February 25 - A requirement to scan all US-bound sea containers, postponed until 2014 according to some reports, fails to provide complete security for the United States, is not cost-effective and will lead to a false sense of security, says a report from

The plan is that any port that despatches containers to the US must provide 100 percent scanning of those containers, even those in transit. As well as being immensely costly to implement, the security regime does not cover bulk or heavy lift cargo.

Given the size, shape and nature of many heavy lift cargoes, scanning is not an option, warns the EC.

The type of large and bulky equipment moved into the US by heavy lift lines can easily conceal weapons of mass destruction, the finding of which is the purpose of the 100 percent scanning effort.

This weakness could lead to a false sense of security, warns Brussels, as even if the 100 percent target is achieved, holes will still remain in the cargo security regime.

Project forwarders, who send entire or part consignments of containerised cargo, will be caught up in the delays that the EC estimate will add 10 percent to the cost of ocean freight bound for the US as well as costing freight that is not touching the US but still having to bear the costs of installing and operating the scanning regime.