SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY – CBP Needs to Conduct Regular Assessments of Its Cargo Targeting System, GAO, October 2012 (CORE1014)

Summary: The US maritime security strategy uses advance cargo information to assess risk levels of US-bound maritime shipping containers. This GAO report reviews how the Automated Targeting System, a web-based computer program that calculates risk scores for the containers, support the US Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) targeting efforts. The report argues that CBP could improve its targeting program by establishing sound procedures and criteria for assessing the performance of the targeting activity. This GAO report contains information about the US risk-based shipment targeting solution that benefit the CORE’s risk and IT clusters. The US-related demonstrations may also find the report’s information useful. The report is available at:

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Full review: The risk targeting systems are part of governments’ supply chain security programs worldwide. The GAO reports gives unparalleled, detailed information about the principles that the US authorities follow to collect and analyse data about cargo movements that allow them to calculate risk scores for US-bound maritime shipping containers. The CORE’s risk cluster should pay attention to this information and learn how risk-based screening and examination of maritime shipping containers has been organized in the US, in the leading country of supply chain security. The report reveals useful information about IT infrastructure that support the risk targeting system, therefore providing a sound reference material for the CORE’s IT cluster. Project partners engaged in the CORE’s demonstrations – logistics operators, authorities and technology providers – benefit from the report’s description of the US automated targeting system (ATS) that play an important security role in the US-bound maritime trade and logistics.


  • Supply Chain Security: Container Security Programs Have Matured, but Uncertainty Persists over the Future of 100 Percent Scanning. GAO-12-422T. Washington, D.C.: February 7, 2012.
  • Supply Chain Security: Feasibility and Cost-Benefit Analysis Would Assist DHS and Congress in Assessing and Implementing the Requirement to Scan 100 Percent of U.S.-Bound Containers. GAO-10-12. Washington, D.C.: October 30, 2009.
  • Supply Chain Security: CBP Has Made Progress in Assisting the Trade Industry in Implementing the New Importer Security Filing Requirements, but Some Challenges Remain. GAO-10-841. Washington, D.C.: September 10, 2010.


Additional keywords: Terrorism, automated targeting system (ATS), 24-hour rule, the importer security filing and additional carrier requirements (10 + 2 rule)