U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner announced that the Container Security Initiative (CSI) participating ports of Bremerhaven and Hamburg are now operational.
Bremerhaven and Hamburg join the already operational CSI ports of Rotterdam and LeHavre in Europe and Montreal, Halifax, and Vancouver in Canada. The port of Antwerp is expected to be operational by February 25. Rotterdam became operational on September 2, 2002 and LeHavre on December 2, 2002. The three Canadian ports were operational in March of 2002.
"We are getting CSI implemented in those ports that have signed on. We will continue to deploy teams to the participating ports as quickly as possible," said Commissioner Bonner. "We salute the German government for moving so quickly to implement this urgent initiative."
The Container Security Initiative is an initiative developed by the United States Customs Service in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Under the CSI program, a small number of U.S. Customs 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 containers.
To date, 18 of the top 20 megaports have committed to joining CSI and are at various stages of implementation. These megaports are points of passage for approximately two-thirds of 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, Yokahama.
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 proof containers.
Globally, over 48 million full cargo containers move between major seaports each year. Each year, 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 are quickly expanding CSI to all 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, CSI will be expanded to at least 11 ports.
The CSI initiative
supports the "Cooperative G8 Action on Transport Security" adopted by G8 in June 2002.