KOCH: CSI KEY TO INTERNATIONAL MARITIME SECURITY EQUATION
Christopher Koch, president and chief executive officer for the World Shipping Council, told maritime security specialists that U.S. Customs Commissioner Robert Bonner’s container security plan makes good sense in helping to combat future terrorist attacks.
Koch made his comments regarding U.S. Customs’ Container Security Initiative (CSI) in a paper submitted to the Maritime Security Cargo Summit in Antwerp Monday. “The CSI initiative is necessary to fill part of the void created by a lack of international standards or agreement on container or marine terminal security,” Koch said.
Through the CSI initiative, U.S. Customs seeks to enter agreements with overseas governments and port authorities with the goal to:
* Establish security criteria to identify high-risk containers.
* Develop and implement a pre-screening process to target containers before they’re loaded aboard a vessel.
* Develop and use technology to screen and inspect identified containers before loading.
Customs has already entered agreements with Canada and Mexican Customs, and last week with Singapore.
“Without such agreements and without the technology in place to inspect containers in ports of origin, what system would provide sufficient security confidence to keep international trade flowing?” Koch said.
“It would be difficult to overemphasize the importance of this initiative and its urgency,” he said. “Similarly, it must be recognized that CSI must not, nor is it intended to, focus on just the largest ports around the world, otherwise terrorists would simply know that there is less risk of detection by using ports which are not among the largest.”