UNITED KINGDOM JOINS U.S. CUSTOMS CONTAINER SECURITY INITIATIVE
The British government has agreed to participate in the U.S. Customs’ anti-terrorist Container Security Initiative.
CSI is a U.S. Customs initiative designed to prevent the smuggling of terrorists or terrorist weapons in ocean-going cargo containers. Launched in January 2002, CSI aims to: use automated information to identify and target high-risk containers; pre-screen those containers identified as high-risk before they arrive at U.S. ports; use detection technology to quickly pre-screen high-risk containers; and (4) use smarter, tamper proof containers.
Under the terms of the U.K./U.S. declaration, U.S. Customs officers will be stationed at the port of Felixstowe.
“Sharing and applying intelligence is the key to anticipating, spotting, and preventing terrorist attacks worldwide and that is at the heart of our agreement,” said Terry Byrne, director general of the British Customs and Excise.
To date, nine countries have agreed to participate with U.S. Customs under CSI. These agreements cover 16 ports, all among the top 20 ports that handle shipments bound for the United States.
“We are in the process of getting CSI implemented in those ports that have signed on,” said Robert Bonner, commissioner of the U.S. Customs Service. He added that U.S. Customs has deployed, and will continue to deploy, teams to the participating ports as quickly as possible.
Bonner said that U.S. Customs is looking to expand CSI beyond the top 20 ports, as rapidly as it can. Once it has implemented the CSI program at most of the top 20 ports, it will “quickly expand CSI to all ports that ship substantial amounts of cargo to the United States, and that have the infrastructure and technology in place to participate in the program.”