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Bill Requires DHS to Enhance Maritime Security

A port security bill (H.R. 4954) has been approved by both the House of Representatives and the Senate and signed into law by President Bush. The law requires that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) develop and implement a strategic plan to enhance maritime security. The measure also requires that DHS develop and implement a plan to improve existing programs that identify high-risk containers moving through the international supply chain.

H.R. 4954 requires that states submit to the federal government biographic information on current and future employees who have access to secured areas of seaports. The DHS will compare this information to data on terrorist watch lists.

The measure also requires that DHS establish minimum standards and verification procedures for securing containers in transit, including international standards for containers moving through the global supply chain. DHS would also submit a plan to Congress for deployment of radiation detection equipment at all U.S. ports.hr4954_portsecurity1106.pdf