THE MAGAZINE

Port security.

A port security bill (H.R. 4954) has been approved by the House of Representatives. The Senate has placed the measure on its calendar, meaning that it will consider the bill. The bill, which will cost $7.4 billion, was approved by the House of Representatives with most of its original provisions intact. One contentious amendment that would have required that all cargo bound for the United States be screened before leaving foreign ports was voted down by lawmakers. If approved, the bill would require that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop and implement a strategic plan to enhance maritime security. The measure would also require that DHS develop and implement a plan to improve existing programs that identify high-risk containers moving through the international supply chain. H.R. 4954 would require that states submit to the federal government biographic information on current and future employees who have access to secured areas of seaports. DHS would compare this information to data contained in terrorist watch lists. The measure would additionally require that DHS establish minimum standards and verification procedures for securing containers in transit, including international standards for containers moving through the global supply chain. DHS would also submit a plan to Congress for deployment of radiation detection equipment at all U.S. ports.

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