RealNews

U.S. Plans to Toughen Rules for Cargo Shipping Industry

The Bush administration will try to force the nation’s largest shipping companies to install electronic tamper sensors and use reinforced metal seals on millions of steel-box cargo containers in an effort to keep terrorists from trying to ship nuclear or other catastrophic weapons into the United States, senior officials said Tuesday. The decision, which is expected to be announced later this week by the Department of Homeland Security, will not mandate the overhaul of the containers. But under the administration’s plan, shipping companies will have a choice of installing the sensors and using the high-quality seals on their current stock of cargo containers or facing an onerous, time-consuming customs inspection when their cargo arrives at American ports. The “smart box” program, as it is being called, is unlikely to satisfy critics of the administration who say that the government has done too little to step up cargo security and the safety of the nation’s seaports. But administration officials say the move will greatly improve cargo security at limited cost to the government and the shipping industry. Full Story

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