Gulf firm is first international port operator to be certified for security by U.S.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008 Free Headline Alerts
ABU DHABI — A leading Gulf firm in the United Arab Emirates whose plans to operate six U.S. ports was last year rebuffed by Congress, has been certified as a partner in a U.S. port security program.
The state-owned Dubai Ports World has been certified as a partner in the Customs-Trade Partnership against Terrorism. DP World underwent a successful audit that determined the company met international ISO 28000 security standards required by C-TPAT.
In 2007, DP abandoned plans to purchase a British company that operated six major ports in the United States, Middle East Newsline reported. Congress was opposed to a state-owned UAE company having direct access to U.S. ports.
Executives said DP World has become the only international port operator certified by the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. They said the certification would ensure improved standards throughout the company's 44 terminals.
"We are proud to be part of the C-TPAT initiative and to have achieved certification for all our terminals," DP World chief executive officer Mohammed Sharaf said.
"It is recognition once again of our commitment to maintaining and managing high levels of security standards, procedures and processes at our terminals, which in turn contributes to international efforts to secure the global supply chain. We regard security as a baseline service for our customers."
DP World has also joined the U.S. Government's Container Security Initiative. The initiative mandated a U.S. Customs presence in 14 DP World terminals that sends containers to the United States.
Executives said the shelving of the acquisition by DP World has not dampened the company's intention to participate in U.S. port security program. They said the company was helping develop and adopt container scanning and tracking technology.
DP World was also participating in the Secure Freight Initiative pilot program. The company was testing containers for nuclear and radioactive material in two of its terminals, Southampton, England and Karachi, Pakistan.