RealNews

S'pore Begins Screening US-Bound Containers

Singapore on Monday launched a joint programme to screen US-bound containers and inspect suspicious cargo in order to protect maritime trade from being exploited by terrorists, the US embassy here said. A major global shipping hub, Singapore became the first Asian port to join Washington’s Container Security Initiative (CSI) when it signed the agreement last year. ‘CSI is a sophisticated security programme of mutual benefit to the US and Singapore,’ US Ambassador Frank Lavin said in a statement. ‘Singapore’s participation in the CSI programme is a major step forward in our joint efforts to prevent trade from being exploited by terrorists,’ Mr Lavin said. ‘It is also an important reminder to shippers and port customers that Singapore is in the top tier of countries working to secure their ports and maritime trade,’ he said. With the CSI coming into effect, port and custom officials from the two countries will pre-screen US-bound cargo containers, the statement said. The US is a major export destination for Singapore with 330,000 containers from the island entering the world’s biggest economy in 2002. Singapore was the ninth major world port to join the CSI programme, the embassy said. Full Story

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