DHS Cops To Failure To Meet 2012 Cargo Scanning Deadline
Since DHS has admitted to failing to meet the 2012 deadline of scanning 100 percent of all incoming cargo, it has decided to instead get more information about who manufactures and packs the goods.
This shift in focus from will allow container cargo from unknown firms and countries tagged as terrorist havens to be marked for scanning for nuclear or radiological materials, drastically reducing the volume of scanning work for the department.
According to All Headline News, Secretary Michael Chertoff explained to the press that there are blocks against the scanning rule by the U.S. Congress, including opposition by some nations for U.S. Customs officers to operate scanning equipment in foreign ports.
Chertoff’s proposal, however, was criticized by House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, who said the secretary’s excuses only makes the country’s ports more vulnerable.
The shipping industry also criticized the plan because it says collecting more data from shippers would further slow trade by two- to five-day delays and cost the industry up to $20 billion annually.
While security experts side with Chertoff that it would be hard to achieve 100 percent scanning at this point, it is still a worthy goal for the next 10 years, said P.J. Crowley of the Center for American Progress. “You want to have 100 percent confidence you know what’s inside the box… You can’t just do that by reviewing cargo data,” Crowley explained to USA Today.