S. 4572 would require U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to increase its use of non-intrusive inspection (NII) systems at land ports of entry. Beginning in 2024, the bill would require CBP to use NII systems to inspect 40 percent of passenger vehicles and 90 percent of commercial vehicles entering the United States. NII systems, such as large-scale X-ray and Gamma-ray systems and handheld scanners, are used to quickly examine vehicles for weapons, narcotics, and other materials that pose nuclear and radiological threats.
The bill also would require CBP and the Government Accountability Office to submit various reports to the Congress about the use of NII at the U.S border.
CBP indicated that many land ports of entry would require capital improvements, such as roadwork and new facilities, before large-scale NII could be installed. Based on the costs and timelines of similar projects, CBO estimates that such improvements would take two years to complete and cost $98 million over the 2023-2027 period.
In addition to those improvements, CBP would need to install new large-scale NII systems. CBP indicated that it would install additional NII systems at the locations with the largest vehicle volume if S. 4572 was enacted, with multiple systems per site. Based on feedback from CBP, CBO expects that the agency would need to install an additional 70 large-scale NII systems to comply with the bill’s requirements.