Fact Sheet: Securing U.S. Ports

Press Releases The Administration has dramatically strengthened port security since 9/11.


  • Funding has increased by more than 700% since September 11, 2001.
  • Funding for port security was approximately $259 million in FY 2001.
  • DHS spent approximately $1.6 billion on port security in FY 2005.
Following 9/11, the federal government has implemented a multi-layered defense strategy to keep our ports safe and secure. New technologies have been deployed with additional technologies being developed and $630 million has been provided in grants to our largest ports, including $16.2 million to Baltimore; $32.7 million to Miami; $27.4 million to New Orleans, $43.7 million to New York/New Jersey; and $15.8 million to Philadelphia.   Who Secures The Ports:   U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP): CBP’s mission is to prevent terrorists and terrorist weapons from entering the United States by eliminating potential threats before they arrive at our borders and ports.   CBP uses intelligence and a risk-based strategy to screen information on 100% of cargo before it is loaded onto vessels destined for the United States. All cargo that isentified as high risk is inspected, either at the foreign port or upon arrival into the U.S.   Coast Guard: The Coast Guard routinely inspects and assesses the security of U.S. ports in accordance with the Maritime Transportation and Security Act and the Ports and Waterways Security Act. Every regulated U.S. port facility is required to establish and implement a comprehensive security plan that outlines procedures for controlling access to the facility, verifying credentials of port workers, inspecting cargo for tampering, designating security responsibilities, training, and reporting of all breaches of security or suspicious activity, among other security measures. Working closely with local port authorities and law enforcement agencies, the Coast Guard regularly reviews, approves, assesses and inspects these plans and facilities to ensure compliance.   Terminal Operator: Whether a person or a corporation, the terminal operator is responsible for operating its particular terminal within the port. The terminal operator is responsible for the area within the port that serves as a loading, unloading, or transfer point for the cargo. This includes storage and repair facilities and management offices. The cranes they use may be their own, or they may lease them from the port authority.   Port Authority: An entity of a local, state or national government that owns, manages and maintains the physical infrastructure of a port (seaport, airport or bus terminal) to include wharf, docks, piers, transit sheds, loading equipment and warehouses.   Ports often provide additional security for their facilities.   The role of the Port Authority is to facilitate and expand the movement of cargo through the port, provide facilities and services that are competitive, safe and commercially viable. The Port manages marine navigation and safety issues within port boundaries and develops marine-related businesses on the lands that it owns or manages.   A Layered Defense:   Screening and Inspection: CBP screens 100% of all cargo before it arrives in the U.S.- using intelligence and cutting edge technologies. CBP inspects all high-risk cargo.   CSI (Container Security Initiative):  Enables CBP, in working with host government Customs Services, to examine high-risk maritime containerized cargo at foreign seaports, before they are loaded on board vessels destined for the United States. In addition to the current 42 foreign ports participating in CSI, many more ports are in the planning stages. By the end of 2006, the number is expected to grow to 50 ports, covering 90% of transpacific maritime containerized cargo shipped to the U.S.   24-Hour Rule: Under this requirement, manifest information must be provided 24 hours prior to the sea container being loaded onto the vessel in the foreign port. CBP may deny the loading of high-risk cargo while the vessel is still overseas.   C-TPAT (Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism): CBP created a public-private and international partnership with nearly 5,800 businesses (over 10,000 have applied) including most of the largest U.S. importers -- the Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT). C-TPAT, CBP and partner companies are working together to improve baseline security standards for supply chain and container security. (We review the security practices of not only the company shipping the goods, but also the companies that provided them with any services.)   Use of Cutting-Edge Technology: CBP is currently utilizing large-scale X-ray and gamma ray machines and radiation detection devices to screen cargo. Presently, CBP operates over 680 radiation portal monitors at our nation’s ports (including 181 radiation portal monitors at seaports), utilizes over 170 large scale non-intrusive inspection devices to examine cargo, and has issued 12,400 hand-held radiation detection devices.  The President’s FY 2007 budget requests $157 million to secure next-generation detection equipment at our ports of entry.  Also, over 600 canine detection teams, who are capable ofentifying narcotics, bulk currency, human beings, explosives, agricultural pests, and chemical weapons are deployed at our ports of entry.   UAE/Dubai Ports World Acquisition     DP World will not, nor will any other terminal operator, control, operate or manage any United States port. DP World will only operate and manage specific, individual terminals located within six ports.


