Pakistan to Participate in Container Security Initiative

Cargo from Port of Qasim Destined For U.S. Will Be Screened (Tuesday, March 07, 2006)  

Washington, D.C. —Taking a step toward participating in the Container Security Initiative, the Islamic Republic of Pakistan today signed a Declaration of Principles with United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Once operational, the program will enable all maritime cargo destined for the U.S. through the Port of Qasim to be pre-screened for terrorists and terrorist weapons.  

The declaration of principles was signed in Islamabad, Pakistan. Ryan C. Crocker, Ambassador of the United States to Pakistan, signed on behalf of U.S. Customs and Border Protection and M. Abdullah Yusuf, Chairman, Central Board of Revenue, signed on behalf of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.  

The Port of Qasim will use remote targeting with real-time remote imaging of a container examination process, while incorporating a live video transmission/feed, to monitor the inspection process. Non-intrusive inspection and radiation detection technology will be used to screen high-risk containers before they are shipped to U.S. ports.

 “Targeting and screening activities will be greatly advanced and intensified as CSI expands to additional locations. The continuous cooperation with foreign governments with regards toentifying high-risk shipments, is essential to the ongoing success of CSI,” said Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Deborah J. Spero.  

“CSI is a key initiative designed to prevent global maritime cargo from being exploited by terrorist. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has taken steps to support CSI to safeguard global maritime trade,” says Ambassador Crocker.  

CSI is an innovative security program that pre-screens and inspects cargo at foreign ports destined for the United States. It did not exist prior to the terrorist attacks of 2001 and has made great strides since its inception. In just over three years, 27 customs administrations have committed to joining CSI and are at various stages of implementation. There are currently 43 operational CSI ports in Europe, Asia, Africa, the Middle East, North America, and South America. Approximately 75 percent of maritime cargo containers destined to the United States originate in or are transshipped from CSI ports.  

On average, every day about 40,000 seagoing containers are offloaded at America’s seaports. Customs and Border Protection’s goal is to have 50 operational CSI ports by the end of 2006. At that time, approximately 82 percent of all cargo imported into the United States will be subjected to pre-screening. 

The World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union (EU), and the Group of Eight Nations (G-8), support CSI expansion and have adopted resolutions implementing CSI security measures introduced at ports throughout the world. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control, and protection of our Nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws. Contacts For This Press Release CBP HeadquartersOffice of Public Affairs1300 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.Room 3.4AWashington, D.C. 20229 Phone: (202) 344-1770or (800) 826-1471Fax: (202) 344-1393