CBP downgrades importance of container seals; shipping industry relieved

Published 22 September 2006

There are two ways to make sure that a freight container arriving at a U.S. port does not contain a nuclear bomb or other destructive cargo: Tamper-seal the container after cargo has been loaded and validated, or scan the contents of the cargo when it arrives at port to see what it contains; DHS has decided to put the cargo-seal rule making on the back burner, for now

There is an inherent tension between allowing free and unfettered commerce and security requirements. The more intervention- and inspection-free commerce is, the less secure it is; the more secure it is, the less free and flowing it becomes. Nowhere is this tension more apparent than in the efforts to fashion legislation to make freight containers — containers which arrive in the United States by the million