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BPSA supports end to container scanning mandate

Published June 3, 2014

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The Bicycle Product Suppliers Association is among more than 50 trade organizations urging the head of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to ask Congress to repeal a shipping container scanning mandate.

In 2007 Congress mandated that all shipping containers be checked for nuclear material with X-ray, gamma ray or other scanning technology before the containers' arrival at U.S. ports. The original deadline was 2012, but by early that year just 4 percent of containers were being scanned, so Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano granted the shipping industry a two-year waiver. 

With only about 5 percent of containers now being scanned, the shipping industry expects current DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson to grant another two-year delay this year. But the coalition wants to put the mandate to rest permanently and is urging Congress to repeal it.

The BPSA signed on to a coalition letter that was sent to Johnson on Monday.

"The statutory provision calling for 100 percent container scanning has always been, and remains, impractical and does not actually improve security," the coalition letter said. "If implemented, this provision would have a significantly negative impact on global commerce and cause significant conflict with the government of our foreign trading partners, many of which have stated their opposition to the requirement previously."

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which is overseen by DHS, and shippers and container lines have created a strategy to target high-risk containers without impairing trade, according to the coalition, which includes the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Retail Federation.

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