Cargo Security: Container Security Initiative: is it working and at what cost?

Articles & Publications

April 4, 2008

Copyright DRI 2008

Following September 11, the United States Customs and Border Protection ("CBP") agency was charged with the mission of developing anti-terrorism programs to help secure U.S. borders. One threat identified by the agency is containers manipulated for the purpose of terrorist attacks. Approximately 108 million cargo containers ship 90% of the world's manufactured good each year. Authorities fear that these containers would be used by terrorists to carry explosive devices, contaminated food, chemical agents or other weapons. To address this specific threat to border security, the CBP created the Container Security Initiative ("CSI"). The CSI is a multinational program charged with protecting containerized shipping from terrorist manipulation. The CBP's authority is unique in that examination of cargo and persons does not require search warrants, probable cause or particularized suspicion.

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