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United States and Poland Mark Milestone in Nuclear Security Cooperation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the Polish Customs Service today announced achievement of a significant milestone in their shared effort to combat nuclear terrorism. Since 2007, NNSA has been working with the Polish Customs Service to organize a training program for customs officers and border guards to prevent the smuggling of commodities that could be used by proliferators or terrorists

Today, NNSA and the Polish government announced that the 200th Polish Customs officer has completed the Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Commodity Identification Training (CIT), and that responsibility for the day-to-day operation of the program has been transferred to the Polish Customs Service.

“Our work with Poland to detect illicitly transferred WMD-related commodities is an important example of our efforts to implement the nuclear security agenda outlined by President Obama and our international partners,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Investing in programs like NNSA’s Commodity Identification Training program is an important part of the global effort to prevent nuclear smuggling and keep terrorists from getting their hands on dangerous nuclear and radiological material, equipment and technology. We look forward to our continued cooperation with Poland to enhance global peace and security.”

“Polish Customs greatly appreciates collaboration with the National Nuclear Security Administration in the field of commodity identification,” said Mr. Henryk Jezierski, Head of the Dual-Use Department of the Polish Customs Service. “The CIT Program constitutes a very good opportunity for Customs to build its capacity to prevent illicit WMD-related trade. We hope that the collaborative work of our organizations will make the world safer and free of WMD threats. We look forward to our continued cooperation.”

Through its International Nonproliferation Export Control Program (INECP), NNSA worked jointly with the Polish Customs Service to develop this national program and tailor it to the particular needs of Polish customs inspectors and other border officials. Since 2007, NNSA and the Polish Customs Service have conducted seven joint training courses. Today, the 200th customs officer graduated from the program. The program, now run and maintained by the Polish Customs Service, trains those officials to recognize and interdict illicit transfers of WMD-related materials.

NNSA’s International Nonproliferation Export Control Program works collaboratively with more than 60 foreign governments to strengthen their capacity to interdict illicit shipments of proliferation-sensitive commodities and other WMD-related materials and equipment. Through INECP and the growing number of international CIT partner instructors, NNSA has trained more than 12,000 customs and export control officials worldwide to counter the illicit trade in WMD-related materials and equipment.

Earlier this year, President Obama submitted to Congress the Administration’s FY 2012 budget request, which invests $2.5 billion in FY 2012 and $14.2 billion over the next five years to detect, secure, safeguard, dispose of, and control nuclear and radiological material around the world. Included in that request is $161 million to support NNSA’s Office of Nonproliferation and International Security and its work prevent and counter the proliferation or use of WMD, including materials, technology and expertise, by state and non-state actors.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.