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Homeland Security

07 August 2003

South Korea Implements Container Security Initiative

U.S. Customs and Border Protection news release Aug. 4

The Republic of Korea has begun implementing the Container Security Initiative (CSI) at the port of Busan, according to an August 4 news release from the Department of Homeland Security's Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP).

As part of the CSI program, CBP will deploy a team of officers to the port of Busan to work with host government personnel to target and secure high-risk cargo containers destined for the United States. CSI is the only formal program in operation today that is designed to detect and deter terrorists from exploiting the vulnerabilities of containerized cargo.

Following is the text of the news release:

(begin text)

Republic of Korea Implements Container Security Initiative
to Begin Targeting and Pre-Screening Cargo Destined for U.S.

08/04/2003

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced today that the port of Busan, Korea will become operational.

CBP and the Republic of Korea signed a Declaration of Principles on January 17, 2003.

As part of the CSI program, CBP will deploy a team of officers to the port of Busan to work with host government personnel to target high-risk cargo containers destined for the United States. Officials of the Republic of Korea are responsible for screening any container identified jointly with CBP officers as a potential terrorist risk.

"It is important that we stand shoulder to shoulder against a new and unusual common enemy to protect not only our citizens, but also our economic strength and well being." Commissioner Bonner said.

The port of Busan is the 16th CSI operational port. Other CSI operational ports include Rotterdam, LeHavre, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore, Yokohama, Hong Kong, Göteborg, Felixstowe, Genoa, La Spezia, 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 Republic of Korea 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.

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, Customs and Border Protection is continuing to implement CSI at major ports around the world. Under the CSI program, a team of officers from CBP is deployed to work with host nation counterparts to target high-risk cargo containers.

Governments representing 19 of the top 20 ports have agreed to implement CSI. The top 20 ports are points of passage for approximately 68 percent of cargo containers shipped to the United States.

Tom Ridge, Secretary, Department of Homeland Security, and Commissioner Bonner announced in June 2003 that CSI will be expanding to strategic locations beyond the 20 initial major ports to include areas of the Middle East such as Dubai. CBP is also coordinating agreements with ports in Latin America, and other major ports in Asia and Europe.

The governments of Malaysia, Sweden, Sri Lanka, and South Africa have also 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 2, 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. CSI Phase 2 will enable us to extend port security protection to more than 80 percent of all containers coming to the United States--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.

Under the reciprocity rule, the government of South Africa is planning to station customs personnel in the United States. 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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