';


Title 49 Part 1515

Title 49 → Subtitle B → Chapter XII → Subchapter A → Part 1515

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 49 Part 1515

e-CFR data is current as of August 22, 2019

Title 49Subtitle BChapter XIISubchapter A → Part 1515


Title 49: Transportation


PART 1515—APPEAL AND WAIVER PROCEDURES FOR SECURITY THREAT ASSESSMENTS FOR INDIVIDUALS

§1515.1   Scope.

(a) Appeal. This part applies to applicants who are appealing an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment or an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment and Immediate Revocation in a security threat assessment (STA) as described in each of the following:

(1) 49 CFR part 1572 for a hazardous materials endorsement (HME) or a Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC).

(2) 49 CFR part 1540, subpart C, which includes individuals engaged in air cargo operations who work for certain aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, indirect air carriers (IACs), or certified cargo screening facilities.

(b) Waivers. This part applies to applicants for an HME or TWIC who undergo a security threat assessment described in 49 CFR part 1572 and are eligible to request a waiver of certain standards.

[72 FR 3588, Jan. 25, 2007, as amended at 74 FR 47695, Sept. 16, 2009; 76 FR 51867, Aug. 18, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§1515.3   Terms used in this part.

The terms used in 49 CFR parts 1500, 1540, 1570, and 1572 also apply in this part. In addition, the following terms are used in this part:

Administrative law judge means an administrative law judge appointed pursuant to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 3105.

Applicant means an individual who has applied for one of the security threat assessments identified in 49 CFR 1515.1. This includes an individual who previously applied for and was found to meet the standards for the security threat assessment but TSA later determined that the individual poses a security threat.

Date of service means—

(1) In the case of personal service, the date of personal delivery to the residential address listed on the application;

(2) In the case of mailing with a certificate of service, the date shown on the certificate of service;

(3) In the case of mailing and there is no certificate of service, 10 days from the date mailed to the address designated on the application as the mailing address;

(4) In the case of mailing with no certificate of service or postmark, the date mailed to the address designated on the application as the mailing address shown by other evidence; or

(5) The date on which an electronic transmission occurs.

Day means calendar day.

Final Agency Order means an order issued by the TSA Final Decision Maker.

Decision denying a review of a waiver means a document issued by an administrative law judge denying a waiver requested under 49 CFR 1515.7.

Mail includes U.S. mail, or use of an express courier service.

Party means the applicant or the agency attorney.

Personal delivery includes hand-delivery or use of a contract or express messenger service, but does not include the use of Government interoffice mail service.

Properly addressed means a document that shows an address contained in agency records, a residential, business, or other address submitted by a person on any document provided under this subpart, or any other address shown by other reasonable and available means.

Substantial Evidence means such relevant evidence as a reasonable person might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.

Security threat assessment means the threat assessment for which the applicant has applied, as described in 49 CFR 1515.1.

TSA Final Decision Maker means the Administrator, acting in the capacity of the decision maker on appeal, or any person to whom the Administrator has delegated the Administrator's decision-making authority. As used in this subpart, the TSA Final Decision Maker is the official authorized to issue a final decision and order of the Administrator.

return arrow Back to Top

§1515.5   Appeal of Initial Determination of Threat Assessment based on criminal conviction, immigration status, or mental capacity.

(a) Scope. This section applies to applicants appealing from an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment that was based on one or more of the following:

(1) TSA has determined that an applicant for an HME or a TWIC has a disqualifying criminal offense described in 49 CFR 1572.103.

(2) TSA has determined that an applicant for an HME or a TWIC does not meet the immigration status requirements as described in 49 CFR 1572.105.

(3) TSA has determined that an applicant for an HME or a TWIC is lacking mental capacity as described in 49 CFR 1572.109.

(b) Grounds for appeal. An applicant may appeal an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment if the applicant is asserting that he or she meets the standards for the security threat assessment for which he or she is applying.

