28 April 2005
Shanghai Joins Container Security Initiative
City will pre-screen cargo destined for U.S. ports
The Chinese government has begun to pre-screen cargo containers destined for U.S. ports before they leave Shanghai, according to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), an agency of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
This step is part of the U.S.-led Container Security Initiative (CSI), which is designed to detect and deter terrorists from exploiting the vulnerabilities of containerized cargo.
The CSI program, launched in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, now has agreements with 36 operational ports in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East and North America.
Following is the text of the CBP press release issued April 27:
U.S Customs & Border Protection
U.S. Department of Homeland Security
(Wednesday, April 27)
CHINA IMPLEMENTS CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE AT PORT OF SHANGHAI 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 Mou Xinsheng, Minister of the General Administration of Customs of the People's Republic of China, announced the port of Shanghai to be the 36th operational port to target and pre-screen cargo containers destined for U.S. ports.
President George W. Bush and former President Jiang Zemin reached a consensus in Crawford, Texas, on October 25, 2002, to join the Container Security Initiative (CSI) in principle.
On July 29, 2003, Commissioner Bonner and Minister Mou signed a declaration of principles on CSI to target and pre-screen cargo containers from the ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen destined for U.S. ports.
"The Container Security Initiative is the only formal program in operation today that is designed to detect and deter terrorists from exploiting the vulnerabilities of containerized cargo. We appreciate the continued support of CSI by President Hu Jintao," said Commissioner Bonner. "CSI is critical to securing global trade against terrorist exploitation. The CSI security blanket is now expanding and strengthening as it encompasses the port of Shanghai."
CBP will deploy a team of officers to be stationed at the port of Shanghai to target maritime containers destined for the United States. Shanghai Customs officials, working with CBP officers, will be responsible for screening any containers identified as a potential terrorist risk.
Mou Xinsheng, Director of the General Administration of Customs of China, expressed in a written statement that "the Chinese government firmly opposes and condemns terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and actively takes actions to prevent and combat all terrorist activities. China and the U.S. have great prospects for anti-terrorism cooperation and both sides' efforts in strengthening cooperation in container security is a good example."
"The China-U.S. cooperation on CSI that has been launched in Shanghai is a good start for cooperation between customs authorities in China and the U.S.," said Mou Xinsheng
CSI did not exist before 9/ll. It was proposed by Commissioner Bonner and was launched in January 2002. CSI has been accepted globally as a bold and revolutionary initiative to help secure maritime cargo shipments against the terrorist threat.
The 36 operational ports in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and North America include: Halifax, Montreal, and Vancouver, Canada; Rotterdam, The Netherlands; Le Havre and Marseille, 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; Laem Chabang, Thailand; Dubai, United Arab Emirates; and Shanghai, China.
"I am pleased that CSI is now extended to the port of Shanghai, China's busiest port and one of the world's most important ports. I look forward, also, to the opening of CSI in Shenzhen in the coming months. I anticipate continuing the strong cooperative relationship in combating terrorism that has developed between the U.S. and China. CSI Shanghai will be a key link in the worldwide CSI chain that seeks to deter terrorist activity," said Clark T. Randt, Jr., the U.S. Ambassador to the People's Republic of China.
Under the Container Security Initiative, CBP has entered into bilateral 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 a total of 21 administrations have committed to join CSI and are at various stages of implementation.
CSI will continue to expand to strategic locations around the world. The World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union (EU), and the G8 support CSI expansion and have adopted resolutions implementing CSI security measures introduced at ports throughout the world.
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs, U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)
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