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Posted: December 29, 2011

AMO members urged to renew TWIC on schedule

American Maritime Officers strongly recommends all AMO members renew their Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) on schedule in order to avoid complications in eligibility for work, as well as delays in obtaining or renewing a Merchant Mariner Credential.

In Policy Letter 11-15, dated Dec. 19, 2011, the U.S. Coast Guard announced limited exemptions to the TWIC program for some mariners working in certain capacities aboard specific vessel types. Although these limited exemptions would presently apply to some AMO members working in inland waters trades, particularly aboard tugs engaged exclusively in docking and ship assist roles, AMO strongly recommends all AMO members renew their TWIC cards on schedule.

"The Coast Guard obtains essential information from the Transportation Security Administration in order to process Merchant Mariner Credential applications," said AMO National Vice President for Government Relations Michael Murphy. "Without a current TWIC, members may face delays in renewing their MMC, and other work-related complications. In fact, as part of the new policy, the Coast Guard requires mariners to submit a signed certificate acknowledging the potential for delays in processing an MMC application if they are applying for a TWIC exemption.

"The TWIC program has its problems and AMO's recommendation is a practical matter, not an endorsement of the program," Murphy said. "The Coast Guard has made the TWIC a integrated component of the mariner documentation process and we simply do not want any AMO member to run into problems for failing to maintain a current TWIC.

"Around the end of 2012, a good portion of TWICs will be due for renewal," Murphy added. "I recommend AMO members renew their TWICs early."

A Coast Guard bulletin issued Dec. 23 on the limited TWIC exemptions is available online.