(1) Initiating an appeal. An applicant initiates an appeal by submitting a written reply to TSA, a written request for materials from TSA, or by requesting an extension of time in accordance with §1515.5(f). If the applicant does not initiate an appeal within 60 days of receipt, the Initial Determination of Threat Assessment becomes a Final Determination of Threat Assessment.

(i) In the case of an HME, TSA also serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the licensing State.

(ii) In the case of a mariner applying for TWIC, TSA also serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the Coast Guard.

(iii) In the case of a TWIC, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the appropriate Federal Maritime Security Coordinator (FMSC).

(2) Request for materials. Within 60 days of the date of service of the Initial Determination of Threat Assessment, the applicant may serve upon TSA a written request for copies of the materials upon which the Initial Determination was based.

(3) TSA response. (i) Within 60 days of receiving the applicant's request for materials, TSA serves the applicant with copies of the releasable materials upon the applicant on which the Initial Determination was based. TSA will not include any classified information or other protected information described in paragraph (f) of this section.

(ii) Within 60 days of receiving the applicant's request for materials or written reply, TSA may request additional information or documents from the applicant that TSA believes are necessary to make a Final Determination.

(4) Correction of records. If the Initial Determination of Threat Assessment was based on a record that the applicant believes is erroneous, the applicant may correct the record, as follows:

(i) The applicant contacts the jurisdiction or entity responsible for the information and attempts to correct or complete information contained in his or her record.

(ii) The applicant provides TSA with the revised record, or a certified true copy of the information from the appropriate entity, before TSA determines that the applicant meets the standards for the security threat assessment.

(5) Reply. (i) The applicant may serve upon TSA a written reply to the Initial Determination of Threat Assessment within 60 days of service of the Initial Determination, or 60 days after the date of service of TSA's response to the applicant's request for materials under paragraph (b)(1) of this section, if the applicant served such request. The reply must include the rationale and information on which the applicant disputes TSA's Initial Determination.

(ii) In an applicant's reply, TSA will consider only material that is relevant to whether the applicant meets the standards applicable for the security threat assessment for which the applicant is applying.

(6) Final determination. Within 60 days after TSA receives the applicant's reply, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment or a Withdrawal of the Initial Determination as provided in paragraphs (c) or (d) of this section.

(c) Final Determination of Threat Assessment. (1) If the Assistant Administrator concludes that an HME or TWIC applicant does not meet the standards described in 49 CFR 1572.103, 1572.105, or 1572.109, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment upon the applicant. In addition—

(i) In the case of an HME, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the licensing State.

(ii) In the case of a TWIC, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the Coast Guard.

(2) The Final Determination includes a statement that the Assistant Administrator has reviewed the Initial Determination, the applicant's reply and any accompanying information, and any other materials or information available to him or her, and has determined that the applicant poses a security threat warranting denial of the security threat assessment for which the applicant has applied.

(d) Withdrawal of Initial Determination. If the Assistant Administrator or Assistant Secretary concludes that the applicant does not pose a security threat, TSA serves a Withdrawal of the Initial Determination upon the applicant, and the applicant's employer where applicable.

(e) Nondisclosure of certain information. In connection with the procedures under this section, TSA does not disclose classified information to the applicant, as defined in E.O. 12968 sec. 1.1(d), and reserves the right not to disclose any other information or material not warranting disclosure or protected from disclosure under law.

(f) Extension of time. TSA may grant an applicant an extension of time of the limits for good cause shown. An applicant's request for an extension of time must be in writing and be received by TSA within a reasonable time before the due date to be extended; or an applicant may request an extension after the expiration of a due date by sending a written request describing why the failure to file within the time limits was excusable. TSA may grant itself an extension of time for good cause.

(g) Judicial review. For purposes of judicial review, the Final Determination of Threat Assessment constitutes a final TSA order of the determination that the applicant does not meet the standards for a security threat assessment, in accordance with 49 U.S.C. 46110. The Final Determination is not a final TSA order to grant or deny a waiver, the procedures for which are in 49 CFR 1515.7 and 1515.11.

