TITLE: The Container Security Initiative and Ocean Container Threats

AUTHORS: Jon D. Haveman, Ethan M. Jennings, Howard J. Shatz, and Greg C. Wright

PAGES: 32      DATE: February 2006

ABSTRACT: Following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, U.S. policymakers and their international counterparts quickly devised new programs for protecting seaports and the maritime supply chain. This paper focuses on one such program, the U.S. Container Security Initiative, which screens and inspects U.S.-bound ocean shipping containers at foreign ports. Calculations based on trade data and CSI program information makesit clear that the program has expanded rapidly and now covers about two-thirds of all U.S. containerized imports. However, the United States continues to receive containers from many foreign ports that are not participating in the CSI program and likely will never participate. In addition, CSI coverage of imports from countries that could reasonably be considered potential sources of terrorist activity is lower than overall CSI coverage. U.S. security planners can strengthen the effectiveness of the program by focusing on regions from which dangerous containers might arrive, and on shipping routes that terrorists might use.

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