Canada Border Services Agency
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Container Security Initiative

Increasing marine security and facilitating trade by partnering with other countries.

The Container Security Initiative (CSI) is a multinational initiative that protects the main method of global trade — containerized shipping — from being exploited or disrupted by terrorists. It is designed to safeguard global marine trade while enabling legitimate cargo containers to move faster and more efficiently through the supply chain to seaports worldwide.


CSI is an extension of the Advance Commercial Information (ACI) program. Through ACI, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) requires marine carriers to electronically transmit marine cargo data to the Agency 24 hours prior to the loading of cargo at a foreign port.

CSI partnerships with other countries, such as the United States, South Africa, Panama and Japan, further strengthen the Agency's ability to identify, target and intercept potential threats before they reach Canada, and help to ensure that Canada's border is the last line of defence against these threats and not the first.

Increased cooperation with these countries leads to greater awareness of legitimate trade so that attention can be focused on detecting and interdicting high-risk shipments. The early identification of legitimate shipments in the trade chain ensures that they are processed in a timely and efficient manner when they arrive in Canada.


Current arrangements

In October 2005, the CBSA signed a CSI partnership arrangement with U.S. Customs and Border Protection. The CBSA has also been conducting outreach activities to encourage other countries to partner with Canada on container security.

The CBSA has successfully negotiated CSI partnership arrangements with South Africa and Panama, and most recently, it signed a memorandum of cooperation with Japan.

About the arrangements

CSI builds on the strengths of the CBSA's programs, such as the ACI program, meets the needs of partner countries, and conforms with the Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade of the World Customs Organization.

CSI partnership arrangements enable the CBSA to place its officers at strategic locations in host countries. These officers perform a number of key functions, including the following:

  • coordinating the examination of high-risk containers at foreign ports;
  • sharing information about potential security threats; and
  • promoting data quality, which strengthens the Agency's overall risk-assessment capacity.


Promoting international marine security and trade

The CBSA uses a number of tools and strategies, including advance information, intelligence, sophisticated data-collection networks and the latest technology, to identify and interdict potential risks long before marine cargo reaches Canada.

By strengthening its partnerships with other countries, the CBSA is pushing the border out and improving its ability to assess risks in advance of shipments arriving in Canada. While these arrangements better secure the marine trade chain, they do not alter current business processes or impose additional costs on the marine trade community.

CSI partnership arrangements also strengthen each country's customs processes, including harmonizing systems and processes, as well as sharing advance information, risk management practices and other best practices and lessons learned.

Through CSI partnerships, Canada is achieving a higher level of security and trade facilitation than it would by working alone.