(h) Appeal of immediate revocation. If TSA directs an immediate revocation, the applicant may appeal this determination by following the appeal procedures described in paragraph (b) of this section. This applies—

(1) If TSA directs a State to revoke an HME pursuant to 49 CFR 1572.13(a).

(2) If TSA invalidates a TWIC by issuing an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment and Immediate Revocation pursuant to 49 CFR 1572.21(d)(3).

[72 FR 3588, Jan. 25, 2007; 72 FR 14049, Mar. 26, 2007]

return arrow Back to Top

§1515.7   Procedures for waiver of criminal offenses, immigration status, or mental capacity standards.

(a) Scope. This section applies to the following applicants:

(i) An applicant for an HME or TWIC who has a disqualifying criminal offense described in 49 CFR 1572.103(a)(5) through (a)(12) or 1572.103(b) and who requests a waiver.

(ii) An applicant for an HME or TWIC who is an alien under temporary protected status as described in 49 CFR 1572.105 and who requests a waiver.

(iii) An applicant applying for an HME or TWIC who lacks mental capacity as described in 49 CFR 1572.109 and who requests a waiver.

(b) Grounds for waiver. TSA may issue a waiver of the standards described in paragraph (a) and grant an HME or TWIC if TSA determines that an applicant does not pose a security threat based on a review of information described in paragraph (c) of this section.

(c) Initiating waiver. (1) An applicant initiates a waiver as follows:

(i) Providing to TSA the information required in 49 CFR 1572.9 for an HME or 49 CFR 1572.17 for a TWIC.

(ii) Paying the fees required in 49 CFR 1572.405 for an HME or in 49 CFR 1572.501 for a TWIC.

(iii) Sending a written request to TSA for a waiver at any time, but not later than 60 days after the date of service of the Final Determination of Threat Assessment. The applicant may request a waiver during the application process, or may first pursue some or all of the appeal procedures in 49 CFR 1515.5 to assert that he or she does not have a disqualifying condition.

(2) In determining whether to grant a waiver, TSA will consider the following factors, as applicable to the disqualifying condition:

(i) The circumstances of the disqualifying act or offense.

(ii) Restitution made by the applicant.

(iii) Any Federal or State mitigation remedies.

(iv) Court records or official medical release documents indicating that the applicant no longer lacks mental capacity.

(v) Other factors that indicate the applicant does not pose a security threat warranting denial of the HME or TWIC.

(d) Grant or denial of waivers. (1) The Assistant Administrator will send a written decision granting or denying the waiver to the applicant within 60 days of service of the applicant's request for a waiver, or longer period as TSA may determine for good cause.

(2) In the case of an HME, if the Assistant Administrator grants the waiver, the Assistant Administrator will send a Determination of No Security Threat to the licensing State within 60 days of service of the applicant's request for a waiver, or longer period as TSA may determine for good cause.

(3) In the case of a mariner applying for a TWIC, if the Assistant Administrator grants the waiver, the Assistant Administrator will send a Determination of No Security Threat to the Coast Guard within 60 days of service of the applicant's request for a waiver, or longer period as TSA may determine for good cause.

(4) If the Assistant Administrator denies the waiver the applicant may seek review in accordance with 49 CFR 1515.11. A denial of a waiver under this section does not constitute a final order of TSA as provided in 49 U.S.C. 46110.

(e) Extension of time. TSA may grant an applicant an extension of the time limits for good cause shown. An applicant's request for an extension of time must be in writing and be received by TSA within a reasonable time before the due date to be extended; or an applicant may request an extension after the expiration of a due date by sending a written request describing why the failure to file within the time limits was excusable. TSA may grant itself an extension of time for good cause.

return arrow Back to Top

§1515.9   Appeal of security threat assessment based on other analyses.

