U.S. Megaports Initiative celebrates 10th anniversary in Kaohsiung

The U.S Megaports Initiative at Kaohsiung Port celebrated its 10th anniversary Tuesday in a ceremony attended by officials from the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) and the Customs Administration under the Ministry of Finance.

The Megaports Initiative is part of the U.S. government’s plan to deter illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive material through many of the world’s largest ports.

Due to Taiwan’s strategic location, high cargo volume and its role as a key transshipment port in the Asia-Pacific region, the AIT and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Representative Office signed a memorandum of understanding in 2006 to implement the Megaports Initiative in Kaohsiung.

“The opening signified our commitment to securing the global maritime network and showing Taiwan’s capabilities in preventing radioactive material coming in and out of the country,” Customs Administration Director Liao Chao-hsiang (廖超祥) said in his opening speech at the ceremony.

According to Liao, Kaohsiung is among the top 20 ports around the world that are included in the implementation of the port safety plan, spearheaded by the U.S. in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the U.S. in 2001.

“Thanks to our initiative, Kaohsiung Port has successfully detected and rerouted hundreds of contaminated cargoes coming into the country,” AIT Acting Director Robert Forden said during the ceremony.

Under the program, the U.S. Department of Energy has poured more than US$55 million into the southern Taiwan port, including equipment such as radiation portal monitors, handheld detection devices, optical character recognition technology, communication equipment, training, and technical support for customs personnel.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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