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Homeland Security

Washington File

05 June 2003

Britain Implements U.S. Container Security Initiative

(Joint customs teams checking U.S.-bound containers at Felixstowe) (880)
As part of the Container Security Initiative (CSI), U.S. customs
officers have begun working with their British counterparts at the
port of Felixstowe to screen U.S.-bound shipping containers identified
as a potential terrorist risk.
"I applaud the British government's strong support in helping to make
a safer, more secure world trading system," U.S. Customs Commissioner
Robert C. Bonner said.
The CSI is a reciprocal program that sends U.S. customs officers
abroad and brings foreign customs officers to American ports.
Eighteen ports have agreed to participate: Hong Kong, Shanghai,
Singapore, Rotterdam, Pusan, Bremerhaven, Tokyo, Genoa, Yantian,
Antwerp, Nagoya, Le Havre, Hamburg, La Spezia, Felixstowe, Algeciras,
Kobe, and Yokohama. Felixstowe is the 13th to become operational.
Following is a press release with more information:
(begin text)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C. 
Customs and Border Protection
(Tuesday, June 03, 2003)
Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Commissioner Robert C. Bonner today announced that the Container
Security Initiative (CSI) will be operational at the port of
Felixstowe for cargo containers destined for U.S. ports.
CBP and the United Kingdom signed a declaration of principles on
December 9, 2002. As part of the CSI program, U.S. Customs and Border
Protection has deployed a team of CBP officers to the port of
Felixstowe to work targeting high-risk cargo containers destined for
the United States. United Kingdom Customs officials, working with CBP
officers, are responsible for screening any containers identified as a
potential terrorist risk.
The port of Felixstowe is the 13th CSI port to become operational. It
joins the already operational CSI ports of Rotterdam, LeHavre,
Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore, Yokohama, Hong Kong,
Göteborg, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax.
"I applaud the British government's strong support in helping to make
a safer, more secure world trading system. CSI is essential in
securing an indispensable, but vulnerable link in the chain of global
trade: containerized shipping," Commissioner Bonner said. "CSI is the
only formal program in operation today that is designed to detect and
deter terrorists from exploiting the vulnerabilities of containerized
cargo. We are getting CSI implemented in all of the ports that have
signed on. We will continue to deploy teams to other participating
ports as quickly as possible."
CSI is a reciprocal program. CBP offers CSI-participating countries
the opportunity to send their customs officers to our major ports to
target cargo that is exported to their country via ocean containers.
CBP will also share its intelligence and pre-arrival information on a
bilateral basis with its CSI partners. Sharing of information is
intended to be a reciprocal process.
Japan is now the second CSI partner country to station customs
personnel in U.S. ports as part of the CSI program. Japanese customs
personnel are stationed at the port of Los Angeles/Long Beach.
Canadian Customs personnel are stationed at Newark and Seattle.
CSI is an initiative that was developed by U.S. Customs, now U.S.
Customs and Border Protection, in the aftermath of the terrorist
attacks of September 11th. Now within the Department of Homeland
Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is continuing to
implement CSI at major ports around the world. Under the CSI program,
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 cargo containers.
To date, 18 of the top 20 ports have agreed to join CSI and are at
various stages of implementation. These ports are points of passage
for approximately two-thirds of cargo 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-evident containers.
Each year, over 48 million full cargo containers move between the
world's major seaports and more than 6 million containers arrive in
the United States by ship.
"Now that we have nearly achieved our goal for CSI at most of the top
20 ports, we will be expanding CSI to other ports that ship
substantial amounts of cargo to the United States, and that have the
infrastructure and technology in place to participate in the program,"
Commissioner Bonner said.
Most recently, the governments of Malaysia and Sweden have joined CSI.
In Europe, CBP is looking to expand CSI to at least 11 additional
The CSI initiative supports the "Cooperative G8 Action on Transport
Security" adopted by G8 in June 2002.
(end text)
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)

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