(a) Scope. This section applies to an applicant appealing an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment as follows:

(1) TSA has determined that the applicant for an HME or TWIC poses a security threat as provided in 49 CFR 1572.107.

(2) TSA had determined that an air cargo worker poses a security threat as provided in 49 CFR 1540.205.

(3) TSA had determined that an individual engaged in air cargo operations who works for certain aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, IACs, or certified cargo screening facilities, poses a security threat as provided in 49 CFR 1549.109.

(b) Grounds for appeal. An applicant may appeal an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment if the applicant is asserting that he or she does not pose a security threat. The appeal will be conducted in accordance with the procedures set forth in 49 CFR 1515.5(b), (e), and (f) and this section.

(c) Final Determination of Threat Assessment. (1) If the Assistant Administrator concludes that the applicant poses a security threat, following an appeal, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment upon the applicant. In addition—

(i) In the case of an HME, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the licensing State.

(ii) In the case of a TWIC, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the Coast Guard.

(iii) In the case of an air cargo worker, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the operator.

(iv) In the case of a certified cargo screening facilities worker, TSA serves a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the operator.

(2) The Final Determination includes a statement that the Assistant Administrator has reviewed the Initial Determination, the applicant's reply and any accompanying information, and any other materials or information available to him or her, and has determined that the applicant poses a security threat warranting denial of the security threat assessment for which the applicant has applied.

(d) Withdrawal of Initial Determination. If the Assistant Administrator concludes that the applicant does not pose a security threat, TSA serves a Withdrawal of the Initial Determination upon the applicant, and the applicant's employer where applicable.

(e) Further review. If the Assistant Administrator denies the appeal, the applicant may seek review in accordance with §1515.11 of this part. A Final Determination issued under this section does not constitute a final order of TSA as provided in 49 U.S.C. 46110.

(f) Appeal of immediate revocation. If TSA directs an immediate revocation, the applicant may appeal this determination by following the appeal procedures described in paragraph (b) of this section. This applies—

(1) If TSA directs a State to revoke an HME pursuant to 49 CFR 1572.13(a).

(2) If TSA invalidates a TWIC by issuing an Initial Determination of Threat Assessment and Immediate Revocation pursuant to 49 CFR 1572.21(d)(3).

(3) If TSA withdraws a Determination of No Security Threat for an individual engaged in air cargo operations who works for certain aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, IACs, or certified cargo screening facilities.

[72 FR 3588, Jan. 25, 2007, as amended at 74 FR 47695, Sept. 16, 2009; 76 FR 51867, Aug. 18, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top

§1515.11   Review by administrative law judge and TSA Final Decision Maker.

(a) Scope. This section applies to the following applicants:

(1) An applicant who seeks review of a decision by TSA denying a request for a waiver under 49 CFR 1515.7.

(2) An applicant for an HME or a TWIC who has been issued a Final Determination of Threat Assessment on the grounds that he or she poses a security threat after an appeal as described in 49 CFR 1515.9.

(3) An individual engaged in air cargo operations who works for certain aircraft operators, foreign air carriers, IACs, or certified cargo screening facilities who has been issued a Final Determination of Threat Assessment after an appeal as described in 49 CFR 1515.9.

(b) Request for review. No later than 30 calendar days from the date of service of the decision by TSA denying a waiver or of the Final Determination of Threat Assessment, the applicant may request a review. The review will be conducted by an administrative law judge who possesses the appropriate security clearance necessary to review classified or otherwise protected information and evidence. If the applicant fails to seek review within 30 calendar days, the Final Determination of Threat Assessment will be final with respect to the parties.

(1) The request for review must clearly state the issue(s) to be considered by the administrative law judge (ALJ), and include the following documents in support of the request:

(i) In the case of a review of a denial of waiver, a copy of the applicant's request for a waiver under 49 CFR 1515.7, including all materials provided by the applicant to TSA in support of the waiver request; and a copy of the decision issued by TSA denying the waiver request. The request for review may not include evidence or information that was not presented to TSA in the request for a waiver under 49 CFR 1515.7. The ALJ may consider only evidence or information that was presented to TSA in the waiver request. If the applicant has new evidence or information, the applicant must file a new request for a waiver under §1515.7 and the pending request for review of a denial of a waiver will be dismissed.

