Congress Votes To Tighten U.S. Ports
In late September, Congress approved legislation that would tighten security at U.S. ports. The measure calls for the installation of radiation monitors to inspect incoming cargo containers at the 22 largest ports by the end of 2007.
According to some security experts, U.S. ports are susceptible to terrorists because “dirty” bombs could be hidden in cargo containers and radioactive material could be exploded after the containers have entered the country.
According to the new legislation, the Homeland Security Department also will have to develop a plan to ensure safety throughout the shipping process. The department is also required to develop standards for shipping container storage.
The legislation could impact the import of such items as bulbs or bare-root stock, media, pots and other materials manufactured outside the United States and shipped via cargo boat.
Earlier this year, the National Retail Federation expressed concern about passage of this legislation. Search “ports” in the GPN news archive for earlier coverage of this topic.