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Cablegate: International Maritime Organization (Imo): Report of The

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ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 171413Z AUG 06
FM AMEMBASSY LONDON
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8356
INFO RUWDQAC/COMDT COGARD WASHINGTON DC//G-CI/G-L/G-P/G-PS/G-PSR//
RUEHZN/ENVIRONMENT SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY COLLECTIVE
RHEFHLC/HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 LONDON 006053

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STATE PLEASE PASS TO IO/OIC FOR M. MORRISSEY


E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: IMO AORC ASEC UK
SUBJECT: INTERNATIONAL MARITIME ORGANIZATION (IMO): REPORT OF THE
THIRTY-THIRD SESSION OF THE COMMITTEE FOR THE FACILITATION OF
INTERNATIONAL MARITIME TRAFFIC (FAL), LONDON, 3-7 JULY 2006.

1. SUMMARY: The thirty-third session of the IMO FAL met in London
from 3-7 July 2006, under the chairmanship of Mr. C. Abela (Malta).
The session was attended by delegations from sixty-six Member
Governments, two Associate Member Governments, three
Intergovernmental Organizations, and fourteen Non-Governmental
Organizations. Three Working Groups (WG) were formed to address a
number of the agenda items. All USDEL objectives were achieved.
Accomplishments and outcomes of particular interest include the
following:
A. Issues related to security and facilitation of the movement of
cargo containers. The Committee agreed to form a joint working
group with the Maritime Safety Committee (subject to the final
approval from the Maritime Safety Committee). The terms of
reference for this group were finalized and the U.S. was able to
modify them in a manner that serves U.S. as well as global interests
in cargo security.
B. The U.S. agreed to participate in an intersessional
Correspondence Group to continue the work on the development of an
explanatory manual to the Facilitation Convention, and to coordinate
another Correspondence Group to finalize revisions to the IMO
Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic Business. END SUMMARY.

2. GENERAL REVIEW AND IMPLEMENTATION OF THE ANNEX TO THE FAL
CONVENTION. The Committee discussed in detail at plenary draft
amendments offered by France, Spain, and the Netherlands to the
Annex to the FAL Convention. The amendments were in the areas of
the arrival, stay, and departure of ships, and the arrival, stay and
departure of persons. Additionally, the Committee was advised of
the status of intersessional correspondence group (CG) work on the
development of an explanatory manual for the Annex to the
Convention. Subsequently, the Committee established a WG to:
A. prepare a consolidated text of the amendments to the FAL
Convention; and
B. continue work on the development of an explanatory manual,
including preparing the Terms of Reference for a CG following FAL
33.

The WG (1) considered the proposals of the draft amendments to the
Annex of the FAL Convention put forth by France, Spain, and the
Netherlands, (2) continued developing the explanatory manual to the
Annex, and (3) prepared the draft Terms of Reference for a CG. The
WG was attended by 21 member states including the US, the European
Commission, and four non-governmental organizations.

The proposed amendments to the Annex of the FAL Convention, in
general, involved the addition of data elements for individuals on
the crew list and passenger list, and the change/elimination of
certain standards and recommended practices that relax ship
reporting requirements. Additionally, the French and Spanish
proposals included an immigration-related issue that would use the
ILO Convention 185 Seafarers' Identification Document (SID) in place
of a properly issued passport and visa document.

The WG did not support the Seafarers' Identification Document
proposal. (NOTE: This issue was also debated at last session, FAL
32. END NOTE) Otherwise, the Contracting Parties were in agreement
with the proposed changes and deletions to the Annex to the FAL
Convention. The US delegation supported the outcome, which balanced
the security and facilitation of the movement of crewmembers,
passengers, and vessels. However, it should also be noted that the
Contracting Governments and the representatives of the industry held
a difference of opinion on the relationship between facilitation and
security.

The recommended amendments were forwarded by the WG to plenary for
either approval in FAL 34 or notation in FAL 34 with approval in FAL
35.

The Committee, upon receiving the report of the WG, vigorously
debated the subject on the floor with over twenty delegations
participating. The Committee decided to defer approval of these
draft amendments until FAL 34, with a view to adoption at FAL 35.
Additionally, the Committee approved the Terms of Reference for a CG
on the development of an explanatory manual with a report due at FAL
34.

3. ELECTRONIC MEASURES FOR THE CLEARANCE OF SHIPS. The Committee
instructed the WG to:
(A) Revise the IMO Compendium on Facilitation and Electronic
Business (FAL.5/Circ.15) based on the latest amendments adopted by
the Committee;
(B) Develop new or recommend adoption of existing Message
Implementation Guidelines for exchange of information electronically
on all FAL forms;
(C) Develop a uniform ship's pre-arrival electronic message for
security information contained in MSC/Circ. 1130;

LONDON 00006053 002 OF 003


(D) Ensure the exchange of information with a view to keeping the
FAL Committee informed of relevant developments relating to
electronic business in the area of maritime traffic;
(E) Enable the development of the Single Window System;
(F) Consider the WCO Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate
Global Trade;
(G) Consider the use of the WCO Data Model and Single Window Concept
in view of the significant capacity building developments that are
anticipated through broad global implementation of the adopted
Framework;
(H) Define proposals for the changes to procedures as a result of
electronic exchange of information; actively follow the developments
within international governmental and non-governmental bodies; and
encourage the exchange of information between IMO and these bodies;
and,
(I) Identify ways and means to expand the use of electronic
business.

