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Dubai is First Middle Eastern Port to Commit to Pre-Screen and Secure Cargo Bound for U.S.

Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corp. became the first Middle Eastern port to join the U.S. Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) Container Security Initiative (CSI).

CBP Commissioner Robert C. Bonner and Sultan Ahmed bin Sulayem, executive chairman of the Ports, Customs and Free Zone Corp., signed a declaration of principles that will all cargo destined for the U.S. through the port of Dubai to be targeted and pre-screened.

"The threat of terrorism is real and, it's a global threat. Dubai Customs recognizes the absolute importance of protecting cargo against the terrorist threat. I applaud their bold action of assuming a leadership role in the Middle East," said Bonner.

CBP will deploy a small team of officers to the port of Dubai, the sixth-largest port operator in the world. Their mission will be to target sea containers destined for the United States. Dubai Customs officials, working with CBP officers, will be responsible for screening any containers identified as a potential terrorist threat.

The primary purpose of CSI is to help protect the global trading system and the trade routes between CSI ports and the United States. By collaborating with foreign customs administrations, CBP is working towards a safer, more secure world trading system.

Under CSI, the United States entered into bi-lateral partnerships with other governments to identify high-risk cargo containers and to pre-screen them before they are loaded on vessels destined for the United States. Today, governments representing 21 countries have signed up to implement CSI, which did not exist before 9/ll. It was proposed by Bonner and launched in January 2002.

The World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union (EU) and the G8 support CSI expansion and have adopted resolutions implementing CSI security measures introduced at ports throughout the world.

The 32 operational ports in Europe, Asia, Africa and North America include Halifax, Montreal and Vancouver, Canada; Rotterdam, the Netherlands; Le Havre, France; Bremerhaven and Hamburg, Germany; Antwerp and Zeebrugge, Belgium; Singapore; Yokohama, Tokyo, Nagoya, and Kobe, Japan; Hong Kong; Sweden; Felixstowe, Liverpool, Southampton, Thamesport and Tilbury, United Kingdom; Genoa, La Spezia, Naples and Gioia Tauro, Italy; Busan, Korea; Durban, South Africa; Port Klang and Tanjung Pelepas, Malaysia; Piraeus, Greece; Algeciras, Spain; and Laem Chabang, Thailand.

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