IWS - The Information Warfare Site
News Watch Make a  donation to IWS - The Information Warfare Site Use it for navigation in case java scripts are disabled

06 May 2003

Hong Kong Port Implements Container Security Initiative

(Bureau of Customs and Border Protection May 5 press release) (790)

The Container Security Initiative (CSI) will be operational at the
port of Hong Kong for cargo containers destined for U.S. ports, the
U.S. Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) of the Department
of Homeland Security announced in a press release May 5.

The Container Security Initiative is a CBP program designed to prevent
containerized shipping -- the primary system of global trade -- from
being exploited by terrorists. With the CSI, the United States has
entered into partnerships with other governments to identify
"high-risk" cargo containers and pre-screen those containers for
terrorist weapons at the port of departure instead of the port of
arrival.

The port of Hong Kong joins the already operational CSI ports of
Rotterdam, LeHavre, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore,
Yokohama, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax.

Following is the text of the May 5 CBP press release:

(begin text)

Hong Kong Implements the Container Security Initiative and Begins to
Target and Pre-Screen Cargo Destined for U.S.

05/05/2003 

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner
Robert C. Bonner announced today that the Container Security
Initiative (CSI) will be operational at the port of Hong Kong for
cargo containers destined for U.S. ports.

The port of Hong Kong joins the already operational CSI ports of
Rotterdam, LeHavre, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore,
Yokohama, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax.

"I applaud Hong Kong's participation in this important initiative. CSI
is a critical component of the "multi-layered approach" advocated by
Border and Transportation Security and the Department of Homeland
Security. CSI is essential to securing global trade against terrorist
exploitation. The CSI security blanket is now expanding and
strengthening as it encompasses the port of Hong Kong," said
Commissioner Bonner.

The port of Hong Kong is one of the world's largest. It ranks number
one in the world in terms of the number of cargo containers handled.
It also ranks number one in terms of the flow of containers into the
U.S. Hong Kong is positioned at a key crossroad in the global trading
system, with a high potential to detect items of concern. Last year,
nearly 560,000 sea cargo containers entered the U.S. from the port of
Hong Kong.

CBP has deployed a team of officers to be stationed at the port of
Hong Kong to target sea containers destined for the United States.
Hong Kong Customs officials, working with CBP officers, will be
responsible for screening any containers identified as a potential
terrorist risk. CSI is an initiative that was developed by U.S.
Customs in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
Now within the Department of Homeland Security, CBP is continuing to
implement CSI at major ports around the world. Under the CSI program,
CBP officers are deployed to work with host nation counterparts to
target high-risk cargo containers. Its purpose is to protect
containerized shipping from exploitation by terrorists. Containerized
shipping is a critical component of global trade because most of the
international trade moves or is transported in containers.

To date, 18 of the top 20 ports have agreed to join CSI and are at
various stages of implementation. These ports are points of passage
for approximately two-thirds of containers shipped to the United
States. They include (by container cargo volume): Hong Kong, Shanghai,
Singapore, Rotterdam, Pusan, Bremerhaven, Tokyo, Genoa, Yantian,
Antwerp, Nagoya, Le Havre, Hamburg, La Spezia, Felixstowe, Algeciras,
Kobe, and Yokohama.

"I am confident that all 20 of the world's major seaports will soon be
participating in CSI. When that happens, CSI teams will have access to
70 percent of all the containers bound for the U.S. -- a huge step
forward. Also, we will be expanding CSI to other 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,"
Commissioner Bonner said.

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 evident containers.

Each year, over 48 million full cargo containers move between the
world's major seaports and more than 6 million containers arrive in
the United States by ship.

Most recently, the governments of Malaysia and Sweden have joined CSI.
In Europe, CBP is looking to expand CSI to at least 11 additional
ports.

The CSI initiative supports the "Cooperative G8 Action on Transport
Security" adopted by G8 in June 2002.

(end text)

(Distributed by the Office of International Information Programs, U.S.
Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)