What You Need to Know About the SAFE Port Act

October 31, 2006
By Michelle Kelley

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You may have recently heard about the Security & Accountability for Every Port Act (or SAFE Port Act). Signed into law by President Bush on October 16th, the SAFE Port Act aims at improving security at U.S. seaports.

With an estimated cost of $8.9 billion, the law allocates funds for increasing security at U.S. port facilities and abroad. Major provisions and highlights of the law which may interest members of the supply chain community include,

  • U.S. citizenship requirements for port facility owners and funds for more invasive background checks of port facility personnel;
  • funds to establish training programs for government and commercial personnel to prevent/respond to acts of terrorism and natural disasters at commercial seaports;
  • funds for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to implement a long-range vessel tracking system by April 1, 2007;
  • funds for the deployment of nuclear and radiation detection systems at 22 U.S. seaports by September 30, 2007, as well as funds for increasing the amount of containers scanned with such systems at foreign ports;
  • funds to establish security command centers at select U.S. seaports; and
  • requirements for DHS to add at least 200 full-time CBP officers at ports of entry every year from 2008 to 2012.