SAN FRANCISCO, March 2 (UPI) -- A new Transportation Security Administration maritime-security initiative is now in effect in San Francisco and throughout Northern California.
The TSA's new Transportation Worker Identification Credential, a tamper-resistant biometric credential for maritime workers to have unrestricted access to port areas, went into effect Saturday for ports in Northern California including San Francisco and nine other port areas in the region, the U.S. Coast Guard reported.
The TWIC program, already implemented in five other major U.S. ports, also went into effect Saturday in Seattle and Portland.
The new credentialing program, designed to increase security and counter terrorism and other threats to U.S. ports, requires all port-area workers to have a TWIC card in order to access regulated waterfront terminals.
TSA and Coast Guard officials have been engaged in an education campaign to ensure smooth implementation, but officials are on standby for people who arrive at facilities without the required card in order to "minimize any negative impacts on movement of cargo and port operations," according to a news release.