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CONTAINER INDUSTRY
Southampton - to provide a sam- feasibility of screening 100% of ports’ level of participation has, in result in financial penalties being
ple of small/medium throughput US-bound containers at over 600 some cases, been limited in terms levied by the CBP and delays for
terminals - plus Singapore, Busan, foreign seaports remains largely of duration and scope.” the receivers of the cargo. How-
Salalah/Oman and Hong Kong as unproven.” The report highlighted Such was indicated by the low ever, by early 2010, about 70% of
examples of a larger, more com- “the challenges associated with rates of scanning sustained at two companies importing goods into
plex port operation. expanding scanning operations, of the largest ports to be sampled, the US were already reckoned to
Their collective experience especially to larger ports.” which averaged less than 3% of all be complying with the 10+2 rule.
proved crucial in guiding the US Despite conceding that “the containers destined for the US. It Nevertheless, full implementa-
decision to opt for a delay to its CBP/DoE had successfully inte- compared unfavourably with the tion has still to be rolled out, with
HR1 bill, as is made clear from a grated images from scanned con- higher screening rate of 54-86% the CBP first focusing on import-
US Government Accountability tainers on to a single computer of all US-bound containers ers that have never previously filed
Office (GAO) report on container screen…and viewed them re- achieved at the three compara- the required data, as well as those
scanning published in December motely within the US,” as well as tively low-volume ports. supplying incomplete information
2009. This report stated that al- using its SFI ports as an effective This discrepancy presented a
A US GAO report highlighted the challenges associated with expanding scanning
or not meeting the 24-hour dead-
though “the CBP had made some test bed for the new application big obstacle to the enforcing of
operations, particularly to larger ports
line. By May 2010, the CBP is ex-
progress in working with the ini- of existing technology (such as HR1, as the majority of US- pected to tighten its enforcement
tially-selected SFI ports to scan mobile radiation scanners), the bound trade originates at larger In addition, the GAO report iden- a more comprehensive sharing of by initiating random inspections
US-bound cargo containers, the GAO report added that “the SFI rather than smaller port locations. tified logistical problems associated electronic data and intelligence. and detaining non-complaint ship-
with screening containers being This is embodied in the new ments, with financial penalties be-
transhipped or transferred from “10+2” rule, which came into ing applied from June onwards.
rail - again often a feature of larger force last month and requires all The new ruling has already
ports - with CBP officials con- companies importing goods into prompted the creation of support-
cerned that these may be very hard the US to electronically transmit ive software, typified by the Com-
to overcome. 10 extra data elements not in- pliance-Trek management system
It was concluded that even cluded on the standard ocean now offered by Freightgate, a lead-
when ports (and particularly larger cargo container manifest. A fur- ing global producer of supply-
sites) were properly equipped with ther two pieces of data, concern- chain software solutions utilising
the necessary scanner hardware ing the container and its cargo, are Web 2.0 technology. This enables
and adequately funded for train- also to be provided separately by importers to file the necessary
ing, various operating difficulties the ship operator. 10+2 information from any loca-
had still to be overcome. The GAO All the data must be provided tion worldwide, while collaborat-
report, therefore, advised that the to the CBP up to 24 hours before ing closely with their suppliers,
enactment of the HR1 bill should the container’s departure from the forwarders, customs brokers and
be postponed. foreign port. The additional data ocean-borne container carriers.
is being requested to help iden- The Compliance-Trek soft-
Strategic move tify “riskier” containers that might ware features a reusable template
Instead, a more limited Strategic be carrying explosives or even to eliminate duplicate data entry
Trade Corridor Strategy has since weapons of mass destruction. and can make the required infor-
been drawn up, whereby the total These can then be singled out for mation available to all relevant par-
scanning of US-bound containers closer scrutiny - either by scan- ties in real time by way of its inte-
will only be affected by the origi- ning or physical inspection - be- grated RDV (Role Dependent
nal deadline at certain foreign ports fore leaving their port of origin. View) technology.
