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Trade News

Each day TFO Canada publishes a sample of trade news on the Canadian import market along with any new, updated or changed regulations and legislations regarding international trade; countries in which TFO Canada offers services and on the export sectors which it promotes.


Shipping Law Making Waves Overseas

Monday, October 29, 2007 > 14:34:48

(Los Angeles Business Journal - via I.E. News)

A U.S. law that will require foreign ports to scan every container they ship stateside looks set to create big winners and losers and force consolidation at ports around the world, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Designed to ensure freight containers aren't used by terrorists to smuggle weapons or bomb materials into the U.S., the Law on Maritime Cargo Scanning Requirements is shaping up to have a dramatic impact on the global shipping industry, port officials and operators in Europe and Asia say.

Companies that make the giant $5 million X-ray or gamma-ray machines needed to scan shipping containers are anticipating a boom in orders as roughly 700 ports around the world gear up for the U.S. rules, which were signed into law in August but take effect in 2012. Industry analysts say each will have to buy one to 10 of the scanners or stop exporting to the world's richest market.

Large modern ports, mostly in Asia, also expect to win new business as smaller and older ports struggle to meet the requirements. The European Union estimates the average start-up cost for a port to buy and support the scanners will be around $100 million, too much to make business sense for some minor ports to go on shipping to the

Big, older river ports like Antwerp in are also at a disadvantage.
would need to build new roads and bridges to get all containers to scanners from its scattered docks and may not be ready in time. "We're looking at billions [of euros] in extra spending," says Lieven Muylaert, a Belgian customs official.

The EU has led opposition from around the world to the new U.S. requirements, worrying the relative lack of flexibility at many European ports will add to cost advantages Asian exporters already hold over European companies.
's newer ports tend to be bigger, but more compact, than their European counterparts. They will have less trouble meeting the requirements, port operators and analysts say. The EU has threatened to impose reciprocal constraints on all containers landing in the EU from the


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