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Homeland Security

Washington File

17 June 2003

Port of Genoa Implements Container Security Initiative

(U.S. and Italian customs agents are screening U.S.-bound cargo
containers) (1000)
Italy has started the operational phase of the Container Security
Initiative (CSI) at the port of Genoa for cargo containers destined
for U.S. ports, the U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
announced June 16.
Under the CSI, U.S. and Italian Customs officials working together in
Genoa screen any cargo containers identified as a potential terrorist
Genoa is the 14th CSI port to become operational. On June 12, the
United States announced that CSI will be expanding beyond the 20 ports
initially invited to participate in the program. In Europe, CBP is
looking to expand CSI to at least 11 additional ports.
About 90 percent of all world cargo moves by container. Each year,
nearly 7 million containers arrive in the United States by ship.
Following is a CBP press release:
(begin text)
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Customs and Border Protection
Washington, D.C.
(Monday, June 16, 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 Genoa.
CBP and the government of Italy signed a declaration of principles on
November 7, 2002. As part of the CSI program, CBP has deployed a team
of officers to the port of Genoa to work jointly with host government
personnel to target high-risk cargo containers destined for the United
States. Italian government officials, working with CBP officers, are
responsible for screening any containers identified as a potential
terrorist risk.
The port of Genoa is the 14th CSI port to become operational. It joins
the already operational CSI ports of Rotterdam, LeHavre, Bremerhaven,
Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Göteborg,
Felixstowe, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax.
Containerized shipping is a critical component of global trade because
most of the international trade moves or is transported in cargo
containers. About 90 percent of all world cargo moves by container. In
the United States, almost half of incoming trade (by value) arrives by
containers on board container ships. Almost 7 million cargo containers
arrive and are offloaded at U.S. seaports each year.
"I applaud the government of Italy for their 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.
Commissioner Bonner first proposed the Container Security Initiative
in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th. CSI is an
initiative that was developed by U.S. Customs, now U.S. Customs and
Border Protection. Now within the Department of Homeland Security, CBP
is continuing to implement CSI at major ports around the world. Under
the CSI program, a team of officers from CBP are deployed to work with
host nation counterparts to target high-risk cargo containers.
On Thursday, June 12, 2003, Tom Ridge, Secretary of the Department of
Homeland Security, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced that CSI will be expanding to
strategic locations beyond the 20 initial major ports to include areas
of the middle east such as Dubai as well as Turkey and Malaysia. CBP
is also coordinating agreements with Sri Lanka, key ports in Africa,
ports in Latin America, and other major ports in Asia and Europe.
Most recently, the governments of Malaysia and Sweden have joined CSI.
In Europe, CBP is looking to expand CSI to at least 11 additional
ports to include Livorno, Gioia Tauro, and Naples.
"As part of CSI Phase II, 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.
Governments representing 19 of the top 20 ports have agreed to
implement CSI. This includes an agreement with the government of
Thailand, for the Port of Laem Chabang, which Secretary Ridge signed
with Thailand's Foreign Minister on June 10.
The top 20 ports are points of passage for approximately 68 percent of
cargo containers shipped to the United States. "CSI Phase II will
enable us to extend port security protection to more than 80
percent--casting the safety net of CSI far and wide," 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. CSI is also a reciprocal program. CBP offers
CSI-participating countries the opportunity to send their customs
officers to major U.S. ports to target cargo that is exported to their
country via ocean containers. CBP will also share its information and
pre-arrival data on a bilateral basis with its CSI partners. Sharing
of information is intended to be a reciprocal process.
Japan and Canada currently 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 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.
"The basic premise behind each of these elements is to extend our zone
of security outward, so that the American seaports and borders become
the last line of defense, not the first," Commissioner Bonner said.
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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