The WG was chaired by Japan. Sixteen national delegations,
including Hong Kong as an associate member and the WCO as an
observer, participated in the WG. The WG began its tasks by
discussing development of a pre-arrival message for security
information. While there were many opinions expressed about the
means for transmitting the information, it quickly became clear that
the most critical need is for development of new data codes for
security information. As a result, the WG decided to submit Data
Maintenance Requests (DMR) to UN/CEFACT and other appropriate
agencies for these data codes. The WG also reviewed the work of the
Correspondence Group to incorporate into the FAL Compendium the
amendments to the FAL Convention adopted at FAL 33. In doing so,
the WG identified numerous inconsistencies in the Compendium, some
resulting from the amendments to the Convention. The WG agreed to
seek the Committee's approval to make revisions to the Compendium
that exceed the original scope of the task to incorporate the recent
amendments to the FAL Convention and to continue to finalize the
revised Compendium. The WG also discussed enabling development of
the Single Window Concept, including responding to requests for
assistance by countries trying to transition to electronic business.
The USDEL provided a copy of UN Recommendation 33, Guidelines for
Establishing a Single Window, and emphasized that information and
metrics on the capital requirements, operator skills, and
maintenance costs would be valuable in helping those countries
implement a Single Window Concept. While the WG focused on these
three issues, in-depth discussions were also held on the other Terms
of Reference items with the common theme that engagement with other
governmental and non-governmental organizations, particularly with
the World Customs Organization, is necessary for further progress in
facilitating electronic business. The U.S. agreed to continue
coordinating the intersessional Correspondence Group finalizing
revisions to the Compendium and collaborating with the appropriate
organizations to develop new data codes for security- related
information.

4. SHIP/PORT INTERFACE (SPI) WORKING GROUP ACTIVITIES. The SPI WG
was chaired by the U.S. and was attended by 22 Member States, 1
inter-governmental organization and 3 NGOs. The FAL Committee
tasked the SPI WG to:
(A) Complete the review of the Guidelines for the Suppression of the
Smuggling of Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and Precursor Chemicals
on Ships Engaged in International Maritime Traffic and draft the
associated resolution;
(B) Review, from the viewpoint of FAL, the draft terms of reference
for the MSC/FAL Working Group on the Security and Facilitation of
the Movement of Closed Cargo Transport Units and of Freight
Containers;
(C) Consider the need to revised Standard 2.1 and advise the
Committee accordingly;
(D) Prepare a draft form for reporting denials and delays of
radioactive materials and an analysis of the mechanism for using
such reports;
(E) Consider the scope of the guidance required to address such
issues and draft the associated FAL Circular for approval by the
Committee; and
(F) Consider the need for a correspondence group and, if agreed,
propose terms of reference and identify the coordinator.

The WG completed all tasks and reported out to the Committee.

The Committee approved the draft Revised Guidelines for the
Suppression of the Smuggling of Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and
Precursor Chemicals on Ships Engaged in International Maritime
Traffic and agreed to send them to MSC 82 for adoption, with a view
towards adoption by FAL at its next meeting.

The Committee agreed to create a Joint Maritime Safety Committee
(MSC)/FAL Working Group to consider, if appropriate, amendments to

LONDON 00006053 003 OF 003


the SOLAS, FAL Convention and ISPS Code related to the security and
facilitation of the movement of closed cargo transport units and
freight containers, based on the World Customs Organization (WCO)
SAFE Framework of Standards and supply chain security standards of
other international bodies. The Committee adopted terms of
reference for this joint working group. These terms of reference
recognize that the rights of Customs and other public authorities
should not be compromised. This particular item was the result of
vigorous participation by the U.S. in the working group and in
plenary session.

Subject to approval by the MSC at its 82nd Session from November 29
to December 8, 2006, the Joint MSC/FAL Working Group will meet
during that Session and also during the next FAL Session in March
2007. The FAL Committee agreed to urge all national governments to
submit proposals for consideration by this Joint Working Group.

The Committee agreed to a form developed by the SPI Working Group
for reporting denials and delays in the shipment of radioactive
material and approved the establishment of an intersessional
correspondence group on a mechanism within IMO for the resolution of
difficulties in the carriage of IMDG Code class 7 radioactive
materials, under the coordination of Canada. The intersessional
correspondence group will prepare a working process by which IMO, in
cooperation with IAEA, will monitor, facilitate, and coordinate the
resolution of difficulties identified in the carriage of IMDG Code
class 7 radioactive materials. The group will also integrate the
form entitled "Report on Difficulties Encountered in Relation to the
Carriage of IMDG Code Class 7 Radioactive Materials" and wording
related to Cobalt-60 being used in medical or public health
applications as it may appear on the dangerous goods declaration.

The Committee approved a FAL Circular on difficulties encountered in
the shipment of dangerous cargos, in particular sporting ammunition
and related components. The intent of the Circular is to foster
the alleviation of the difficulties encountered in the shipment of
this class of dangerous goods (IMDG 1.4S).

5. CHAIRMAN/DATE AND LOCATION OF NEXT MEETING. The Committee
unanimously re-elected Mr. C. Abela (Malta) as Chairman and elected
Captain A.E. Hill (Liberia) as Vice-Chairman for 2007. The
thirty-fourth session of the Committee is tentatively scheduled for
26-30 March 2007, at the International Coffee Organization (ICO).
The ICO is located at 22 Berners Street, London W1T 3DD. The change
in venue to the ICO for the next session of the FAL Committee is due
to the refurbishment of the IMO Headquarters Building.

CAULFIELD

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