Maritime and Port Security: A Comparison of Major Provisions of S. 1214 and H.R. 3983 [Updated October 4, 2002]   [open pdf - 73KB]

"Congress is considering legislation to enhance security at U.S. seaports. The September 11 terrorist attack has raised concerns that a sea container could be used to transport a weapon of mass destruction. An interagency commission on crime and security at U.S. ports found that with a few exceptions, the level of security at U.S. ports was poor to fair. This report compares major provisions in S. 1214, which passed the Senate with an amendment, and H.R. 3983, which passed the House as amended. Five areas of the legislation are examined: federal funding, plans and programs for coordinating security, efforts to enhance foreign seaport security, cargo security provisions, and restrictions on access to certain areas within a port. As of October 4, 2002 conferees were working to resolve a dispute over how to pay for enhanced security measures. There is disagreement over whether proposed charges on waterborne imports and exports are a 'user fee' or a tax. Although both bills cover many of the same issues, there are differences in emphasis."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31424
Public Domain
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Open CRS: http://www.opencrs.com/
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