Reliable U.S. Partner supports Homeland Security and War on Terror
Declaration of Principles relating to implementation of US Container Security Initiative (CSI) by Sri Lanka was signed by Mr. Sarath Jayatilleke (right) Director-General, Sri Lanka Customs and Mr. Douglas Browning, Deputy Commissioner of US Customs and Boarder Protection on 25th June 2003 at the US Embassy in Brussels, Belgium.Sri Lanka and the United States today signed a Declaration of Principles (DOP) for the U.S. Container Security Initiative (CSI). The document was signed by Sri Lanka’s Customs Director-General, Mr. Sarath Jayathilake and Deputy Commissioner of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Mr. Douglas M. Browning in Brussels, Belgium at the U.S. Mission to the European Union. The two Customs Chiefs were in Brussels to attend the World Customs Organization Annual Meeting. Present at the signing ceremony was Mr. Romesh Jayasinghe, Sri Lanka’s Ambassador to Belgium and the European Union. Devinda R. Subasinghe, Sri Lankan Ambassador to the U.S. said: "I am very pleased that Sri Lanka joined the Container Security Initiative within a short period of time. This demonstrates Sri Lanka’s firm commitment to cooperate with the U.S. in the fight against terrorism and the protection of the homeland. The CSI will facilitate the clearance of exports, safeguard containerized cargo, and the maritime trading system against terrorism." “The Declaration of Principles that we signed today, while marking a milestone in the cooperation between the customs authorities of Sri Lanka and US will strengthen the risk assessment capability of the Colombo Port. It will also help to streamline Port Operations. I therefore welcome this initiative." said Mr. Sarath Jayathilake, Director-General, Sri Lanka Customs. U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner Browning concluded by saying: “I applaud the government of Sri Lanka for their strong support in helping to make a safer, more secure world trading system. CSI is essential in securing an indispensable, but vulnerable link in the chain of global trade: containerized shipping.” The CSI was launched by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11. Now within the Department of Homeland Security, the CSI will increase the security of the world's maritime trading system through strengthened customs co-operation at seaports. Under the Declaration of Principles, Sri Lanka Customs and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will exchange information and work closely together to identify and screen high-risk containers bound for the U.S. A small number of CBP officers will be deployed at the Colombo port to work jointly with Sri Lankan counterparts to pre-screen and target high-risk cargo containers. CSI consists of four core elements:
- Utilizing intelligence and automated information to identify and target high-risk containers;
- Pre-screening containers identified as high-risk, at the port of departure, before they arrive at U.S. ports;
- Using detection technology to quickly pre-screen high-risk containers; and
- Using smarter, tamper-evident containers. Globally, over 48 million full cargo containers move between major seaports each year.