Supply Chain Security: CBP Needs to Enhance Its Guidance and Oversight of High-Risk Maritime Cargo Shipments, Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on Homeland Security, House of Representatives   [open pdf - 3MB]

"The U.S. economy is dependent on a secure global supply chain. In fiscal year 2013, approximately 12 million maritime cargo shipments arrived in the United States. Within the federal government, CBP [Customs and Border Patrol] is responsible for administering cargo security, to include identifying 'high-risk' maritime cargo shipments with the potential to contain terrorist contraband. GAO [Government Accountability Office] was asked to review CBP's disposition of such shipments. This report discusses (1) how many maritime shipments CBP determined to be high risk and the extent to which CBP has accurate data on the disposition of such shipments, (2) the extent to which CBP consistently applies criteria and documents reasons for waiving examinations, and (3) the extent to which CBP ensures its policies on the disposition of high-risk shipments are being followed. GAO analyzed CBP data on maritime shipments arriving in the United States during fiscal years 2009 through 2013. GAO also visited four CBP targeting units selected on the basis of the percentage of maritime shipments they waived, among other factors. GAO recommends, among other things, that CBP define standard exception waiver categories and disseminate policy on documenting articulable reason waivers. Further, CBP should enhance its methodology for selecting shipments for self-inspections and change the way it calculates the compliance rate. The Department of Homeland Security concurred with GAO's recommendations."

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Public Domain
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Government Accountability Office: http://www.gao.gov/
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