Cargo Screening

Dec 07, 2009 (LBO) – A US decision to extend the deadline for scanning all containers entering the country will afford relief to Sri Lankan exporters who had been concerned it would cause delays and raise costs. A new report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO) said the Customs and Border Protection has made relatively little progress in achieving the congressional goal by 2012 of inspecting 100 percent of all cargo containers loaded in foreign seaports and bound for the United States.

The Government Accountability Office said the US Department of Homeland Security is therefore likely to extend the deadline.

“Recognizing that its strategy will not meet the requirements to scan all US-bound cargo containers, DHS plans to issue a blanket extension to all foreign ports by July 2012 to be in compliance with the 9/11 Act,” said the GAO.

The report, issued after its auditors visited six of the seven original ports included in the program known as the Secure Freight Initiative, the GAO noted that the US has not yet achieved 100 percent screening in any foreign port.

The report also said it has not achieved rates higher than five percent at the comparatively larger ports.

The GAO has