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Cablegate: Estonia's Position On Amended Lacey Act: More Information

VZCZCXRO6407
RR RUEHAG RUEHAST RUEHDF RUEHHM RUEHIK RUEHLN RUEHLZ RUEHMA RUEHPB
RUEHPOD RUEHROV RUEHSR RUEHTM
DE RUEHTL #0425 3501232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 151232Z DEC 08
FM AMEMBASSY TALLINN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 0962
INFO RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RUCNMEM/EU MEMBER STATES COLLECTIVE

UNCLAS TALLINN 000425

STATE FOR OES/ENRC MARK JOHNSEN
COPENHAGEN FOR ESTH HUB
WARSAW FOR AG COUNSELOR

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: SENV EAID EAGR ETRD EINV BTIO EN
SUBJECT: ESTONIA'S POSITION ON AMENDED LACEY ACT: MORE INFORMATION
REQUESTED

REFTEL: STATE 126654

This is an action request. Please see para 5.

1. On December 8, we delivered reftel points to Siim Tiidemann, the
Head of the Foreign Relations Department of the Ministry of
Agriculture (MOA), Andres Kruus, the Head of the Nature Protection
Department of the Ministry of the Environment (MOA) and Jaan
Salulaid, U.S. Desk Officer of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
(MFA). Salulaid provided us with a consolidated response from MOA,
MOE and MFA.

3. The Government of Estonia (GOE) strongly believes that the fight
against illegal logging is of great importance and agrees that the
Amended Lacey Act (ALA) is an important tool for this purpose.
However, the GOE is concerned that if the scope of the
implementation regulations of the ALA is left very wide and the
requirement of the new import declaration affects a great number of
products, a new barrier to trade may be created.

4. Further, the GOE believes that the best results can be achieved
by limiting the declaration requirement to timber and timber
products that have an identified and real risk of stemming from
illegal logging. The GOE finds it questionable whether musical
instruments (Harmonized Tariff Schedule Chapter 92) pose enough of a
risk to be scheduled in the second phase of implementation. Also,
longer phase-in periods of at least nine months each would give
governments time to better adapt affected procedures to the
requirements to the requirements of the Act and thus provide for
smoother implementation.

5. The GOE appreciates the information made available about the
process of implementation regulations for the ALA and requests more
information on the following issues:

-- How can existing mechanisms and instruments, such as various
certificates, be used to prove the legality of the products?

-- What items are exempt from the declaration as packing materials?

-- How will duplication of the information already provided by
importers during the customs clearance process be avoided?

-- How will equal treatment be guaranteed for non-U.S. companies?

6. The GOE hopes that the ALA is implemented in a way that enables
the United States and the EU to fight against illegal logging
without significant trade losses between the two. The GOE expressed
its anticipation of good cooperation on all possible questions that
may rise from the implementation of the ALA.

DECKER

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