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Alabama State Port Authority Access Policy

It is the policy of the Alabama State Port Authority (ASPA or "the Authority") that all persons permanently employed at the port, including ASPA staff, tenants and their employees, surveyors, agents, stevedores, longshoremen, chaplains, contract labor and persons requesting temporary access to the port, including delivery persons, vendors, contractors, and temporary workers must display, above the waist and outside of clothing, an ASPA issued photo ID badge or visitor badge at all times when accessing or working on port property, as required by the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 and USCG, 33 CFR, Part 105.

Piers, wharves, warehouses, open cargo storage areas, loading and unloading areas, rail spurs and holding tracks, areas containing critical facility infrastructure and operations and administrative offices have been designated as secure/restricted access areas, and persons requesting access to these areas must present a completed application and submit to an Alabama state background investigation to obtain an ASPA Identification badge granting access as stated on the badge. A non-refundable fee of $25.00, payable in advance to cover the costs of the background check, training and processing, will be required to initiate the process.

In accordance with U.S. Coast Guard regulation 33 CFR 101.514, as a precondition to receiving an ASPA credential, applicants must have applied for and received a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC). A valid TWIC must be presented to ASPA credentials officers to initiate the application process. ASPA credentials officials will inspect each TWIC to ensure:
  1. A match of the photo on the TWIC to the individual presenting the TWIC;
  2. Verification that the TWIC has not expired; and
  3. A visual check of the various security features present on the card is performed to ensure that the TWIC has not been forged or tampered with.
The following officials are not required to present a TWIC to gain access to ASPA facilities:
  1. Federal officials are not required to obtain or possess a TWIC. Except in cases of emergencies or other exigent circumstances, in order to gain unescorted access to ASPA facilities, a federal official must present his/her agency issued official credential.
  2. Law enforcement officials at the State or local level, in the normal performance of their duties, are not required to obtain or possess a TWIC to gain unescorted access to ASPA facilities, however such officials must present his/her agency issued credential.
  3. Emergency responders at the State or local level are not required to obtain or possess a TWIC to gain unescorted access to ASPA facilities during an emergency situation, however such officials may be required to present his/her agency issued credential.
  4. Operators of over-the-road cargo vehicles, who present a valid TWIC and a valid Commercial Driver's License with a recognizable photograph, and who possess proper cargo documentation, will be granted unescorted access to port facilities, but must remain with their vehicles at all times while on port property.
Security awareness training is required for all persons requesting access to Alabama State Port Authority facilities except persons described in A. through D. above. Classes are held at 9:00 a.m. each Monday at the International Trade Center, 250 North Water Street in the Killian Room. We also have online training that is available for an additional fee paid to an outside vendor. You will need to register for the training at: As you register online, please choose Alabama State Port Authority as the requested Port. You will then need to register your company. Once you have completed the training and obtained a completion certificate, you can bring that to our badge office to receive your credential. If you are interested in the online training, please send an email to:

Persons who have a valid TWIC may apply for ASPA credentials Tuesday through Friday of each week and will receive a TEMPORARY ASPA ID upon successful completion of the required background check and payment of fees. The temporary credential will be valid for NO MORE THAN ONE WEEK and only one temporary credential will be issued per person. The cost of the ASPA ID badge, background check and security class is $25.00. All fees must be paid at the Credentials Office before a credential will be issued. Vehicle decals are $25.00 and may also be purchased at the Credentials Office. Applicants for vehicle decals must present a current driver's license and proof of ownership and insurance. Payment may only be made by money order, cashier's check or credit card (MasterCard or Visa). For additional information, please contact the Port Authority Police Department's Credentials Office at (251) 441-7002.

Upon presentation of a valid TWIC, successful completion of required background check and security awareness training, appropriate ASPA credentials will be issued to applicants who can demonstrate a need to access secure/restricted areas for authorized operational or commercial purposes; to deliver supplies, bunkers or stores; or to provide necessary maintenance services for authorized cargo handling equipment and vessels at ASD berths. ASPA credentials will not be issued for the sole purpose of soliciting business from ASPA employees, tenants, vessels or members of their crews. Requests to visit with ship's officers or crew by individuals who do not possess a TWIC and an ASPA ID should be referred to the Port Authority Police Department or designated access control facilities at the Authority's McDuffie Coal Terminal or Middle Bay Port properties and such persons must be escorted side-by-side from a designated access point to the vessel and from the vessel to a designated access point by an approved TWIC escort.

The Authority reserves the right to deny granting a credential, or suspend, revoke or deny renewal of a credential previously granted, as follows:
  1. Submittal by an applicant of false or misleading information to the Authority.
  2. Failure to adhere to the policies, rules and regulations of the Authority or other applicable federal, state or local laws and regulations, including:
    • Any attempt to gain entrance to the Authority's facilities, or secure/restricted areas within its facilities, through fraud or deception,
    • Any attempt to bypass established entry points,
    • Use or attempted use of a credential issued to anyone other than the person requesting access.
  3. Submittal by a credential holder of false or misleading information or refusing to cooperate in a security-related investigation.
  4. Conviction of a credential holder of any offense for which he or she would have initially been denied a credential
  5. rdance with the policies of the Authority.
  6. Failure to present a TWIC upon request or loss of TWIC privileges
Persons who have been issued an ASPA identification badge must receive permission to enter ASPA facilities at an established access point. Such persons must come to a complete stop at the access point, present their credential to an ASPA gate guard and receive permission to enter ASPA facilities. Such permission may be given verbally or by hand signals, however persons requesting access may not proceed until permission to enter has been clearly granted.

