Cablegate: Seizure by Cbp of Six Containers From
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 FRANKFURT 009221
PASS USCBP//TEXTILE ENFORCEMENT OPER DIV//JANET LABUDA
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ASEC ECON EAID ETRD AM
SUBJECT: SEIZURE BY CBP OF SIX CONTAINERS FROM
ARMENIA; MEETINGS WITH ARMENIAN OFFICIALS
REF: CABLE DTD 09/01/2004 FROM AMEMBASSY YEREVAN TO DHS
1. (SBU) Summary: Six containers with textiles
represented as being made in Armenia were detained over
the three month period of July, August, and September by
Customs and Border Protection (CBP) due to concerns
related to the country of origin. Contact with officials
at CBP Headquarters, Washington, D.C., revealed that a
decision was made to exclude all six containers.
Subsequent to the exclusion, the importer of record
indicated that the goods were going to be exported out of
2. (SBU) On September 21 through September 24, 2004,
Deputy Attach James Ink, Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS),
American Consulate Frankfurt, travelled to Armenia to
discuss the six containers as well as to meet with
officials of the Armenian government in order to discuss
the role of the ICE Attach and areas of mutual interest.
Accompanying Deputy Attach Ink were two ICE agents from
the RAC Laredo Office who travelled to Armenia pursuant
to an investigation that was separate from the seizure of
the six containers.
ACTIONS ON THE CONTAINERS
3. (SBU) Information from CBP HQ regarding the six
containers revealed no certificate of origin was ever
submitted with the entry. The country where a factory
claims that the goods were made normally issues a
certificate of origin. While a certificate of origin may
have been prepared and shown to local officials, none was as
provided to CBP officials.
4. (SBU) Information from CBP HQ regarding the six
containers also revealed that when the Armenian
exporter/producer completed the textile declaration,
there was strong indication that he was receiving
component parts from China and assembling them in
Armenia. However, when the importer submitted the
textile declaration he submitted a single country of
origin declaration, which stated that the fabric was
produced in Armenia and any cutting and assembling was
done in Armenia, contradicting the original information.
5. (SBU) Also according to CBP HQ, a request by CBP to
the exporter/producer for production records, covering
both cutting and assembly records, was never complied
ACTIONS OF ICE AGENTS PETERS AND SILVA
6. (SBU) While in country ICE special agents Andrew
Peters and Jose Silva, both from the RAC/Laredo Office,
conducted interviews related to an investigation that did
not involve the detention of the six containers by CBP.
As discussed at the meeting with the Ambassador and
several members of the Embassy staff on 09/23/04,
information relating to the investigation being conducted
by special agents Peters and Silva should not be
discussed or disseminated outside the Embassy, or to
anyone other than those individuals with a need to know.
MEETINGS WITH ARMENIAN OFFICIALS
7. (SBU) Separate from the above situation, Deputy
Attach Ink met with representatives of the Ministry of
National Security, Customs State Committee, and the
Ministry of Trade and Economic Development. At all three
meetings William Mayer, Senior EXBS Program Advisor, and
Susanna Toroyan, also with the EXBS Program, assisted
Deputy Attach Ink.
8. (SBU) During the meetings, Deputy Attach Ink advised
of the role of ICE and DHS, and of the desire ICE had in
working with the Armenian Government on areas of mutual
interest. Additionally, the topics of ICE/DHS sponsored
training opportunities, a Customs Mutual Assistance ce
Agreement, and bilateral agreements were discussed and
met with favorable responses from representatives of all
three offices mentioned in paragraph 7 above.
ASSISTANCE RECEIVED FROM U.S. EMBASSY
9. (SBU) The ICE Attach Frankfurt appreciates the
assistance given by the Embassy staff in preparation of,
during, and after this trip. Special thanks to Justin
Otto, Terry Cobble and Christy Brown of the RSO's Office,
and William Mayer and Susanna Toroyan, EXBS.