The 214-page analysis of the regulation, which would require electronic reporting of additional security data elements for cargo destined for the US, essentially says that the cost to the industry will be enormous while benefits are unquantifiable. The rule, scheduled to take effect on 1 April 2008, is mandated by the SAFE Port Act and is expected to cost in excess of $100M a year. CBP says the policy is critical because, as the analysis states, “A notable threat to global security in the maritime environment today is the potential for terrorists to use the international maritime system to smuggle terrorist weapons, or terrorist operatives, into a targeted country, such as the United States.”
The agency says the rule was developed in consultation with the maritime industry. It is “designed to extend security measures out beyond the physical borders of the US, so that domestic ports and borders are not the first line of defense, with the objective of having more and better detailed information about all cargo as close as possible to their ports of lading for departure to the US,” the analysis states.
“The principal security benefit of the new rule will be more precise identification of at-risk shipments. This information will allow for better targeting and will support a more robust admissibility decision before the cargo arrives in the US.”