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Highlights

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is responsible for preventing weapons of mass destruction from entering the United States in cargo containers that are shipped from more than 700 foreign seaports. The Security and Accountability for Every (SAFE) Port Act calls for testing the feasibility of scanning 100 percent of U.S.-bound cargo containers, and the Implementing Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act (9/11 Act) requires scanning 100 percent of U.S.-bound cargo containers by 2012. To fulfill these requirements, CBP created the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI) and has initiated a pilot program at seven seaports. This testimony discusses challenges related to the SFI pilot program and implementation of the requirement to scan 100 percent of U.S.-bound container cargo. This testimony is based on GAO products issued from July 2003 through April 2008 and ongoing work. To conduct this work, GAO reviewed reports from CBP and international partners on SFI and other container security programs, and interviewed CBP and foreign customs officials.

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