House passes port security bill passes

The U.S. House of Representatives in May overwhelmingly voted to pass H.R. 4954, the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE). According to Jerry Cerasale, senior vice president, government affairs for the New York-based Direct Marketing Association, the act is likely to also pass the Senate and then be signed into law by President Bush, perhaps by the end of the year.

The bill focuses on enhancing the security at U.S. ports, preventing threats from reaching the U.S., and tracking and protecting containers en route to the country. Among the main provisions of the bill, the Department of Homeland Security must

  • check all port employees against terrorist watch lists

  • establish standards for securing containers within 180 days

  • conduct additional research on port security technology
  • put into place by Sept. 30, 2007, enough radiation monitors to check 98% of the cargo coming into the U.S.

The legislation also proposes spending more than $5.5 billion during the next six years to strengthen port security at 140 locations.

“Port security is a huge issue and this is a move by Congress to shore up our ports,” Cerasale says. “A lot of DMA members have a huge amount of merchandise coming through the ports.”

While Cerasale does not see the bill as having a negative effect on commerce, marketers could see some costs increasing in order to ensure compliance. And merchants may find that their goods could take longer to get into the ports, since everyone will be required to present proper identification to enter.

Partner Content

Hincapie Sportswear Finds Omnichannel Success in the Cloud - Netsuite
For more and more companies, a cloud-based unified data solution is the way to make this happen. Custom cycling apparel maker Hincapie Sportswear has leveraged this capability to gain greater visibility into revenue streams, turning opportunities into sales more quickly while gaining overall operating efficiency. Download this ecommerce special report from Multichannel Merchant to more.
The Gift of Wow: Preparing your store for the holiday season - Netsuite
Being prepared for the holiday rush used to mean stocking shelves and making sure your associates were ready for the long hours. But the digital revolution has changed everything, most importantly, customer expectations. Retailers with a physical store presence should be asking themselves—what am I doing to wow the customer?
3 Critical Components to Achieving the Perfect Order - NetSuite
Explore the 3 critical components to delivering the perfect order.
Streamlining Unified Commerce Complexity - NetSuite
Explore how consolidating multiple systems through a cloud-based commerce platform provides a seamless experience for both you, and your customer.