SUPPLY CHAIN SECURITY – Container Security Programs Have Matured, but Uncertainty Persists over the Future of 100 Percent Scanning, GAO, February 2012 (CORE1005)

Summary: This GAO document analyses the progress and challenges of the US maritime supply chain security initiatives. The document puts a special emphasis on (1) the advance cargo information (ACI) schemes that enable the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assess risk levels of US-bound cargo containers, (2) technologies to track, monitor and screen the shipping containers for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and other contraband, and (3) to evaluate the progress towards the 100-percent scanning of the US-bound containerized cargo. As the overarching theme, the report addresses the current state of the partnerships the component agencies of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have been fostering with the private sector and foreign governments. Besides the demonstrations, which deal with the US-related maritime logistics, the CORE’s risk and educational clusters can benefit from the insight and information this report offers. The document is available for download at: (accessed 12.3.2016)

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Full review: This report provides a general outlook on the US maritime supply chain security initiatives, but the contents of this document largely overlaps with other, reviewed GAO documents. However, this report offers some fresh perspectives on the US maritime security – particularly the best updates available on the advanced cargo information programs –, and therefore the CORE’s partners, which are engaged in demonstrations on maritime security, might benefit from studying this GAO document. Moreover, the CORE risk, educational and IT clusters might learn from this document how the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has implemented its supply chain security philosophy in the maritime context. In particular, the risk cluster may use the description of the US risk-based approach to cargo inspections as a starting point for the related CORE solutions. The IT cluster may learn from the ways how the US government has organized its IT processes and infrastructure that support the maritime security initiatives. Finally, the educational cluster can use the material of this report to produce meaningful training material for CORE’s stakeholders that are engaged in maritime supply chain security.


  • Supply Chain Security: DHS Should Test and Evaluate Container Security Technologies Consistent with All Identified Operational Scenarios to Ensure the Technologies Will Function as Intended. GAO-10-887. Washington, D.C.: September 29, 2010.
  • 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.
  • Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Inadequate Communication and Oversight Hampered DHS Efforts to Develop an Advanced Radiography System to Detect Nuclear Materials. GAO-10-1041T. Washington D.C.: September 15, 2010.
  • 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.
  • Combating Nuclear Smuggling: Lessons Learned from DHS Testing of Advanced Radiation Detection Portal Monitors. GAO-09-804T. Washington, D.C.: June 25, 2009.

Additional keywords: Importer Security Filing (10+2 rule), Advanced Targeting System (ATS), 24-hour rule, 100-percent scanning requirement



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