Cablegate: Csi: One Year Later
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.
UNCLAS ATHENS 002134
E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON EWWT GR KTIA PTER
SUBJECT: CSI: ONE YEAR LATER
1. (SBU) Summary: One year after the signing of the
Container Security Initiative (CSI), the program continues to
operate in the Port of Piraeus. Unfortunately, staffing and
efficiency problems are marring the effectiveness of the
program. The GoG has requested a one-year extension for the
use of a non-intrusive container inspection device,
originally borrowed from Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
before the Olympic Games. The extension has been requested
to allow the GoG time to procure its own inspection
equipment, a move mandated and financially supported by the
EU. CPB has provisionally approved a six month extension
contingent upon the assignment of additional Greek customs
staff to the CSI program. End summary.
STAFFING AND EFFICIENCY
2. (SBU) The CSI program celebrated its one year anniversary
in Greece last month. Though Greece has cooperated well with
CBP in establishing the CSI, Greece,s main difficulty in
supporting this initiative is the lack of sufficient
inspectional staff in the Port of Piraeus. Though CBP
trained 25 to 30 police and customs officers in the proper
use of the non-intrusive imaging (NII) equipment before the
Olympics, staffing has since been drastically reduced to only
two employees. Most trained officers were assigned only to
assist in Piraeus during the Olympic Games (note: two
employees are required to operate an NII machine).
Therefore, in the absence of one Greek staffer, through leave
or illness, inspection is impossible without assistance from
CBP officers. CSI program guidance also recommends a third
staff member be present to maintain a secure perimeter around
the inspection site. The Port Authority maintains that
another dedicated staff member is not required because of the
placement of the inspection facility with a secure zone.
3. (SBU) The efficiency of the CSI program is being affected
by the poor location and insufficient size of the NII
inspection site. Due to these constraints, only three to
twelve containers are scanned per day, a number that could be
30-40, given even a handful more employees and better
positioning of the inspection site. USCBP officers have
raised this issue with their Greek counterparts and are
exploring remedial options.
EXTENDING LOAN ON INSPECTION EQUIPMENT
4. (SBU) In support of the 2004 Olympic Games, CBP and GoG
signed an MOU lending two NII machines to the GoG. It was
agreed that the Greek Customs Service would return one
machine following the Games, which was done, and the other
after one year. In an August 9 meeting with Apostolos
Tsigakos, advisor to Deputy Minister of Finance Adam
Regouzas, ICE Attache and CBP CSI Team Leader were asked for
a one-year extension on the loan of the remaining NII machine.
5. (SBU) The impetus behind this request is a move by the EU
to support the installation of non-intrusive imaging devices
at key Greek land and sea ports of entry. The EU will cover
seventy-five percent of the 16 million euro cost, with the
GoG funding the remainder. It seems likely, therefore, that
the GoG will at least delay, if not cancel, the tender
circulated by the previous PASOK government for one NII
machine for CSI so that it can be included in a new tender
along with the EU funded procurements.
6. (SBU) CBP HQ has agreed to a six month extension of the
loan of the NII equipment on the condition that two
additional Greek Customs Officers be assigned to CSI as well
as an improvement in the inspection site to increase the
number of inspections. Assurances that these conditions will
be met were given by Mr. Tsigakos at the August 9 meeting.
Prior to the end of the six month extension, CBP will
consider a GoG request for any additional loan of NII
7. (SBU) Comment: In the lead up to the Olympic Games, the
GoG made great strides to effectively implement the CSI.
Following the successful conclusion of the Games, GoG has
paid less attention to inspection, much to the frustration of
CBP officers assigned to the Port of Piraeus. Post will
continue to support GoG efforts, however, and push for
additional GoG resources to be devoted to the program. With
the EU pushing for the expansion of the program, however, and
its willingness to provide substantial financial support, the
GoG will hopefully proceed with effective execution and
expansion of CSI. End comment.