29 July 2003
China Formally Joins U.S. Container Security Initiative
Department of Homeland Security July 29 press
The Department of Homeland Security issued a press release July
29 announcing that China has formally joined the U.S. Container
Security Initiative (CSI) by signing a declaration of principles
The release says the joint U.S.-China effort to target and pre-screen
cargo containers in order to protect containerized shipping from
exploitation by terrorists would begin with containers leaving
the ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen for the United States.
Under the CSI, a small number of U.S. Customs and Border Patrol
officers are deployed to work with host nation counterparts to
pre-screen high-risk cargo containers. CSI is now operational in
15 ports: Rotterdam, LeHavre, Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore,
Yokohama, Hong Kong, Göteborg, Felixstowe, Genoa, La Spezia, Vancouver,
Montreal, and Halifax.
Following is the text of the press release:
China Signs Declaration of Principles With Container Security
Initiative to Target and Pre-Screen Cargo Destined for U.S.
07/29/2003 WASHINGTON, D.C.--The U.S. Department of Homeland Security
today announced that the People's Republic of China formally joined
the Container Security Initiative (CSI). U.S. Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and Mu Xinsheng,
Commissioner of the General Administration of Customs of the People's
Republic of China, today signed a declaration of principles in
Beijing, formally initiating joint efforts to target and pre-screen
cargo containers shipped from the ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen
destined for U.S. ports.
"CSI is an essential element of the layered security strategy
of the United States," said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge. "This
agreement with the People's Republic of China is important for
our efforts to protect not only the U.S., but also our global system
CBP will deploy small teams of officers to be stationed at the
ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen to target sea containers destined
for the United States. Shanghai and Shenzhen Customs officials,
working with CBP officers, will be responsible for screening any
containers identified as a potential terrorist risk.
"I am honored to be a part of this historic signing which follows
the consensus reached in Crawford, Texas on October 25, 2002 by
President George W. Bush and former President Jiang Zemin to join
CSI in principle. We appreciate the continued support of CSI by
President Hu Jintao," said Commissioner Bonner. "The CSI security
blanket is now expanding and strengthening as it encompasses the
ports of Shanghai and Shenzhen."
Commissioner Bonner added: "CSI is the only formal program in
operation today that is designed to detect and deter terrorists
from exploiting the vulnerabilities of containerized cargo. We
are getting CSI implemented in those ports that have signed on.
We will continue to deploy teams to other participating ports as
quickly as possible."
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, a small
number of CBP officers are deployed towork 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.
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.
To date, 19 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
CSI is now operational in 15 ports including Rotterdam, LeHavre,
Bremerhaven, Hamburg, Antwerp, Singapore, Yokohama, Hong Kong,
Göteborg, Felixstowe, Genoa, La Spezia, Vancouver, Montreal, and
In June 2003, Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge and Commissioner
Bonner announced that CSI will be expanding to strategic locations
beyond the 20 initial major ports to include areas of the Middle
East such as Dubai. CBP is also coordinating agreements with ports
in Latin America, and other major ports in Asia and Europe.
The governments of Malaysia, Sweden, Sri Lanka, and South Africa
have also joined CSI. In Europe, CBP is looking to expand CSI to
at least 11 additional ports to include Livorno, Gioia Tauro, and
(Distributed by the Bureau of International Information Programs,
U.S. Department of State. Web site: http://usinfo.state.gov)