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DHS' Progress in 2011: Strengthening International Partnerships

Highlighting Our Progress in 2011: Department of Homeland Security

Shipping containers on a boatSecretary Napolitano announced a new partnership with the World Customs Organization (WCO) to enlist other nations, international bodies and the private sector in increasing the security of the global supply chain—outlining a series of new initiatives to make the system stronger, smarter and more resilient. Through partnerships around the world and with the private sector, DHS is enhancing cargo security through a risk- and technology-based approach that strengthens cargo screening at every point in the global supply chain, through programs including:

  • The Container Security Initiative, which is active at more than 50 overseas ports to prescreen and evaluate high-risk containers before they are shipped to the U.S.
  • The Customs-Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (C-TPAT), which is a voluntary public-private sector partnership program that strengthens cargo security throughout the international supply chain by working closely with importers, carriers, consolidators, licensed customs brokers, and manufacturers. Since it was launched in 2001, C-TPAT, has grown from seven participating partners to more than 10,200 Certified Partners worldwide, and has conducted more than 19,300 on-site evaluations.
  • Program Global Shield, implemented in coordination with WCO, is a multilateral law enforcement effort aimed at combating the illicit cross-border diversion and trafficking of explosive precursor chemicals for making improvised explosive devices (IED) by monitoring their cross-border movements. Under Program Global Shield, more than 70 participating countries are currently sharing information with each other to ensure that chemicals entering their countries are being used in safe and legal ways. As of December 2011, Program Global Shield has accounted for seizures of chemical precursors totaling over 45 metric tons and 19 arrests related to the illicit diversion of these chemicals.
  • In 2011, through the National Cargo Security Program Recognition (NCSP), TSA reviewed foreign partners' cargo screening to determine whether their programs provide a level of security commensurate with the level of security provided by existing U.S. air cargo security programs. Partners that meet TSA screening requirements are officially recognized under NCSP to conduct screening for cargo traveling to the U.S.
  • CBP officers processed more than 15 million travelers at 15 pre-clearance locations in FY 2011. Pre-clearance allows DHS to screen travelers internationally prior to takeoff through the same process a traveler would undergo upon arrival at a U.S. port of entry allowing DHS to extend our borders outwards while facilitating a more efficient passenger experience.
  • DHS signed a letter of intent with the government of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Qatar to implement the U.S. Immigration Advisory Program (IAP), which involves placing CBP officers at the Abu Dhabi and Doha airports to advise Emirati and Qatari law enforcement about the admissibility of passengers into the U.S. prior to their travel here. IAP also began operations in Panama City, Panama.
  • DHS launched the Homeland Security Dialogue with India—the first comprehensive bilateral dialogue on homeland security issues between the two countries, focusing on securing the global supply chain, trafficking of illicit goods and materials, and protection of critical cyber infrastructure. The U.S. and India continue to make significant progress in implementation, such as signing a bilateral Computer Emergency Response Team agreement to coordinate cyber dialogue.
  • Secretary Napolitano and Mexican Secretary of the Interior signed an agreement to develop, and have begun implementing, an international trusted traveler program pilot between the United States and Mexico.

International Training

DHS provided training and shared best practices with its international partners on a variety of issues, including countering violent extremism, counternarcotics, biometrics, aviation security, intellectual property rights (IPR), and securing the global supply chain. For example:

