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Homeland Security

13 March 2003

Fact Sheet: U.S. Works on Container Security in Foreign Ports

(Initiative expanding beyond mega-ports, Customs says) (1080)
The U.S. Customs Service says it continues to target in foreign ports
containers that may be used by terrorist organizations to smuggle
their emissaries and/or weapons of mass destruction into the United
States. Following is a Customs March 12 fact sheet explaining the
container security initiative:
(begin fact sheet)
Fact Sheet: Container Security Initiative Guards America, Global
Commerce From Terrorist Threat
Wednesday, March 12, 2003
The Container Security Initiative (CSI) is an initiative that was
developed by the U.S. Customs in the aftermath of the terrorist
attacks of September 11th. Now within the Department of Homeland
Security, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is continuing to
implement CSI at major ports around the world. Under the CSI program,
a small number of CBP officers are deployed to work with host nation
counterparts to target high-risk cargo containers. Its purpose is to
protect containerized shipping from exploitation by terrorists.
Containerized shipping is a critical component of global trade because
most of the international trade moves or is transported in containers.
CSI was launched in January 2002. To date, 18 of the top 20 megaports
have agreed to join CSI and are at various stages of implementation.
These megaports are points of passage for approximately two-thirds of
containers shipped to the United States. They include (by container
cargo volume): Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore, Rotterdam, Pusan,
Bremerhaven, Tokyo, Genoa, Yantian, Antwerp, Nagoya, Le Havre,
Hamburg, La Spezia, Felixstowe, Algeciras, Kobe, and Yokohama.
CSI consists of four core elements: (1) using intelligence and
automated information to identify and target high-risk containers; (2)
pre-screening those containers identified as high-risk, at the port of
departure, before they arrive at U.S. ports; (3) using detection
technology to quickly pre-screen high-risk containers; and (4) using
smarter, tamper proof containers.
Globally, over 48 million full cargo containers move between major
seaports each year. Each year, more than 6 million containers arrive
in the United States by ship.
Most recently, the governments of Malaysia and Sweden have joined CSI.
In Europe, CSI will be expanded to at least 11 additional ports.
The CSI initiative supports the "Cooperative G8 Action on Transport
Security" adopted by G8 [Group of Eight that includes Russia and seven
most industrialized countries -- Canada, France, Germany, Italy Japan,
the United Kingdom and the United States] in June 2002.
How will CSI expand beyond the top 20 megaports?
Phase 2 of CSI began with the expansion of CSI to additional ports --
to ports like Gothenburg that ship significant amounts of cargo to the
United States and have the infrastructure and technology to
participate in the CSI program. Gothenburg is the first European port
beyond the top twenty to be included in CSI. In Asia, CSI has expanded
to the two major ports of Klang and Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia.
What are the eligibility requirements for the second phase of CSI?
To be eligible for this second phase of CSI:
-- a country's customs administration must be able to inspect cargo
originating, or being transshipped through a country;
-- must have or be in the process of acquiring non-intrusive
inspection equipment -- large x-ray-type systems -- and radiation
detection equipment in order to conduct security; and
-- the seaport must have regular, direct, and substantial container
traffic to ports in the United States.
Will the addition of U.S. officers cause delays in the flow of goods
through ports that participate in CSI, reducing their competitiveness?
No. In fact, it should make the movement of cargo containers even more
efficient. Cargo typically sits on the pier for several days waiting
to be exported. CSI will target containers and screen them before they
depart. This way we are using the waiting time at the port of export
to do our work, so when the container arrives in the U.S. it can be
immediately released. The containers we target are going to be
searched. It's a question of where and when, not if.
Who will pay for screening and, if necessary, the unloading of
The host country will determine who pays for the direct cost of
screening and unloading containers. In the U.S., however, the importer
pays the costs associated with moving, inspecting and unloading
How many U.S. officers will be assigned to a particular port?
The needs of each port will be addressed individually. Typically we
would expect to deploy 5 officers to start. We'll then assess the
program and make adjustments as necessary.
When will U.S. officers be deployed?
Under the CSI program, a small number of CBP officers are deployed to
work with host nation counterparts to target high-risk cargo
containers. In February 2003, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, and Atwerp joined
the already operational CSI ports of Rotterdam and LeHavre in Europe
and Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver in Canada. Rotterdam became
operational on September 2, 2002 and LeHavre on December 2, 2002. The
three Canadian ports were operational in March of 2002.
Will CBP officers stationed at these ports be screening all cargo or
just cargo bound for the United States?
CBP officers deployed in foreign countries will be targeting with the
host nation, only cargo containers destined for the United States.
Only those U.S.-bound containers identified as potential threats will
be screened. The host country officials will examine the containers.
CBP officers will observe the security screening.
Will CBP be bringing X-ray systems and other detection technology to
help scan containers for contraband?
No. Many of the countries already have large container screening
machines. In fact, some ports already have extremely sophisticated
detection technology in operation. However, CBP can provide names of
NII manufacturers for the CSI country to pursue procuring equipment.
What other seaports are you in discussions with?
CBP is discussing CSI with a number of ports throughout Europe and
Top 20 Foreign Ports (Exports to U.S.): 1. Hong Kong(a), 2.
Shanghai(a), 3. Singapore(a), 4. Kaohsiung, 5. Rotterdam(b), 6.
Pusan(a), 7. Bremerhaven(b), 8. Tokyo(a), 9. Genoa(a), 10. Yantian(a),
11. Antwerp(b), 12. Nagoya(a), 13. Le Havre(b), 14. Hamburg(b), 15.
Spezia(a), 16. Felixstowe(a), 17. Algeciras(a), 18. Kobe(a), 19.
Yokohama(a), Laem Chabang.
Top 10 U.S. Ports of Import: 1.New York, 2. Los Angeles, 3. Long
Beach, 4. Charleston, 5. Seattle, 6. Norfolk, 7. Houston, 8. Oakland,
9. Savannah, 10. Miami.
(a) Denotes CSI ports.
(b) Denotes U.S. Customs officers have been deployed to the port and
it is fully operational.
(end fact sheet)
(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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