Even officials agree 100% scanning no solution

According to the British International Freight Association (BIFA), even the US Customs & Border Protection (CBP) does not appear to believe that 100% scanning of containers will lead to 100% security.

In a speech at the 87th annual conference of the American Association of Exporters & Importers, CBP Commissioner Ralph Basham said that 100% scanning presents operational, technological and diplomatic challenges, and that just because it’s possible doesn’t mean it’s wise.

In March, BIFA reported that, despite concerns about possible significant delays that could occur as a result of increased scanning, the CBP remained committed to the process.

However, it seems that, according to reports, Basham does not believe that scanning all import containers is a substitute for a layered, risk-based approach to security.

Under the Secure Freight Initiative, Customs is currently conducting a pilot all-scan program at Port Qasim in Pakistan; Puerto Cortes in the Honduras and the Port of Southampton in the UK.

Basham also commented that Customs recognises the need to apply risk-based security measures to all transportation modes, and is working on a strategic trade policy and will ensure that cargo continues to flow.

A draft of the new 10+2 rule requiring additional data elements for imports is under review at the Office of Management & Budget, and should be released by the end of summer.

Meanwhile, world customs authorities have called on the US to repeal or scale back the new law.

According to Michel Danet, secretary general of the Brussels-based World Customs Organisation (WCO), the WCO and port authorities will not have the new equipment and staff needed by the law’s July 1, 2012 deadline for 100% screening.

Danet points out that the the US rules will affect the movement of 325 million containers from 600 port container terminals worldwide per year.

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