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Homeland Security

10 January 2005

Port of Marseilles Implements Container Security Initiative

Cargo destined for U.S. is prescreened; 34th operational CSI port worldwide

Marseilles has become the latest port to implement the Container Security Initiative (CSI) -- a screening and inspection program aimed at securing maritime cargo shipments against the threat of terrorism.

Marseilles is the second port in France and the 34th operational CSI port worldwide to implement the initiative, according to a joint announcement January 7 by Robert Bonner, commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), and Francois Mongin, director general of the French Customs and Excise Service (FCES).  The French port of Le Havre's implementation became operational on December 2, 2002.

 

Under CSI, French Customs officials, working with CBP officers, are responsible for screening any containers identified as a potential terrorist risk. 

Other CSI operational ports in Europe are: Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Bremerhaven and Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp and Zeebrugge, Belgium; Göteborg, Sweden; Felixstowe, Liverpool, Southampton, Thamesport and Tilbury, United Kingdom; Genoa, La Spezia, Naples, Gioia Tauro and Livorno, Italy; Piraeus, Greece; and Algeciras, Spain.

Following is a statement by U.S. Customs and Border Protection:

(begin transcript)

Department of Homeland Security

U.S. Customs and Border Protection

Washington, D.C.

January 7, 2005

PORT OF MARSEILLES TO IMPLEMENT THE CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE AND TO BEGIN TO TARGET AND PRE-SCREEN CARGO DESTINED FOR U.S.

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and Francois Mongin, Director General of French Customs and Excise Service (FCES), announced the port of Marseilles as the 34th operational Container Security Initiative (CSI) port.

“The primary purpose of CSI is to protect the global trading system and the trade lanes between CSI ports and the U.S. By expanding CSI to the port of Marseilles, the government of France is helping to make a safer, more secure world trading system,” Commissioner Bonner said.

CSI did not exist before 9/ll [terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001]. CSI, as proposed by Commissioner Bonner, was launched in January 2002. CSI has been accepted globally as a bold and revolutionary initiative to secure maritime cargo shipments against the terrorist threat.

The World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union (EU), and the G8 [Group of Eight industrialized countries] support CSI expansion and have adopted resolutions implementing CSI security measures introduced at ports throughout the world.

The CSI process for Marseilles began on June 28, 2002, when CBP and FCES signed a declaration of principles. Since then, the European Union and CBP signed an agreement on April 22, 2004, which is the framework of cooperation currently developing at the European level.

The CSI port of Le Havre [France] became operational on December 2, 2002. U.S. Customs and Border Protection deployed a team of CBP officers to the port of Le Havre to target cargo containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism destined for the United States. French Customs officials, working with CBP officers, are responsible for screening any containers identified as a potential terrorist risk.

“We are pleased that the port of Marseilles is now included in CSI. We look forward to continuing the synergistic relationship between CSI and French Customs,” said Francois Mongin, Director General of French Customs and Excise Service.

“France has again shown its commitment to the anti-terrorism campaign, to which we and our allies pledged ourselves after September 11th,” said U.S. Ambassador to France Howard Leach. “I know that all Americans would join me in expressing sincere thanks to the French government for an important action to increase the safety of international shipping.”

Under the Container Security Initiative, CBP has entered into bi-lateral partnerships to identify high-risk cargo containers and to pre-screen them before they are loaded on vessels destined for the United States. Today, governments representing 21 countries and regions have signed up to implement CSI.

CSI will continue to expand to strategic locations around the world.

The 34 operational ports include: Halifax, Montreal, and Vancouver, Canada; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Le Havre and Marseilles, France; Bremerhaven and Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp, and Zeebrugge, Belgium; Singapore; Yokohama, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe, Japan; Hong Kong; Göteborg, Sweden; Felixstowe, Liverpool, Southampton, Thamesport, and Tilbury, United Kingdom; Genoa, La Spezia, Naples, Gioia Tauro, and Livorno, Italy; Busan, Korea; Durban, South Africa; Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia; Piraeus, Greece; Algeciras, Spain; and Laem Chabang, Thailand.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.

(end transcript)

(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)



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