Port and Maritime Security: Background and Issues for Congress [Updated May 10, 2005] [open pdf - 111KB]
"To raise port security standards, Congress passed the Maritime Transportation Security Act of 2002 (P.L. 107-295) in November 2002. In the 108th Congress, the focus of debate is about whether current efforts to improve port security are adequate in addressing the threat. Significantly, one conclusion of 'The 9/11 Commission Report' is that transportation security resources are not being 'allocated to the greatest risks in a cost effective way.... Opportunities to do harm are as great, or greater, in maritime or surface transportation [than in aviation]. Initiatives to secure shipping containers have just begun....' While many agree that Coast Guard and CBP programs to address the threat are sound, they contend that these programs represent only a framework for building a maritime security regime, and that significant gaps in security still remain. The 9/11 Commission concluded that deployment of scanning technologies designed to screen containers that can be transported by plane, ship, truck, or rail is still years away. H.R. 10 and S. 2845 contain provisions consistent with the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission for improving transportation security. This report will be updated periodically."
CRS Report for Congress, RL31733