FIRST U.S. CUSTOMS INSPECTORS DEPLOYED AT ROTTERDAM AS PART OF CSI
Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner said today that a team of U.S. Customs inspectors and intelligence analysts have been deployed in Rotterdam, Netherlands as part of Customs’ Container Security Initiative.
CSI is a program started in January to secure containerized shipping from terrorists. The team of inspectors and'analysts assigned to'the port of Rotterdam will use the agency’s automated systems to identify potentially high-risk containers, or containers that pose a terrorist threat.
For those containers identified as “high-risk,” Dutch customs officials will take the lead in screening them to ensure they don't contain terrorists or weapons of mass destruction.
Bonner, speaking at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, said CSI would be fully operational in Rotterdam by Sept. 2. He expects CSI to be fully operational in the ports of Le Havre, Antwerp, Bremerhaven and Hamburg in the next few months.
CSI is built upon four core elements:
* Establishing security criteria to identify high-risk containers.
* Pre-screening containers identified as “high-risk” before they arrive at U.S. ports.
* Using technology to pre-screen high-risk containers.
* Development and use of “smarter” containers.
Customs is in discussions with several other nations, including countries in Europe and Asia, about forming additional CSI partnerships.