Business travelers in western European will now be forced to give 48-hours notice of their plans to visit the U.S. This new regulation was put into effect under legislation signed on August 3 by President Bush. The bill’s aim is to bolster security against terrorism. The measures were among the recommendations made by the commission set up to investigate the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
This legislation requires the all air and sea freight at foreign ports to be screened before being allowed into the U.S. The 48-hour measure is likely to increase concern among business travelers and tourists about the inconvenience of U.S. travel since 9/11/2001.
Visitors from 22 western European countries — including the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain — will be affected by this new rule. The measure, which is also in effect for Australians, is designed to increase scrutiny of visitors from those countries whose citizens do not need visas to enter the U.S.
June’s thwarted attacks in London and Glasgow heightened U.S. concern about the presence of terrorists in the UK and other European countries.
Michael Chertoff, U.S. homeland security secretary, has vowed that provisions will be made for visitors who need to visit the U.S. at short notice.
New eligibility rules included in the bill allow visitors from 12 more countries — including South Korea, Taiwan, Brazil, Argentina, Greece, and the Czech Republic — to enter the U.S. without a visa.
Mr. Bush promised that screening of cargo into the U.S. will not disrupt international trade.
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