“100% Scanning” Mandate Raises Important Questions About Risk-Based Decision Making

The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act, passed in 2006, but not yet implemented, requires 100% of all U.S. bound cargo containers to be scanned prior to arriving at U.S. ports. This idea runs contrary to the concept of risk-based decision making that has become more prevalent and necessary, especially as many border authorities’ budgets around the world have been reduced or stayed stagnant, despite the expansion of global trade.

While there is a frequent tug of war between the international trade industry and Customs authorities over container processing speed versus security/regulations, there is a generally strong common opposition to the 100% scanning mandate.

Customs and border management resources are finite and must be strategically allocated. Among other technologies and programs being developed by CBP and the Department of Homeland Security to improve efficiencies, enhanced automation now allows U.S. Customs authorities to leverage big data analytics and complex algorithms to assess the risk of containers arriving at U.S. ports at far less cost than physical examinations of containers.

​Read more can be found on the Journal of Commerce website.

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