CSI Achieves Major Milestone: 20 Ports In

Tuesday, July 27, 2004
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and Vassilios Manolopoulos, Director General, of the Greek Directorate General of Customs and Excise announced that CBP officers have been deployed to the port of Piraeus as part of the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and that CSI has become operational there.

As part of the CSI program, CBP officers are working with host government personnel as part of CSI, to target cargo containers that pose a potential risk for terrorism destined for the United States. Greek Customs officials will inspect containers identified as a potential terrorist risk.

Deputy Secretary James Loy of the Department of Homeland Security and Director General Manolopoulos, of Customs and Excise, signed a CSI agreement on June 25, 2004, during the World Customs Organization (WCO) council session in Brussels, Belgium. Commissioner Bonner said, “When the Container Security Initiative was proposed in early 2002, the goal was to establish CSI in 20 of the largest or “Mega” container seaports of the world. Today, with the implementation of CSI at the port of Piraeus, Greece, we have achieved that goal, and we have done it in record time.

“But we are not stopping there. We plan to expand the CSI network even farther,” Commissioner Bonner added. CSI protects our seaports and the primary system of global trade, containerized shipping against the threat of international terrorism. It increases the security of the international trading lanes between CSI ports and U.S. seaports. CSI was proposed by Commissioner Bonner in January 2002 and has been accepted globally as a bold and revolutionary initiative to secure maritime cargo shipments against the terrorist threat. Greece is the 18th country to enter into a CSI agreement with the United States. CSI, a U.S. Customs and Border Protection initiative launched in January 2002, is operational at 20 of the world’s major seaports in Europe, Asia, Africa, and North America. CSI is expanding to Greece before the start of the Olympic games.

In order to jump start CSI in Greece, CBP is loaning Greece two large-scale, whole container x-ray machines, so that the security protection of CSI can be in place before the Olympics this summer and are there in time to contribute to the security of the Olympics. This equipment is an essential part of CSI, because it allows the screening of targeted containers rapidly without slowing down the flow of movement of legitimate trade. Customs officers use these large-scale x-ray imaging systems to safely and efficiently screen conveyances for potential terrorist weapons, including weapons of mass destruction.

This equipment produces an x-ray type image of the interior of a full-size 40-foot container in under a minute. As part of CSI, Customs officers also use radiation detection devices to scan for signs of radioactive materials. If necessary, containers are opened and unloaded by the host government Customs service for a more intensive manual inspection.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the protection of our nation’s borders. CBP unified Customs, Immigration, and Agriculture Inspectors and the Border Patrol into one border agency for the United States. Part of CBP's mission is protecting our nations borders through extended border initiatives, such as CSI.

Maritime Reporter November 2014 Digital Edition
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