ITALY JOINS U.S. CUSTOMSÆ CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE
The Italian Customs Agency has agreed to participate in a U.S. Customs initiative to improve international ocean container security.
U.S. Customs’ Container Security Initiative was developed to help prevent the smuggling of terrorists and their weapons in ocean containers. Under the terms of the agreement, U.S. Customs inspectors will be stationed at the Italian ports of La Spezia and Genoa.
“We recognize the importance to deter and interdict any terrorist attempt to disrupt global trade or to attempt to make use of commercial shipping to further their own schemes,” said Mario Andrea Guaiana, director of the Italian Customs Agency. “We support CSI in safeguarding global trade by enhancing cooperation at our seaports in identifying and examining high-risk containers and ensuring their in-transit integrity.”
“This joint declaration with Italy is yet another example of the joint efforts and continuing strong resolve in the international fight against terror,” said U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert C. Bonner. “This will provide a significant measure of security for the global trading system as a whole.”
CSI was launched in January. The initiative consists of four core elements:
* Use of automated information to identify and target high-risk containers.
* Pre-screening containers considered high-risk before they arrive in U.S. ports.
* Use detection technology to quickly pre-screen high-risk containers.
* Use smarter, tamper-proof containers.
The CSI concept has received endorsements from both the Group of Eight nations and World Customs Organization.
Governments that have agreed to participate in CSI, so far, include Canada, Netherlands, Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and China.
There are more than 48 million loaded cargo containers moving between the major seaports of the world annually. Each year, more than 16 million containers arrive in the United States by ship, truck and rail, U.S. Customs said.