Two objections posed by the NRF are that the term, “scanning,” is not adequately defined in legislation being put forth in the House of Representatives and that if enacted, the proposal could result in costly delays that could harm the national economy.
A bill, H.R. 4899, Sail Only if Scanned Act (SOS Act) sponsored by Representative Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) would require all cargo containers destined for U.S. ports to be scanned in the foreign port before being loaded on ships headed to the U.S.
In a letter to Chairman Peter King (R-NY) of the House Homeland Security Committee, senior vp for government relations of the NRF, Steve Fister points out that the proposed bill des not define “scan,” which could mean use of X-ray equipment, gamma ray scan (used in the Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System) or the ICIS (Integrated Container Inspection System) used in Hong Kong. Further, notes Fister, the bill doesn’t say who would perform the scans and pass the results on to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
The SOS Act is expected to be offered as an amendment to H.R. 4954, the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE Port Act), sponsored by Representative Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.).