Persons requesting access to port authority property, who have been issued an ASPA ID badge but do not have such badge in their possession, must receive permission to enter port property at the appropriate access point and apply for temporary access at the Port Authority Police Department. Temporary access privileges may be granted to such persons, upon presentation of a valid TWIC, granting access as allowed by the individual's permanent ASPA credential. Unescorted access will not be granted to persons who do not have a valid TWIC in their possession.

Persons requesting temporary access to ASPA facilities, who do not have permanent ASPA credentials, must receive permission to enter port property at the appropriate access point and make the request in person at the Port Authority Police Department. Temporary access privileges may be granted to such persons, upon presentation of a valid TWIC or photo ID issued by a city, state or federal agency. The purpose of the visit and intended destination must be verified by Port Police and the ID will be retained by Port Police until the visitor signs out and departs, however, persons who do not possess a TWIC must be escorted side-by side for the duration of their visit by an approved TWIC escort.

In order to minimize disruptions to maritime operations and commerce within the ASPA facilities, the ASPA may authorize unescorted access to an individual who has reported their TWIC to TSA as lost, damaged, or stolen and has yet to receive a replacement TWIC within seven (7) calendar days. An additional thirty (30) calendar days of unescorted access pending receipt of a replacement TWIC provided that all requirements under 33 CFR 104.265(c)(2)(i),(ii), and (iii), 105.255(c)(2)(i),(ii), and (iii), or 106.260(c)(2)(i)(ii), and (iii) are met and the following:
  1. The individual provides proof that a replacement TWIC has been ordered (a payment receipt (for $60.00) acceptable as proof); and
  2. Provide the FSO, or other designated employee with security duties, the individual's first name and last name and application I.D. (if known). This information can then be used by the facility to confirm that the individual has previously held a valid TWIC and has ordered a replacement by using the card status check feature on TSA's website located at:
Each person requesting access to the port is advised that entering the facility is deemed valid consent to screening or search, and that failure to consent to screening or search will result in denial or revocation of authorization to enter the port. Such persons are further advised that the possession of firearms or explosives on their person, or in vehicles, is prohibited, and that written permission must be obtained from the Port Authority Police Department prior to photographing any person, facility, activity or transportation conveyance on port property.

Steamships, their owners or agents, must file berth applications with the Port Authority, and must submit a Passenger/Crew List to the Port Authority Police Department, with a copy to the Operations Manager of the Division with which the berth application was filed (GCI, Bulk or MMBP), 24 hours in advance of the expected arrival of the vessel. Berth assignments will not be confirmed until the Passenger/Crew List has been received.

Crew members who wish to disembark from the vessel, while at berth, must have in their possession, at all times, a valid Crewman's Landing Permit issued by an officer of the U.S. Immigration Service and either a seaman's book (or copy), a passport (or copy) or a laminated personal identification credential containing the individual's full name and recognizable photograph issued by a government authority or maritime employer. Crew members that do not possess a TWIC and an ASPA ID must be escorted side-by-side from the vessel to a designated access point or from a designated access point to the vessel by an approved TWIC escort. Access to the port will be denied to crewmembers who do not have required credentials in their possession, or whose name does not appear on the Passenger/Crew List. The TWIC escort requirements do not apply to mariners working immediately adjacent to the vessels they are employed aboard while in the conduct of normal operations in support of the vessel (e.g. attach shore ties, perform maintenance, read load lines, load stores, etc.). Such mariners will be permitted limited access to the area immediately adjacent to their vessels without escort.

NOTE: Approved TWIC escort means an individual holding a valid TWIC who has been sponsored by their authorized employer and approved by ASPA to escort non-TWIC holders on ASPA premises. The person providing the escort must meet the training requirements of 33 CFR 105.215 and the sponsoring employer must agree to accept all responsibilities for meeting the requirements of TWIC related to secure/restricted access areas and agree to accept any liability imposed for failure to fulfill those responsibilities.

Escorting means ensuring that the escorted individual is continuously accompanied while within ASPA facilities in a manner sufficient to observe whether the escorted individual is engaged in activities other than those for which escorted access was granted.

Individuals without TWICs may not enter ASPA facilities without having an individual who has been granted escorting privileges by the Authority, and who holds a TWIC, as a side-by-side companion.


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aspa port police: 251-441-7777
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aspa hotline: 1-888-251-5755
aspa welcomes anonymous or attributed notification of any questional or illegal activity on port authority property
aspa ethics & compliance hotline: 1-800-939-3393
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