New body launched to fight container crime

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The International Container Security Organisation, a new not-for-profit body has been set up in Brussels to help combat terrorism and organised crime in the international container freight industry.

The ISCO will develop and publish global standards for container security devices and related systems with some of the world’s leading companies.

Dr Christoph Seidelmann, vice-president of the Bureau International des Containers in Paris and new president of ICSO, said: “The ICSO team will begin today to develop and deliver standards contributing to a secure transport system. Just as standards contributed to make today’s freight container transport system efficient, safe, and successful, so will standards for new and emerging technologies contribute to the security of containers and goods in-transit.”

Seidelmann said the security problem had two sides to it. The first was criminals who deliberately opened the containers to remove goods or traffic people in. The other was the issue of goods being replaced by poor grade or counterfeit items. As an example, he said that high quality coffee beans had, in the past, been replaced with lower quality beans.

Enforcement can be a problem. “Basically all standards are voluntary in their application,” he said, arguing that a standard must be so good that everyone wants to adopt it. He emphasised the importance of quality container seals and improving the technology in the future.

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