BIFA calls for review of US 100pc box scanning demand

Time:2009-12-18 Browse:56 Author:RISINGSUN

INSTEAD of delaying the US 100 per cent container screening deadline as recommended after the failure of anyone being able to meet it, the mandate itself should be reviewed and the risk assessed on a practical basis.
That is the view of the director of trade services of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), John O`Connell, who said it was "hardly surprising" that the US Department for Homeland Security (DHS) would not be able to meet its 2012 deadline.
"DHS has consistently underestimated the enormity of the task, the costs to the US and foreign governments, as well as the limited ability of screening technology to penetrate dense cargo, or large quantities," said Mr O`Connell in a BIFA statement.
"Couple this to the fact that by the DHS calculations, some 86 per cent of cargo shipped to the USA originates from only 58 of more than 700 global ports, and there is clearly a compelling argument to scale down unrealistic aspirations," he said.
DHS has sought an extension of the congressionally imposed deadline owing to the insufficient technology and the high expense associated with scanning the 10 million cargo containers that enter the US every year.