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Security News -- Port Security

House to Consider SMART Port Security Act

The Securing Maritime Activities though Risk-based Targeting (SMART) for Port Security Act will be considered for a vote by the full House of Representatives on Tuesday, according to an article from Homeland Security Today.

According to the article, the bipartisan legislation authored by Rep. Candice Miller (R-Mich), Chairwoman of the House subcommittee on border and maritime security, “builds on the work of the 2006 SAFE Port Act to enhance risk-based security measures overseas before the threat reaches our shores, emphasizes a stronger collaborative environment between the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the US Coast Guard (USCG) in sharing port security duties and leverages the maritime security work of our trusted allies, while requiring the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to find cost savings,” Miller’s office said in a statement Monday afternoon.

As quoted in the article, Miller said, “A major disruption at one of the nation’s ports, especially a terrorist attack, is a high-consequence event that has the potential to cripple the global supply chain and could severely damage our economy,” thus “ we cannot afford to ignore threats to our nation’s maritime security."

“Smart, cost-effective choices have to be made that maximizes our resources while ensuring the security of our ports – and by extension our way of life,” Miller continued in the article, noting that, “this bill is a step toward smarter security that encourages DHS to be more efficient, better integrated, and more closely coordinated amongst its components, industry, and international partners.”

According to the article, specifically, the bill would:

  • Reduce redundancies by allowing DHS to recognize other countries’ trusted shipper programs, in addition to allowing the USCG to recognize other governments’ or organizations’ port security threat assessments;
  • Require DHS to update the Maritime Operations Coordination Plan to enhance interagency cooperation;
  • Seek to improve efficiency and save taxpayer dollars by commissioning a report to study possible cost savings by having the USCG and CBP share facilities, as well as requiring CBP to use standard practices and risk-based assessments when deploying assets;
  • Institute changes to the Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) program to prompt DHS to install readers, improve efficiency for enrollees and prevent unauthorized use; and
  • Require DHS to develop a more in-depth strategic plan for global supply-chain security with a focus on providing incentives for the private sector and measurable goals.

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