(ii) In the case of a review of a Final Determination of Threat Assessment, a copy of the Initial Notification of Threat Assessment and Final Notification of Threat Assessment; and a copy of the applicant's appeal under 49 CFR 1515.9, including all materials provided by the applicant to TSA in support of the appeal. The request for review may not include evidence or information that was not presented to TSA in the appeal under §1515.9. The ALJ may consider only evidence or information that was presented to TSA in the appeal. If the applicant has new evidence or information, the applicant must file a new appeal under §1515.9 and the pending request for review of the Final Determination will be dismissed.

(2) The applicant may include in the request for review a request for an in-person hearing before the ALJ.

(3) The applicant must file the request for review with the ALJ Docketing Center, U.S. Coast Guard, 40 S. Gay Street, Room 412, Baltimore, Maryland 21202-4022, ATTN: Hearing Docket Clerk.

(c) Extension of Time. The ALJ may grant an extension of the time limits described in this section for good cause shown. A request for an extension of time must be in writing and be received by the ALJ within a reasonable time before the due date to be extended; or an applicant may request an extension after the expiration of a due date by sending a written request describing why the failure to file within the time limits was excusable. This paragraph does not apply to time limits set by the administrative law judge during the hearing.

(d) Duties of the Administrative Law Judge. The ALJ may:

(1) Receive information and evidence presented to TSA in the request for a waiver under 49 CFR 1515.7 or an appeal under 49 CFR 1515.9.

(2) Consider the following criteria to determine whether a request for an in-person hearing is warranted:

(i) The credibility of evidence or information submitted in the applicant's request for a waiver; and

(ii) Whether TSA's waiver denial was made in accordance with the governing regulations codified at 49 CFR part 1515 and 49 CFR part 1572.

(3) Give notice of and hold conferences and hearings;

(4) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(5) Examine witnesses;

(6) Regulate the course of the hearing including granting extensions of time limits; and

(7) Dispose of procedural motions and requests, and issue a decision.

(e) Hearing. If the ALJ grants a request for a hearing, except for good cause shown, it will begin within 60 calendar days of the date of receipt of the request for hearing. The hearing is a limited discovery proceeding and is conducted as follows:

(1) If applicable and upon request, TSA will provide to the applicant requesting a review an unclassified summary of classified evidence upon which the denial of the waiver or Final Determination was based.

(i) TSA will not disclose to the applicant, or the applicant's counsel, classified information, as defined in E.O. 12968 section 1.1(d).

(ii) TSA reserves the right not to disclose any other information or material not warranting disclosure or protected from disclosure by law or regulation.

(2) The applicant may present the case by oral testimony, documentary, or demonstrative evidence, submit rebuttal evidence, and conduct cross-examination, as permitted by the ALJ. Oral testimony is limited to the evidence or information that was presented to TSA in the request for a waiver or during the appeal. The Federal Rules of Evidence may serve as guidance, but are not binding.

(3) The ALJ will review any classified information on an ex parte, in camera basis, and may consider such information in rendering a decision if the information appears to be material and relevant.

(4) The standard of proof is substantial evidence on the record.

(5) The parties may submit proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law.

(6) If the applicant fails to appear, the ALJ may issue a default judgment.

(7) A verbatim transcript will be made of the hearing and will be provided upon request at the expense of the requesting party. In cases in which classified or otherwise protected evidence is received, the transcript may require redaction of the classified or otherwise protected information.

(8) The hearing will be held at TSA's Headquarters building or, on request of a party, at an alternate location selected by the administrative law judge for good cause shown.

(f) Decision of the Administrative Law Judge. (1) The record is closed once the certified transcript and all documents and materials have been submitted for the record.

