6 U.S. Code § 982 - Screening and scanning of cargo containers

(a) One hundred percent screening of cargo containers and 100 percent scanning of high-risk containers
(1) Screening of cargo containers

The Secretary shall ensure that 100 percent of the cargo containers originating outside the United States and unloaded at a United States seaport undergo a screening to identify high-risk containers.

(2) Scanning of high-risk containers

The Secretary shall ensure that 100 percent of the containers that have been identified as high-risk under paragraph (1), or through other means, are scanned or searched before such containers leave a United States seaport facility.

(b) Full-scale implementation
(1) In general

A container that was loaded on a vessel in a foreign port shall not enter the United States (either directly or via a foreign port) unless the container was scanned by nonintrusive imaging equipment and radiation detection equipment at a foreign port before it was loaded on a vessel.

(2) ApplicationParagraph (1) shall apply with respect to containers loaded on a vessel in a foreign country on or after the earlier of—
July 1, 2012; or
such other date as may be established by the Secretary under paragraph (3).
(3) Establishment of earlier deadline

The Secretary shall establish a date under (2)(B) [1] pursuant to the lessons learned through the pilot integrated scanning systems established under section 981 of this title.

(4) ExtensionsThe Secretary may extend the date specified in paragraph (2)(A) or (2)(B) for 2 years, and may renew the extension in additional 2-year increments, for containers loaded in a port or ports, if the Secretary certifies to Congress that at least two of the following conditions exist:
Systems to scan containers in accordance with paragraph (1) are not available for purchase and installation.
Systems to scan containers in accordance with paragraph (1) do not have a sufficiently low false alarm rate for use in the supply chain.
Systems to scan containers in accordance with paragraph (1) cannot be purchased, deployed, or operated at ports overseas, including, if applicable, because a port does not have the physical characteristics to install such a system.
Systems to scan containers in accordance with paragraph (1) cannot be integrated, as necessary, with existing systems.
Use of systems that are available to scan containers in accordance with paragraph (1) will significantly impact trade capacity and the flow of cargo.
Systems to scan containers in accordance with paragraph (1) do not adequately provide an automated notification of questionable or high-risk cargo as a trigger for further inspection by appropriately trained personnel.
(5) Exemption for military cargo

Notwithstanding any other provision in the section, supplies bought by the Secretary of Defense and transported in compliance section 2631 of title 10 and military cargo of foreign countries are exempt from the requirements of this section.

(6) Report on extensionsAn extension under paragraph (4) for a port or ports shall take effect upon the expiration of the 60-day period beginning on the date the Secretary provides a report to Congress that—
states what container traffic will be affected by the extension;
provides supporting evidence to support the Secretary’s certification of the basis for the extension; and
explains what measures the Secretary is taking to ensure that scanning can be implemented as early as possible at the port or ports that are the subject of the report.
(7) Report on renewal of extension

If an extension under paragraph (4) takes effect, the Secretary shall, after one year, submit a report to Congress on whether the Secretary expects to seek to renew the extension.

(8) Scanning technology standardsIn implementing paragraph (1), the Secretary shall—
establish technological and operational standards for systems to scan containers;
ensure that the standards are consistent with the global nuclear detection architecture developed under the Homeland Security Act of 2002 [6 U.S.C. 101 et seq.]; and
coordinate with other Federal agencies that administer scanning or detection programs at foreign ports.
(9) International trade and other obligations

In carrying out this subsection, the Secretary shall consult with appropriate Federal departments and agencies and private sector stakeholders, and ensure that actions under this section do not violate international trade obligations, and are consistent with the World Customs Organization framework, or other international obligations of the United States.

(c) Report

Not later than 6 months after the submission of a report under section 981(d) of this title, and every 6 months thereafter, the Secretary shall submit a report to the appropriate congressional committees describing the status of full-scale deployment under subsection (b) and the cost of deploying the system at each foreign port at which the integrated scanning systems are deployed.

[1]  So in original. Probably should be “paragraph (2)(B)”.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

The Homeland Security Act of 2002, referred to in subsec. (b)(8)(B), is Pub. L. 107–296, Nov. 25, 2002, 116 Stat. 2135, which is classified principally to chapter 1 (§ 101 et seq.) of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see Short Title note set out under section 101 of this title and Tables.


2007—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 110–53 reenacted heading without change and amended text of subsec. (b) generally. Prior to amendment, text related to full deployment of an integrated scanning system after the Secretary had determined that such system had met section 981(c) requirements, had a sufficiently low false alarm rate, was capable of being deployed overseas, was capable of integrating with existing systems, would not significantly impact trade flow, and had provided for automated notification of high-risk cargo.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Cargo Container Scanning Technology Review

Pub. L. 115–254, div. K, title I, § 1979, Oct. 5, 2018, 132 Stat. 3618, provided that:

“(a) Designations.—
“(1) In general.—
Not later than 1 year after the date of enactment of this Act [Oct. 5, 2018], and not less frequently than once every 5 years thereafter until the date of full-scale implementation of 100 percent screening of cargo containers and 100 percent scanning of high-risk containers required under section 232 of the SAFE Port Act (6 U.S.C. 982), the Secretary [of Homeland Security] shall solicit proposals for scanning technologies, consistent with the standards under subsection (b)(8) of that section, to improve scanning of cargo at domestic ports.
“(2) Evaluation.—In soliciting proposals under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall establish measures to assess the performance of the proposed scanning technologies, including—
the rate of false positives;
the delays in processing times; and
the impact on the supply chain.
“(b) Pilot Program.—
“(1) Establishment.—
The Secretary may establish a pilot program to determine the efficacy of a scanning technology referred to in subsection (a).
“(2) Application process.—In carrying out the pilot program under this subsection, the Secretary shall—
solicit applications from domestic ports;
select up to 4 domestic ports to participate in the pilot program; and
select ports with unique features and differing levels of trade volume.
“(3) Report.—Not later than 1 year after initiating a pilot program under paragraph (1), the Secretary shall submit to the appropriate committees of Congress [Committees on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate and Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives] a report on the pilot program, including—
an evaluation of the scanning technologies proposed to improve security at domestic ports and to meet the full-scale implementation requirement;
the costs to implement a pilot program;
the benefits of the proposed scanning technologies;
the impact of the pilot program on the supply chain; and
recommendations for implementation of advanced cargo scanning technologies at domestic ports.
“(4) Sharing pilot program testing results.—
The results of the pilot testing of advanced cargo scanning technologies shall be shared, as appropriate, with government agencies and private stakeholders whose responsibilities encompass the secure transport of cargo.”

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