US Customs Focuses on High Risk, Not Singapore

Scheduled to enter the pilot phase in the second half of 2008, the Singapore trial of the Secure Freight Initiative won't go forward. Customs will focus on high-risk trade corridors instead.

In a statement, US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said it had been working with several foreign ports to assess the feasibility and challenges of 100% security scanning of containers. Known as the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI), the effort was to include a trial in Singapore before the end of 2008.

“Following careful consideration of the trial results and feedback from these pilot ports,” CBP said, it “has decided to focus on high-risk trade corridors in order to maximize the security benefit realized given the limited resources available to all governmental and private sector operators in the international supply chain as the most effective strategy to initiate 100% scanning.”

CBP further noted that having discussed this change in strategy and its application to port operations in Singapore, CBP and the Government of Singapore have agreed not to proceed with the SFI trial in Singapore. Instead, CBP and the Government of Singapore will work together to explore alternative approaches toward enhancing container and trade security through risk management and a total supply chain security approach.

“In particular, CBP and the Government of Singapore will actively work together to develop the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Trade Recovery Program, an effort aimed at helping APEC economies to resume the flow of trade in times of heightened security,” said CBP.

In addition, US CBP and Singapore Customs are actively working towards mutual recognition for each other's authorized economic operator programs. These programs build on relations between US CBP and the Government of Singapore in supply chain security cooperation.

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