The House Homeland Security Committee on Wednesday passed by voice vote the SMART Port Security Act
, which attempts to improve cooperation and coordination between the department and other agencies, enhance risk-based supply chain security programs and save money.
Key provisions would allow DHS to recognize trusted shipper programs in other countries as equivalent to the U.S. program and allow the U.S. Coast Guard to recognize other governments' or organizations' port security threat assessments.
It requires DHS to update its Maritime Operations Coordination Plan to enhance interagency cooperation and commission a study of possible cost savings by having the Coast Guard and Customs and Border Protection share facilities.
The bill also encourages DHS to speed up deployment of card readers for the Transportation Worker Identification Credential. It extends the expiration date for the TWIC cards so that longshoremen, truckers, merchant mariners and others don't have to renew their ID cards at a cost of up to $132.50 given that DHS has not approved the technology to make the biometric cards fully functional.
The legislation requires DHS to complete a strategic plan for global supply chain security that is more detailed than the one published by the Obama administration in January, with a focus on providing incentives for the private sector and measurable goals. - Eric Kulisch