U.S. Expands Secure Freight Initiative To Hong Kong

The Departments of Energy (DoE) Homeland Security (DHS) have signed an

agreement with Hong Kong that expands the U.S. Secure Freight Initiative to a

single container terminal at the Port of Hong Kong to enable U.S. officials at

the port and in the United States to have access to X-Ray and radiation

detection images of U.S-bound containers to better assess risky cargo.

The agreement with Hong Kong actually builds on an existing agreement

between that country and the United States for the Container Security

Initiative, which is aimed providing increased awareness of high-risk cargo

shipments bound for the United States from dozens of foreign ports. Under Secure

Freight, the single container terminal, which is operated by Modern Terminals

Ltd, new procedures will be developed and communications enhanced to allow U.S.

officials at the port and at the National Targeting Center in the United States

to view the scanned images of the outbound containers.

The new agreement also calls for DoE's National Nuclear Security

Administration (NNSA) to expand on existing radiation portal detection equipment

already in use at the port by providing handheld radiation detection equipment

to officials there.

"The goal is to screen more cargo and ultimately help to prevent nuclear

materials or devices from being smuggled into the United States or partner

countries," William Tobey, deputy administrator for Defense Nuclear

Nonproliferation at NNSA, said in a statement yesterday.

DHS and DoE first announced the launch of Secure Freight last December at

six ports in Honduras, Oman, Pakistan, Singapore, South Korea, the United

Kingdom. The Port of Hong Kong is a new addition.

U.S. officials are using Secure Freight to determine the impact of

radiation screening at large volume ports and to test the feasibility of real-

time or near real-time communications with intelligence officials in the United

States who get an opportunity to review images scanned by monitoring equipment

located at the foreign ports.

<<Defense Daily International -- 08/06/07>>