 22, 2003, click here.


Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA), Title I: Maritime Transportation Security, Sec. 102: Port Security, November 25, 2002 MTSA requires “any structure or facility of any kind located in, on, under, or adjacent to any waters subject to the jurisdiction of the United States” to conduct a vulnerability assessment and prepare and submit a security plan to the Secretary of Homeland Security based on the assessment.



Updates, Comments & Other Reports


June 2012  TSA will offer a new "Extended Expiration Date" (EED) TWIC.  On June 15, TSA Administrator John Pistole issued a Notice of Exemption that would provide for a one-time extension of TWIC Card expiration dates by 3 years for cards that currently expire by December 31, 2014.  Mr. Pistole’s Notice of Exemption is available, here.  The program will go into effect on August 31.


The EED TWIC is obtained through a process similar to that for lost card replacement, with a cost of $60 and requiring only one trip to the enrollment center.  The EED TWIC Policy on Expiring TWICs is available, here.


Additional information on this program, including TSA’s responses to Frequently Asked Questions is available, here.


April 2011 On April 26, DHS implemented a new National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS) to replace the former color-coded threat levels.  The NTAS has two levels:  elevated and imminent.  An "elevated threat" warns of a potential attack.  An "imminent threat" refers to a specific and impending threat.  Existing maritime security (MARSEC) levels will not change.  The Coast Guard has indicated that terminal operators are not required to link the new NTAS with MARSEC levels in their facility security plans.  A public guidance document on the new advisory system is available here.


October 2010 On October 15, President Obama signed the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010 (HR3619) into law.  Among other things, the bill addressed port security, maritime safety, acquisition reform, and oil spills.  It included a provision for vessel crew access.  Under the law, facilities are required to include in their facility security plans a system for seamen assigned to a vessel at that facility, pilots, and representatives of seamen’s welfare and labor organizations, to board and depart the vessel through the facility in a timely manner at no cost to the individual.   It also established a training program leading to certification of facility security officers.


July 2009 On July 19, the Coast Guard issued Policy Advisory Council (PAC) 09-09 exempting certain facilities that transfer and store asphalt from 33 CFR  105.  Specifically, the exemption applies to asphalt facilities that also store less than 42,000 gallons of any other regulated cargo and do not receive any foreign flagged vessels or vessels that make international voyages.  Facilities that meet some, but not all, of the criteria for exemption may request a waiver.


FSP Renewals Due June 30, 2009  ILTA encourages terminal members to submit their renewals ahead of the deadline.  Unlike the initial FSP submittals, the renewals will be reviewed and approved by local Captains of the Port.  Once the new FSP is submitted, the facility can continue to operate under the old plan until the new one is approved.  To view a document containing guidance on the FSP review process, click here.


Terminals will be required to update their FSPs as part of phase II implementation of the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program. Phase II rules concerning implementation of TWIC card readers are expected sometime in 2008. For more information on the TWIC program, click here.


All existing terminal facilities subject to MTSA are required to have submitted their FSA and FSP in accordance with 33 CFR 105. For more information contact your local COTP.





ILTA provides a monthly newsletter to its membership. Members may log in to the Member Resources page to access archived newsletters. The following is a list of articles ILTA has published in its newsletter relating to MTSA Security Plans.


  • DHS Implements New Terrorism Advisory System to Replace Color-Coded Alert Levels, May 2011 (p.3)

  • Coast Guard Authorization Act Impacts Crew Access, TWIC, and FSO Training, November 2010 Issue (p.2)

  • Asphalt Facilities to be Exempt from MTSA Regulation, September 2009 Issue (p.2)

  • New Chemical Facility Bill May Eliminate the MTSA Port Facility Exemption, July 2009 Issue (p.2)

  • MTSA Facility Security Plan Renewals Are Due on June 30 for Most Facilities, April 2009 Issue (p.3)

  • USCG Inspects Terminal Security Compliance, August 2004 Issue (p. 3)

  • Coast Guard Rejects Most Facility Security Plans, May 2004 Issue (p. 2)

  • Coast Guard Issues Final Maritime Security Rule, November 2003 Issue (p.2-3)

  • ILTA Submits Comments on Coast Guard’s Maritime Security Rule, July 2003 Issue (p.3)

  • US Coast Guard Issues Maritime Security Regulations, June 2003 Issue (p.3)

  • The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002, February 2003 Issue (p. 3-4)


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