“where CBP believes it will limit The 10+2 rule is more for-
the greatest risk of weapons of mass mally known as the interim final Better prepared
destruction entering the US.” In rule on Importer Security Filing This shift towards a more elec-
consequence, the CBP is already in (ISF) and Additional Carrier Re- tronic-based approach to security
negotiation with overseas govern- quirements, and applies to all sea- does not alter the longer term US
ments to expand its SFI programme borne cargo arriving in the US. position, as it is now intent on
to those identified ports. It has been under development achieving mandatory 100% scan-
However, increased emphasis is for more than two years, during ning of US-bound containers by
being placed in this strategy on in- which the CBP worked closely 2014. However, the world’s port
stalling adequate chemical “sniffing” with logistic and supply chain industry should be better prepared
and radiation detection technolo- groups, and was initially intro- by that date, while the CBP is now
gies within the port area to check duced in early 2009. A grace pe- clearly more inclined to consult
for the presence of hidden explo- riod of 12 months was then granted with its foreign counterparts in the
sives or nuclear materials. to give time for foreign exporters event of further disagreements.
Although this action, accord- and their US-based receivers to At the same time, container
ing to the GAO, “will not enable bring their data systems into line scanning equipment is being con-
the CBP to fully achieve the re- with the new requirements. stantly improved, with the most
quirement of the 9/11 Act to scan Future non-compliance will powerful devices - utilising trans-
100% of all US-bound cargo by
July 2012,” it will at least provide
an important stop-gap measure
Cotecna in Nigerian
and help to keep the ongoing US
security initiative alive.
Data sharing
training programme
Another more positive outcome
Following the successful com- The latter - an HCV-S
in recent months is that the US
missioning of its first fixed-site (Heimann Cargo Vision-Sta-
has moved closer into line with
container scanner in Nigeria, tionary) model, featuring a pow-
the WCO (and EU), by opting for
Cotecna Destination Inspection erful 9MeV X-ray source and
Ltd (CDIL) is now training of- dual-view operation - is the first
ficers from the Nigeria Customs of its type to enter service within
Service (NCS) to undertake the sub-Saharan African region.
image analysis and general scan- It was one of two such station-
ning operations. ary systems delivered into Africa
The training programme is during 2008-09 by Smiths De-
taking place on a new scanner tection, along with 15 mobile
located in Apapa Port and cur- HCV units.
rently involves nine customs of- CDIL also reaffirmed that it
ficers and three staff from is committed to handing the
Cotecna, which owns the scan- operation of the stationary scan-
ner and provides the scanning ner over to the NCS in due
service. Over 48 trainees from course, in line with the terms of
NCS will take part in the initial its contract with the Federal
programme. Government. This action - sub-
In addition to focusing on ject to the passing of a new se-
machinery operation, some curity bill - will result in the
maintenance training is also to creation of a new agency within
be offered including a refresher Nigeria to provide direction and
course covering the servicing of leadership in the establishment
mobile container scanners al- of a platform for national mari-
ready in operation at the port. time security, as well as encour-
As part of a longer-term aging the development of local
project, CDIL is intending to expertise and a better awareness
train a minimum of 250 customs of information/communication
officers to handle image analy- technologies for the Nigerian
sis during 2010 and 2011, and maritime industry.
up to 400 in 2012, while other Some officals view the setting
further specialised training will up of any such agency to be an
be offered concurrently. This is unnecessary duplication of power,
being conducted by specialists however, as many of these func-
from Smith Detection in France, tions have already been assigned
which has supplied all the mo- to the Nigerian Maritime Ad-
bile scanners currently in use in ministration and Safety Agency
Nigeria, together with the coun- after the passing of the Merchant
try’s latest stationary installation. Shipping Act in 2007. ❏
44 February 2010
44_pos48_WCN_Feb.indd 1 04/03/2010 15:42:09
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