Thursday, July 29, 2010

Senate Bill Seeks to Kill 2012 100% Container-Scan Deadline

A Senate bill introduced Tuesday seeks to eliminate a 2012 deadline for 100 percent scanning of all United States-bound oceanborne cargo containers.

The bill, named the SAFE Port Reauthorization Act of 2010, seeks to replace the 100 percent scanning requirement enacted in 2007 with a "more reasonable" risk assessment method until container scanning technology is more developed.

The bill would require that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security designate such a risk assessment method as effective.

DHS now utilizes a threat matrix risk assessment method to evaluate containers arriving at most U.S. ports.

The 2007 law which set the 2012 deadline called for all U.S.-bound cargo containers to be x-rayed and scanned for radioactive contents.

Some ports, such as those in Long Beach and Los Angeles, do scan all containers leaving marine facilities with radiation portal monitors but x-ray scanning technology has yet to develop to the point that it can keep up with the volume of containers moving through a modern port.

The 100 percent scanning requirement has been blasted by many facets of the shipping industry as both too costly and technically infeasible with current technology.