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D.C. Sekhar asked: Has India signed up for CSI ? Which Indian ports, any implementation schedule?

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  • Sarabjeet Parmar replies: India has not signed up CSI. There are two areas of concern. Firstly the possible clash of jurisdiction as CSI requires US officials to be posted to CSI compliant ports. Secondly it is felt that the presence of US officials would affect the sovereignty of the nation.

    As per the initial plans JNPT has been selected for installation of CSI related equipment as a pilot project for further replication in other ports. The selection of JNPT was based on the fact that it caters for movement of 58% of India's outbound container traffic. Only 14% of the outbound containers are bound for the US.

    Some issues under deliberation with the US are:

    • The local government would have jurisdiction.
    • Security rules of the local government would have to be followed.
    • Indian personnel would carry out the pre-screening.
    • US officials will not operate the facility but will only have access to findings.
    • Pre-screening of containers by US officials would have to be requested for. Details such as container number, bill of lading etc would have to be submitted.
    • Posting of Indian officials at US ports as a reciprocal gesture. Presently only Japan and Canada have their officials posted at US ports.

    An advantage India stands to gain is that the same equipment can be used to screen incoming containers as is being done in non US CSI compliant ports.