The SMART Port Security Legislation
The Securing Maritime Activities through Risk-Based Targeting for Port Security Act (SMART Port Security Act) was passed on June 6, 2012, by the House Committee on Homeland Security. The Act was supposed to improve the maritime security programs working under the Department of Homeland Security. The Act was also meant to better the risk-based security means taking place overseas so that various hazards would not reach the American land but would be intercepted on their way.
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The Act was important in that it increased the level of safety for numerous supply chains and allowed to more deal with both the gaps and redundancies present in the supply chain security systems; numerous organizations and agencies were involved in those systems and sometimes had trouble with coordination. On the other hand, it is stated that the bill should have waived the requirement to scan all the cargo coming from overseas; it is claimed that is not effective to scan everything, for such a process involves much additional time and money, problems with technology, delays, as well as resistance from governments of some countries (Berman, 2012).
The SAFE Port Act
The Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (or the SAFE Port Act) were signed in October 2006. It was concerned with the port security issue and tightened some procedures carried out by law enforcement officers to check commercial traffic. It imposed new requirements on maritime facilities, established the evaluation of cargo in foreign ports, created Interagency Operations Centers, launched the Container Security Initiative program, etc. (Bill Summary & Status n.d.)
There were many significant effects of the Act. For instance, it significantly influenced the trucking part of logistics by requiring the Department of Homeland Security to carry out a threat evaluation process for those port truckers that did not possess the hazardous materials endorsements (Nguyen, 2006). It enhanced overall security efforts in ports by introducing committees and operations centers that would share information with various stakeholders in the port, monitor numerous small activities taking place in ports, organizes patrols and ship escorts, creates anti-terrorist plans, etc. On the whole, the Act played an important role in improving the levels of port security in America (Caldwell, 2007).
The Small Vessel Security Strategy
The Small Vessel Security Strategy (SVSS) was created by the Department of Homeland Security as a part of a larger system of security strategies. It is stated that, while much attention is commonly paid to large ships, numerous small vessels transport large amounts of cargo and people via the sea. The numbers of these vessels are great, which makes it extremely hard to control and manage them from a single center.
These ships face various dangers connected to illegal drug use and smuggling, terrorist attacks, and many other hazards. SVSS was adopted to address a number of these problems and enhance the security levels for small vessels. The strategy supplies a way to simultaneously apply numerous strategies related to small ship security, harmonizes them, creating a unified approach to the issue, and providing the means of coordinated action by different levels of government. While it is difficult to oversee all the small ships, SVSS sets particular aims which should ensure that the risks threatening small vessels would be minimized (Department of Homeland Security, 2008; ATAC Global, n.d.).
ATAC Global. (n.d.). Small Vessel Security Strategy. Web.
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Berman, J. (2012). NRF voices support for the SMART Port Security Act. Web.
Bill Summary & Status. 109th Congress (2005 – 2006). H.R.4954. (n.d.). Web.
Caldwell, S. L. (2007). Maritime security. The SAFE Port Act: Status and implementation one year later. Web.
Department of Homeland Security. (2008). Small Vessel Security Strategy. Web.
Nguyen, T. (2006). Safe Port Act has trucking implications. Fleet Owner, 101(12). Web.