Original article from Cargo Business News, September 17, 2014.
A new congressional effort is underway to revive screening 100 percent of containers prior to their arrival to U.S. ports.
Although Congress decreed in 2007 that all containers coming to the U.S. must be scanned by inspection and radiation detection equipment prior to being loaded onto U.S.-bound ships in foreign ports by July 1, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security has delayed that deadline.
The Government Accountability Office has identified problems and wasted spending on various cargo screening initiatives launched by Customs and Border Protection. In a report last year, CBP said that lack of foreign buy-in, logistical problems and costs were issues that thwarted the implementation of 100 percent container screening of U.S.-bound cargo containers at foreign ports.
Consequently, the U.S. only scans 3 percent of incoming cargo, according to Rep. Janice Hahn, D- Calif. Last week Hahn, whose district includes the Port of Los Angeles, introduced a bill that would test the implementation of 100 percent scanning technology at two U.S. ports.
“My bill would help demonstrate that scanning technology is effective and then we can move towards its widespread implementation so that 100 percent of shipping containers passing through all U.S. ports can be determined to be safe,” Hahn said.
Hahn spokesman Michael Levin Hahn has received briefings by scanning technology companies, including the Multi-Mode Passive Detective System made by Decision Sciences. Hahn’s legislation authorizes up to $30 million to carry out the pilot program.