The Department of Homeland Security and the European Union (EU) have signed an agreement intended to pave the way for tougher, unilateral port security to eliminate the smuggling of “dirty” bombs via shipping containers across the EU.
Among the top objectives of the agreement is to expand the Container Security Initiative (CSI) so that standards are established. Prior to the agreement, the CSI was limited in that no established standards were in place at European ports to identify what is classified as a risky container and when should it be opened for inspection, according to The Wall Street Journal Online.
“This agreement will lead to enhancements in our mutual efforts to prevent terrorists from exploiting the international trading system,” said Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge.
Ridge and Irish Finance Minister Charlie McCreevy signed the agreement in Washington DC.