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Singapore among ports to trial US container scanning

Singapore among ports to trial US container scanning

Singapore: Leading shipping and transshipment hub Singapore is one of seven ports that has agreed to a six month trial project to scan all US-bound shipping containers for nuclear or radiological materials before being loaded on board ships for the next six months. The country's Permanent Secretary for Transport BG (NS) Choi Shing Kwok signed a Declaration of Principles (DOP) with the United States Ambassador to Singapore, Patricia Herbold yesterday.

The other ports participating in the pilot trial are Hong Kong (PRC), Salalah (Oman), Qasim (Pakistan), Busan (Korea) and Southampton, (United Kingdom). The findings from the trial are expected to provide the US with empirical data to assess the viability and effectiveness of its pending Secure Freight Initiative that requires 100% scanning of all US-bound containers.

"Singapore is happy and committed to working with the US to objectively evaluate the feasibility of conducting 100% scanning of containers," said Choi. "Container security and the larger security of the global supply chain are areas of concern. Singapore sees this trial as adding to the knowledge and expertise necessary to develop a practical and effective supply chain security approach which all stakeholders in the supply chain can feel confident about using."

Under the trial, data gathered from the container scanning are transmitted in near real-time to a National Targeting Centre in the US, where officers will collect and analyse the data to determine if the shipping container contains radioactive material.

The first SFI trial was implemented in Puerto Cortes, Honduras in April 2007.  [18/12/07]