The British International Freight Association says it is not surprised that the USA has delayed new rules requiring all cargo containers entering the country to be security scanned prior to departure from overseas for two more years.
Director general Peter Quantrill said: “As BIFA has said repeatedly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has consistently underestimated the enormity of the task in hand relative to the costs both to the US government and foreign governments, as well as, importantly, the limited ability of contemporary screening technology to penetrate dense cargo, or large quantities of cargo in shipping containers.”
BIFA’s comments are in response to recent news of a letter from Thomas Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which suggested that the use of systems available to scan containers would have a negative impact on trade capacity and the flow of cargo.
“Media reports suggest that the US government now doubts whether it would be able to implement the mandate of 100 per cent scanning, even in the long term, and it would appear that it now shares BIFA’s long-standing opinion that it is not the best use of taxpayer resources to meet the USA’s port security and homeland security needs,” said Quantrill.
“While the latest news of a two-year delay appears to be a healthy dose of common sense at the US Department of Homeland Security, BIFA still believes that the US Government ought to take an even bolder step and repeal the original legislation.”