The Bill aims specifically at detecting nuclear devices that might be shipped to the US in containers. President Bush said that the legislation builds on the progress made in strengthening the country’s defences since the attacks of September 11, 2001.
However, the Bill has come in for considerable criticism from outside the US on account of the practicalities involved in implementing the requirement. It is claimed it will create further burdens and costs for the shipping industry, and that these will be passed on to the consumer.
There is also a fear that the harshness of the Bill will affect trade with the US. There is, however, a loophole within the legislation that gives authority to the Homeland Security secretary to delay its implementation.
In addition to requiring that screening of all shipping containers is implemented within five years, the Bill requires that steps to screen all cargo airfreighted on passenger aircraft must be in place within three years.