ANNOUNCEMENT 27 Mar 2012In March 2012, the government of the United States of America announced a change in import formalities.
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The Subcommittee on Border and Maritime Security of the Homeland Security Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved on March 27, 2012 the 'Security Maritime Activities through Risk-Based Targeting for Port Security (SMART Port Security) Act' (H.R.4251 as amended). The bill encourages the several Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agencies involved in maritime port security and administration to cooperate with state and local authorities, ensure supply-chain security through the use of risk-based methodology, and leverage the maritime security work accomplished by trusted allies. The bill authorizes DHS agencies to use standardized equipment, authorizes DHS to accept other countries' equivalent security programs, and employ other streamlining and cost-saving methods to maximize security without additional expenditures. One provision authorizes DHS to accept foreign port security certification assessments conducted by foreign governments and international entities. Another provision bars DHS from accepting a foreign classification society certification if that certifier also provides services to any entities or government bodies in Iran, North Korea, North Sudan, or Syria. The subcommittee approved the bill as amended by voice vote, sending it to the full committee for consideration.