As a Reminder to Vessel Agents, Masters, Owner, Operators and State of Louisiana Seaport Terminal and Facility Owners and Operators:

The Maritime Transportation Security Act (MTSA) of 2002 requires port operators to develop security plans for approval by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) Captain of the Port.  The USCG is responsible for the lead enforcement of the MTSA requirements.  One of the most common requirements in port security plans is that persons attempting to gain access to a seaport facility must show proper identification.

The TWIC Final Rule requires all persons requiring unescorted access to secure areas of MTSA vessels, facilities, and OCS facilities to possess a Transportation Worker Identification Card [TWIC] before such access is granted, except as otherwise noted in 33 CFR 101.514.  The exceptions of 33 CFR 101.514 include among others, Federal officials, State and local law enforcement officials, and emergency responders when responding to an emergency.  Specifically:

▪        Federal officials are not required to obtain or possess a TWIC.  When the need for unescorted access arises, the official is to present his/her agency issued HSPD 12 compliant credential.

▪        All CBP Officers and Agriculture Specialists are in possession of Federal HSPS 12 compliant credential.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection [CBP] , Office of Field Operations policy is that CBP Officers and CBP Agriculture Specialists will present credentials and sign a logbook as along as this does not cause a delay in accessing a vessel, conveyance, terminal, facility, pier or dock; and if this is consistent with other law enforcement agency requirements.

▪        Upon entry to any facility or vessel, CBP Officers and CBP Agriculture Specialists will present themselves to security personnel and present official credentials.

▪        If requested, CBP Officers and CBP Agriculture Specialists will sign entrance logs.

▪        Other requests such as searching CBP Officers’ and CBP Agriculture Specialists’ assigned government vehicles, property or persons; or requests to capture CBP Officers’ and CBP Agriculture Specialists’ images or biometrics will NOT be granted. 

Please direct any questions or concerns to Assistant Port Director Mark Choina at or Assistant Port Director Troy Simon