DHS wants industry input on container security

The Homeland Security Department is inviting industry to prove that available container security devices and readers are sufficient to detect tampering of shipping containers during transit.

The Customs and Border Protection agency published Wednesday a request for information to solicit industry input on determining whether available Conveyance Security Device systems meet its needs. Those requirements are described in a separate document on the Federal Business Opportunities Web site.

The container security systems are intended primarily for monitoring the rear doors of shipping containers and other conveyances to determine if an intrusion occurs during the cargo transit.

The technologies proposed will be submitted for evaluation in the laboratory, field and in realistic operational scenarios, the notice said. These scenarios may include:
  • A supply chain scenario tracking cargo from Mexico from the point of stuffing to arrival at a U.S. port of entry on the southern border;
  • An in-transit scenario involving high-risk commodities in standard maritime containers as the commodities travel from a west coast seaport to a land border port along the southern border; and
  • An in-transit scenario involving high-risk agricultural products from Mexico to Canada.

Responding to the RFI today, GE Security Inc., a subsidiary of General Electric Co., said it intends to propose the CommerceGuard security container. CommerceGuard is jointly owned by GE Security, Mitsubishi Corp., Samsung Corp. and Siemens Building Technologies. CommerceGuard is deployed at 20 ports.

"GE Security welcomes new container security technology requirements announced by CBP," said Dean Seavers, president at GE Security. "We believe they will help to further the deployment of sophisticated technology solutions, such as CommerceGuard, thus helping to close a critical maritime security gap and making the world's ports, their surrounding communities and neighbors safer."

Section 204 of the "Safe Port Act" of 2006 requires DHS to begin rulemaking to establish minimum standards and procedures for container security device systems. The department did not meet the deadline to publish an interim rule.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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