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US And NZ Customs Discuss Container Security

US And NZ Customs Discuss Container Security

The United States Bureau of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the New Zealand Customs Service met today and agreed to build on their strong working relationship to enhance security, particularly in the area of container trade.

United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and New Zealand Comptroller of Customs Robin Dare met in Wellington today (Friday May 2).

Commissioner Bonner also met with the Minister of Customs, Hon Rick Barker.

Commissioner Bonner outlined the US view that the risk of terrorist activity remains high and will remain so for the long term.

He outlined the US Container Security Initiative (CSI). He says containerized shipping is a critical component of global trade because most of the international trade moves or is transported in containers.

Under the CSI program, a small number of 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. 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 proof containers.

Commissioner Bonner noted that it will take some time for CSI to be implemented with all US trading partners.

Commissioner Bonner said in the interim, US Customs and Border Protection is interested in the work being done by the New Zealand Customs Service to provide increased assurance over supply chain security.

The New Zealand Customs Service outlined its proposals for enhancing security of the export supply chain, based on the same principles that it applies to imports: (1) electronic reporting of information about shipments; (2) intelligence-based risk assessment; (3) examining cargo identified as high risk to New Zealand or trading partners, using both non-invasive technology and physical inspection as required; (4) establishing and monitoring a supply chain security regime to reduce the level of risk in the New Zealand supply chain.

Commissioner Bonner says he has trust and confidence in the New Zealand Customs Service and the USCBP will further engage with the NZCS over supply chain security.

New Zealand Comptroller of Customs Robin Dare said the talks provided a valuable opportunity to discuss the changing international security environment with Commissioner Bonner and his team.

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