Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner
and Kjell Jansson, Director General of the Swedish Customs Service, today announced that the government of Sweden
has agreed to participate in the U.S. Customs Container Security Initiative (CSI).
CSI is a U.S. Customs initiative designed to prevent the smuggling of terrorist weapons in ocean-going cargo containers. Under terms of the declaration announced today, U.S. Customs officers will be stationed at the port of Göteborg (Gothenburg), the first European port outside the top 20 mega ports to join CSI.
"I am very pleased that the government of Sweden has agreed to join with the United States
in the Container Security Initiative," said Commissioner Bonner. "We recognize the high volume of trade between the Port of Göteborg and seaports in the U.S. and Sweden's role as an intermodal transport hub for cargo originating in many countries. This is an important step, not only for the protection of trade between the U.S. and Sweden, but for the protection of the most critical component of the world trading system as a whole - containerized cargo."
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.
"It is splendid that we are participating in the CSI program. This is proof of international confidence in our risk assessment and our work with quality assurance within the Stairway. The Swedish Customs Service is now looking forward to enhancing our long-standing and good relations to the United Sates Customs Service," said Kjell Jansson, Director General of the Swedish Customs Service.
The CSI initiative supports the "Cooperative G8 Action on Transport Security" adopted by G8 in June 2002.
Launched by U.S. Customs in January 2002, 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.
The initial objective is to implement CSI at the ports that send large volumes of cargo containers to the United States, in a way that will facilitate detection of potential security concerns at ports of origin or transshipment.
One element of CSI involves placing U.S. Customs officers at foreign seaports to target and pre-screen U.S.-bound cargo containers before they are shipped to America.
"We are in the process of getting CSI implemented in those ports that have signed on. We have deployed and will continue to deploy teams to the participating ports as quickly as possible," Commissioner Bonner said.