Nov 15, 2004

Customs: EU and U.S. act on container security

The European Union and the U.S. are taking container security measures that "will facilitate legitimate trade through mutually acceptable reciprocal security standards and industry partnership programs."

Adopted within the framework of the EC-U.S. Joint Customs Cooperation Committee, the measures include:

    creation of an information exchange network,

    agreement on minimum requirements applicable for all European ports willing to participate in the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI),

    identification of best practices concerning security controls of international trade.

A pilot project is focusing on shipments transiting through both the U.S. and the EU to test the feasibility of exchanging cargo information on transhipments and freight remaining on board to enable customs authorities to identify, monitor and assess the risk associated with transhipments.

Both sides agree that the exchange of information is a vital component of customs’ security actions and will define and establish standards for sharing information.

The U.S. has invited the EU to post liaison officers at the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) National Targeting Center. This will further improve the exchange of information, the sharing of best practices and the refinement of common risk indicators on the terrorist threat.

To facilitate trade while securing the supply chain, experts from both sides will study the industry partnership programs in place in the European Community and the U.S. The outcome of the study will support further cooperation on development of mutually acceptable reciprocal industry partnership programs.

Recognizing that emerging technologies can promote greater efficiency and can improve security in the international supply chain, both sides have agreed to establish a joint group of experts to explore innovative developments and their application.

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