  • The recent business transaction taken by DP World, a United Arab Emirates based company, to acquire British company Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company (P&O) does not change the operations or security of keeping our nation’s ports safe. The people working on the docks also will not change as a result of this transaction.
  • This transaction is not an issue of controlling United States’ ports. It is an issue of operating some terminals within U.S. ports.
  • DP World will operate at the following terminals within the six United States’ ports currently operated by the United Kingdom company, P & O:o Baltimore - 2 of 14 total o Philadelphia - 1 of 5 (does not include the 1 cruise vessel terminal) o Miami - 1 of 3 (does not include the 7 cruise vessel terminals) o New Orleans - 2 of 5 (does not include the numerous chemical plant terminals up and down the Mississippi River, up to Baton Rouge) o Houston – 4 of 12 (P&O work alongside other stevedoring* contractors at the terminals)o Newark/Elizabeth – 1 of 4 o (Note:  also in Norfolk - Involved with stevedoring activities at all 5 terminals, but not managing a specific terminal.)*Stevedoring – provides labor, carries physical loading and unloading of cargo.


  • P&O and DP World made a commitment to comply with current security programs, regulations and partnerships to which P&O currently subscribes, including: o The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT); o The Container Security Initiative (CSI); o The Business Alliance on Smuggling and Counterfeiting (BASC); and, o The Megaports Initiative MOU with the Department of Energy.


  • All P&O security arrangements will remain intact, including cargo security cooperation with CBP, compliance with USCG regulations (ISPS and MTSA) regarding port facilities/terminals, and foreign terminal operations within CSI ports.


  • Dubai was the first Middle Eastern entity to join the Container Security Initiative (March 2005). As a result, CBP officer are working closely with Dubai Customs to screen containers destined for the U.S. Cooperation with Dubai officials has been outstanding and a model for other operation within CSI ports.
U.S. Recommended Standards for Container Security Initiative (CSI)   The Container Security Initiative consists of four core elements. These are: (1) establishing security criteria toentify high-risk containers; (2) pre-screening those containersentified as high-risk before they arrive at U.S. ports; (3) using technology to quickly pre-screen high-risk containers; and (4) developing and using smart and secure containers. In order to be eligible to participate in CSI, the Member State’s Customs Administration and the seaport must meet the following three requirements:


  1. The Customs Administration must be able to inspect cargo originating, transiting, exiting, or being transshipped through a country.
  2. Non-intrusive inspectional (NII) equipment (including gamma or X-ray imaging capabilities) and radiation detection equipment must be available and utilized for conducting such inspections. This equipment is necessary in order to meet the objective of quickly screening containers without disrupting the flow of legitimate trade.
  3. The seaport must have regular, direct, and substantial container traffic to ports in the United States. As part of agreeing to participate in CSI, a Member State’s Customs Administration and the seaport must also:
  4. Commit to establishing a risk management system toentify potentially high-risk containers, and automating that system. This system should include a mechanism for validating threat assessments and targeting decisions andentifying best practices.
  5. Commit to sharing critical data, intelligence, and risk management information with the United States Customs Service in order to do collaborative targeting, and developing an automated mechanism for these exchanges.
  6. Conduct a thorough port assessment to ascertain vulnerable links in a port’s infrastructure and commit to resolving those vulnerabilities.
  7. Commit to maintaining integrity programs to prevent lapses in employee integrity and toentify and combat breaches in integrity.
### Feb. 22, 2006