The House Homeland Security Committee last Thursday unanimously approved four bills related to cyber, supply chain, border and aviation security.
The Strengthening Cybersecurity Information Sharing and Coordination in our Ports Act of 2017 (H.R. 3101) directs the Department of Homeland Security to develop and execute a cyber security risk assessment model for the maritime community. The bill, introduced by Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.), also wants at least one information sharing and analysis organization that represents the maritime community, be represented in the DHS cyber watch center, which is the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center.
In the area of supply chain security, a bill (H.R. 3551) offered by Rep. Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), would reauthorize the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism Program (C-TPAT) by amending the Security and Accountability for Every Port Act of 2006.
Customs and Border Protection officials use the C-TPAT regime to certify the voluntary use of certain best practices and procedures by foreign suppliers to augment the security of the international supply chain. Currently, there are more than 11,4000 certifies partners throughout the trade community that participate in C-TPAT, including U.S. importers and exporters, highway carriers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico, as well as rail and sea carriers, U.S. freight consolidators and others.
The Securing General Aviation and Commercial Charter Air Carrier Service Act of 2017 (H.R. 3669) was introduced by Rep. Ron Estes (R-Kan.) and authorizes the Transportation Security Administration to provide screening services to a commercial charter air carrier in areas other than primary passenger terminals if a carrier makes such a request. The bill also calls for TSA to study the cost and feasibility of establish web-based access to the Secure Flight database for charter carriers.
The final bill approved by the committee calls for CBP to increase the number of chemical screening devices it has to screen for illegal drugs, in particular fentanyl, other synthetic opioids and psychoactive substances that are illegally imported into the U.S.
The International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response By Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology Act (H.R. 2142) was introduced by Reps. Niki Tsongas (D-Mass.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.). It would authorize $15 million for to ensure CBP has the resources it needs to interdict the smuggling of opioids into the U.S.