UK forwarders unfazed by further US climbdown

BIFA has expected move from the US of the delaying of new cargo scanning rulings.


Peter Quantrill, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA) found it ‘hardly surprising’ to hear the recent news that the US has delayed new rules requiring all cargo containers entering the US to be security scanned prior to departure from overseas for two more years. This move comes amid questions over whether this is the best way to protect US ports.

Mr Quantrill commented: “As BIFA has said repeatedly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has consistently underestimated the enormity of the task in hand relative to the costs both to the US Government and foreign governments, as well as, importantly, the limited ability of contemporary screening technology to penetrate dense cargo, or large quantities of cargo in shipping containers.”

BIFA’s comments are in response to the recent news of a letter from Thomas Carper, chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which suggested that the use of systems available to scan containers would have a negative impact on trade capacity and the flow of cargo.

Quantrill adds: “Media reports suggest that the US Government now doubts whether it would be able to implement the mandate of 100 percent scanning, even in the long term, and it would appear that it now shares BIFA’s long-standing opinion that it is not the best use of taxpayer resources to meet the USA’s port security and homeland security needs.