GAO report - Foreign port risk assessment to improve cargo security 

September 30: The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) on September 16, 2013 published a report concerning how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) could improve cargo security.

Reason for the GAO report

According to the GAO report [PDF 1.2 MB], foreign ports and the cargo carried by vessels from these ports can be exploited by terrorists. GAO reviewed the risk models and maritime security program strategies of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Coast Guard, which are responsible for maritime security within the DHS.


In this report, the GAO addresses:


  • The extent to which DHS has assessed the foreign ports that pose the greatest risk to the global supply chain and focused its maritime container security programs to address those risks
  • Actions DHS has taken to help maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of its maritime security programs

GAO recommendations

The GAO recommends that CBP periodically assess the supply chain risks from foreign ports that ship cargo to the United States and use the results to inform any future expansion of the Container Security Initiative (CSI) program. In addition, the GAO recommends that CBP determine whether changes need to be made to existing CSI ports.



For more information, contact a professional with KPMG’s Trade & Customs practice:


Douglas Zuvich

(312) 665-1022


Andrew Siciliano

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John L. McLoughlin

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Todd R. Smith

(949) 885-5617


Luis A. Abad

(212) 954-3094


Amie Ahanchian

(202) 533-3247


Or your local KPMG Trade & Customs professional.




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