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A bill introduced in the Senate this week would continue the congressional call to scan 100 percent of ocean containers, but includes a small change in language that could make the idea more feasible.
The 100-percent scanning requirement that Congress set in 2007 calls for containers to be scanned by non-intrusive imaging equipment and radiation detectors. The Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2010 makes the "and" an "or," leaving it to ports to opt for one technology or the other.
Ports complained that they had no room for bulky imaging equipment, and that scanning containers for the U.S. would disrupt the efficient movement goods through the port. The problems fueled opposition to 100-percent scanning among governments and the private sector.
The bill also would extend to 2015 the Department of Homeland Security's deadline for scanning all containers at foreign ports before they're loaded aboard a U.S.-bound ship. It would still allow DHS to extend the deadline if it shows 100-percent scanning is not feasible by the deadline.
The measure also extends the port security grant program, and requires the Coast Guard to devise a strategy to deter terrorist attacks using small boats.
Source: JOC Sailings
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