President Signs SAFE bill into Law

As expected, President Bush signed the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act (SAFE) into law on Oct. 13. Congress passed the legislation on Sept. 30, by a vote of 409 to 2 in the House of Representatives. In May, the U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly voted to pass H.R. 4954, the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act.

The bill enhances 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, and provide 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.