(2) The ALJ issues an unclassified written decision to the applicant no later than 30 calendar days from the close of the record and serves the decision on the parties. The ALJ may issue a classified decision to TSA.

(3) The ALJ's decision may be appealed by either party to the TSA Final Decision Maker in accordance with paragraph (g).

(i) In the case of review of a waiver denial, unless appealed to the TSA Final Decision Maker, if the ALJ upholds the denial of the applicant's request for waiver, TSA will issue a Final Order Denying a Waiver to the applicant.

(ii) In the case of review of a waiver denial, unless appealed to the TSA Final Decision Maker, if the ALJ reverses the denial of the applicant's request for waiver, TSA will issue a Final Order granting a waiver to the applicant; and

(A) In the case of an HME, send a Determination of No Security Threat to the licensing State.

(B) In the case applicant for a TWIC, send a Determination of No Security Threat to the Coast Guard.

(C) In the case of an air cargo worker, send a Determination of No Security Threat to the operator.

(iii) In the case of review of an appeal under 49 CFR 1515.9, unless appealed to the TSA Final Decision Maker, if the ALJ determines that the applicant poses a security threat, TSA will issue a Final Order of Threat Assessment to the applicant.

(iv) In the case of review of an appeal under 49 CFR 1515.9, unless appealed to the TSA Final Decision Maker, if the ALJ determines that the applicant does not pose a security threat, TSA will issue a Withdrawal of the Final Determination to the applicant, and to the applicant's employer where applicable.

(g) Review by the TSA Final Decision Maker. (1) Either party may request that the TSA Final Decision Maker review the ALJ's decision by serving the request no later than 30 calendar days after the date of service of the decision of the ALJ.

(i) The request must be in writing, served on the other party, and may only address whether the decision is supported by substantial evidence on the record.

(ii) No later than 30 calendar days after receipt of the request, the other party may file a response.

(2) The ALJ will provide the TSA Final Decision Maker with a certified transcript of the hearing and all unclassified documents and material submitted for the record. TSA will provide any classified materials previously submitted.

(3) No later than 60 calendar days after receipt of the request, or if the other party files a response, 30 calendar days after receipt of the response, or such longer period as may be required, the TSA Final Decision Maker issues an unclassified decision and serves the decision on the parties. The TSA Final Decision Maker may issue a classified opinion to TSA, if applicable. The decision of the TSA Final Decision Maker is a final agency order.

(i) In the case of review of a waiver denial, if the TSA Final Decision Maker upholds the denial of the applicant's request for waiver, TSA issues a Final Order Denying a Waiver to the applicant.

(ii) In the case of review of a waiver denial, if the TSA Final Decision Maker reverses the denial of the applicant's request for waiver, TSA will grant the waiver; and

(A) In the case of an HME, send a Determination of No Security Threat to the applicant and to the licensing State.

(B) In the case of a TWIC, send a Determination of No Security Threat to the applicant and to the Coast Guard.

(C) In the case of an air cargo worker, send a Determination of No Security Threat to the applicant and the operator.

(iii) In the case of review of an appeal under 49 CFR 1515.9, if the TSA Final Decision Maker determines that the applicant poses a security threat, TSA will issue a Final Order of Threat Assessment to the applicant.

(iv) In the case of review of an appeal under 49 CFR 1515.9, if the TSA Final Decision Maker determines that the applicant does not pose a security threat, TSA will issue a Withdrawal of the Final Determination to the applicant, and to the applicant's employer where applicable.

(h) Judicial Review of a Final Order Denying a Waiver. A person may seek judicial review of a final order of the TSA Final Decision Maker as provided in 49 U.S.C. 46110.

[72 FR 3588, Jan. 25, 2007; 72 FR 5633, Feb. 7, 2007; 74 FR 47695, Sept. 16, 2009; 76 FR 51867, Aug. 18, 2011]

return arrow Back to Top