The United States has signed an agreement with Panama to prevent smuggling of nuclear and other radioactive materials.
The Declaration of Principles was signed Friday, the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy said in a statement.
Homeland Security cosigned the declaration, which deals with carrying out the 's Megaports Initiative and CBP's Container Security Initiative. Both programs have as their goal preventing nuclear material being secretly transported through U.S. ports.
The initiative is currently operational in six countries, and at various stages of implementation and negotiations with approximately 30 other countries around the world.
Under the Container Security Initiative, officers from homeland security are stationed at key seaports abroad to work with host governments to identify high-risk shipments bound for the United States and to examine these shipments prior to loading. The initiative operates at 50 ports in North America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North, South and Central America
. About 83 percent of all cargo containers destined for U.S. shores originate in or are transshipped through such ports, according to officials.