You’ll Be Body Scanned, but Cargo on Airplanes Won’t be Inspected
Full container screening ‘not best’ move: US security chief
ROTTERDAM, Netherlands — Asking ports of departure to perform full screening of containers before they travel to the US was probably not the best decision, US Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano said Wednesday.
“We believe the so-called 100 percent requirement is probably not the best way to go,” Napolitano told reporters at a press briefing in Rotterdam, where she was visiting Europe’s largest port and the fourth-largest globally.
Napolitano is on a week-long tour of Britain and Europe to beef up security ties within the global supply chain between the US, Britain and Europe and met her British counterpart Theresa May earlier this week, her office said.
On Thursday she is to meet EU ministers and will participate in a conference of the World Customs Organisation in Brussels, where she said she would deliver a similar message.
Asked about a 2007 US Congress requirement that all containers entering the US should be scanned by their ports of exit by 2012, Napolitano said: “We at this point are not going to insist on that.”
Although the 2012 deadline was set by Congress, it did give her department the opportunity to extend it if 100 percent scanning wasn’t feasible.
Napolitano has previously expressed doubt about whether the mandate for all containers to be scanned by 2012 would be met.
Napolitano said the Department of Homeland Security preferred a more “layered approach” including better co-operation between countries, better intelligence sharing and analysis, as well as some container scanning to prevent attacks on the United States.