  • TSA provided training on aviation and supply chain security in 43 countries;
  • TSA signed 23 international agreements with foreign partners, including 9 agreements permitting the deployment of Federal Air Marshals on flights between the U.S. and the respective countries and 14 agreements on technical assistance and information sharing;
  • TSA provided training assistance to more than 100 foreign governments with Last Points of Departure flights to the U.S.;
  • ICE and CBP, with funding from DOS and DOD, provided border security, customs management, and counternarcotics training to Afghan law enforcement agencies;
  • In 2011, CBP offered training to support foreign customs, immigration, and border control agencies to countries in the Middle East, Asia, and Central America;
  • DHS established a Cooperative Framework with U.S. European Command to further counternarcotics and counter trafficking training with our partners in Europe and Eurasia. This effort focuses on providing training on smuggling investigations, air interdiction, and integrated border control;
  • The Office of Counternarcotics Enforcement established an information sharing partnership on drug trafficking trends with Europol;
  • ICE conducted a Mexican Customs Investigator Training course for Mexico Tax Administration Service officials modeled after ICE special agent training, funded by DOS' Merida Initiative and provided transnational gang training for Mexican law enforcement officials;
  • ICE and the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, provided export control and related border security training courses throughout Eastern Europe; and
  • ICE provided IPR enforcement training to more than 17,000 law enforcement partners and stakeholders, to provide tools to combat intellectual property-related issues in order to protect the public health and safety.
  • CBP and ICE, through the Merida Initiative, provided training to trusted Mexican customs, immigration, and Federal Police counterparts on topics such as screening and search and rescue.

Improving Information Sharing

  • Secretary Napolitano and the Qatari Minister of State for Interior Affairs signed a declaration of principles and letter of intent to expand collaboration on bilateral initiatives to enhance security for American and Qatari citizens by increasing information sharing, enhancing passenger screening, and sharing best practices for document screening, behavior detection capabilities, and efforts to combat bulk cash smuggling and money laundering.
  • In conjunction with DOJ, in 2011, DHS signed Preventing and Combating Serious Crime (PCSC) agreements with Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, and the Netherlands. The PCSCs agreements, which are in place with 22 countries, are jointly negotiated by DHS and the DOJ. The agreements further security cooperation between the U.S. and its international partners by facilitating the exchange of biographic and biometric information to prevent serious crime and terrorism.
  • Throughout 2011, DHS continued to engage its international partners in efforts to facilitate the sharing of Passenger Name Record (PNR) information, and increase international cooperation to prevent, interdict, and prosecute individuals who may pose a threat to security. In November, the U.S. and the European Union initialed a proposed agreement with the European Commission that, once approved, will facilitate the prevention, detection, investigation and prosecution of terrorism and certain transnational crimes; provide a framework for sharing PNR; and ensure the protection of personal information.
  • Secretary Napolitano and the Spanish Interior Minister signed an agreement on scientific and technological cooperation - sharing best practices to prevent and detect threats and strengthening research and development. The U.S. has signed similar agreements with 11 other bilateral partners, including Australia, Singapore, Mexico, the European Commission, Sweden, Canada, France, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.
  • Secretary Napolitano and the Honduran Secretary of Security signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Advanced Passenger Information System (APIS), which allows CBP to compare the traveler manifests of commercial and private aircraft, as well as commercial vessels, against law enforcement databases, including the Terrorist Screening Database (TSDB).
  • Secretary Napolitano signed a joint statement with Mexican and Central American officials affirming collective intent to strengthen regional cooperation and increase cooperation and information sharing.
  • Secretary Napolitano and the Mexican Secretary of Interior signed a Declaration of Principles outlining, among other things, the intent to strengthen information sharing on immigration enforcement, natural disaster response, and border security.

Supporting DHS Missions Abroad

  • The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) partnered with the European Commission's Joint Research Center to conduct a series of tests to gauge the performance of nine categories of commercially available radiological detection and identification instruments. Throughout 2011 and 2012, nearly one hundred instruments will be tested in Europe and in the U.S. at National Labs. Once completed, the tests will provide federal, state, and local law enforcement valuable information about which radiological detection and identification instruments can best serve their operational needs.
  • FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness provided training in preventing and responding to disasters and other terrorist threats involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive materials to international responders from Argentina, Canada, Germany, Israel, Kenya, and Zimbabwe. FEMA also executed a Memorandum of Agreement with the United Kingdom Hazardous Area Response Team to provide reciprocal exchanges of training information, staff and curriculum.
  • USCG Cutter FORWARD deployed to West Africa in support of the African Maritime Law Enforcement Partnership, which includes Sierra Leone, Cape Verde, Liberia, Guinea, and Senegal for the third consecutive year. This program helps our international partners to build maritime security capacity and protect the maritime environment by pairing the nation's boarding teams with USCG personnel during maritime patrols.
Last Updated: 08/25/2022
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