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Cablegate: Singapore's Responses to Cmea Questions

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHGP #3654/01 3250456
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 210456Z NOV 06
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 1921
INFO RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RUEAWJA/DEPT OF JUSTICE WASHDC

UNCLAS SINGAPORE 003654

SIPDIS

STATE FOR INL
JUSTICE FOR OIA AND ARMLS
TREASURY FOR FINCEN
DEA FOR OILS AND OFFICE OF DIVERSION CONTROL
CIA FOR CNC

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KCRM SNAR ECON ETRD PREL SN
SUBJECT: SINGAPORE'S RESPONSES TO CMEA QUESTIONS

REF: STATE 155254

1. Post provides the following GOS responses to INL's questions
for use in preparing the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act
(CMEA) report.

Begin questions and responses:

2. Q: WE WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY IF OUR DATA ON SINGAPORE'S TRADE
IN THE CHEMICALS EPHEDRINE AND PSEUDOEPHEDRINE FROM 2000-2005
ARE ACCURATE. IF NOT, COULD YOU PROVIDE ACCURATE FIGURES AND
IDENTIFY THEIR SOURCE? SINGAPORE IS A SIGNIFICANT TRADER
(EXPORT AND IMPORTER) IN EPHEDRINE, BUT APPEARS TO BE A LARGE
NET IMPORTER OF PSEUDOEPHEDRINE. WHAT ARE THE REASONS FOR THIS
PATTERN?

A: Please refer to the table below for the figures on the import
and export of the chemicals ephedrine and pseudoephedrine
between year 2000 and 2005.

Ephedrine (kg) Pseudoephedrine (kg)
-------------- -------------------
Year Exports Imports Exports Imports

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2005 16,350 19,875 32,705 39,830
2004 12,555 14,529 21,595 24,121
2003 13,685 15,191 18,672 22,506
2002 12,630 13,705 12,185 14,025
2001 11,650 13,550 16,305 20,925
2000 9,675 12,400 5,904 7,500

The import and export figures are based on Central Narcotics
Bureau's (CNB) records of trade declarations. The chemicals
ephedrine and pseudoephedrine are mostly imported into Singapore
for re-export. Singapore's imports of ephedrine and
pseudoephedrine are for the manufacture of pharmaceutical
preparations.

3. Q: DOES SINGAPORE HAVE ANY DOMESTIC PRODUCTION OF EITHER
EPHEDRINE OR PSEUDOEPHEDRINE, OR PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS
THAT CONTAIN THESE SUBSTANCES? IF SO, COULD YOU PROVIDE FIGURES
CONCERNING HOW MUCH?

A: Singapore does not have any domestic production of either
ephedrine or pseudoephedrine. However, there are a few
pharmaceutical companies that manufacture cough preparations
containing pseudoephedrine.

4. Q: WE WOULD LIKE TO HAVE, IF AVAILABLE, YOUR FIGURES ON THE
ANNUAL COMPLETELY LICIT REQUIREMENTS FOR EPHEDRINE AND
PSEUDOEPHEDRINE, AND PHARMACEUTICAL PREPARATIONS THAT CONTAIN
THESE SUBSTANCES IN SINGAPORE'S DOMESTIC MARKET. APART FROM THE
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY, ARE THERE ANY OTHER INDUSTRIES WHICH
MAKE USE OF THESE CHEMICALS, AND FOR WHAT PURPOSE?

A: We provide annual licit transactions of controlled substances
including the two chemicals to the International Narcotics
Control Board (INCB). Apart from pharmaceutical preparations,
which are under the Health Sciences Authority's (HSA) purview,
these two chemicals are mainly imported for re-export purpose.
We do not [yet] have the annual figure for 2006 for completely
licit requirements for ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.

5. Q: COULD YOU SHARE WITH US AS MANY DETAILS AS POSSIBLE OF
ANY CASES OF DIVERSION OF THESE CHEMICALS (EPHEDRINE AND/OR
PSEUDOEPHEDRINE) FROM LICIT TO ILLICIT USES WHICH HAVE COME TO
YOUR ATTENTION?

A: We have not encountered any diversion of ephedrine and/or
pseudoephedrine from licit to illicit uses in Singapore.

6. Q: WHAT IS SINGAPORE'S SYSTEM FOR ASSURING THAT EPHEDRINE
AND/OR PSEUDOEPHEDRINE, WHICH IS MANUFACTURED OR IMPORTED INTO
SINGAPORE FOR LICIT USE, IS NOT DIVERTED FOR ILLICIT USES?
PLEASE EXPLAIN THE METHODS SINGAPORE USES Q LICENSING,
INSPECTION/INVENTORY CHECKS ETC. Q AND THE AGENCIES INVOLVED.

A: Under Singapore's Import & Export regulations, a trader has
to apply to Singapore Customs for a permit using the TradeNet
system for the import or export of any goods. The Central
Narcotics Bureau (CNB) works with Singapore Customs to route all
precursor transactions through the TradeNet system to CNB for
approval. TradeNet is an online system for trade declaration.

In addition, traders must have a valid license issued by the
Centre for Drug Administration (CDA) of the HSA in order to
import ephedrine and pseudoephedrine. HSA administers the
Poisons Act and Rules, which regulates the importation,
possession, manufacture, compounding, storage, transport and
sale of poisons which include ephedrine and pseudoephedrine.
Dealers of all medicinal products containing ephedrine and
pseudoephedrine are subject to product registration and dealer's
licensing respectively.

Traders are required to submit their annual consumption and
usage of controlled chemicals including the two chemicals to
CNB.

CNB conducts rigorous site visits on companies dealing with
controlled chemicals so as to increase awareness of parties
involved in the import and export of listed precursors. During
these visits, CNB officers inspect records, labeling of
consignments and storage arrangements. CNB also conducts random
physical stock checks when necessary.

In addition, CNB has been promoting industry awareness through
site visits to companies, intermediaries and end users of
controlled chemicals. These visits provide an opportunity for
CNB to disseminate information and guidelines on the legislative
and administrative requirements. At the same time, CNB informs
them of the various methods of diversion and the importance of
knowing who their customers are. Traders are also encouraged to
notify CNB of any suspicious transactions.

7. Q: PLEASE DESCRIBE SINGAPORE'S SYSTEM, IF ANY, OF MONITORING
ITS INTERNATIONAL TRADE IN EPHEDRINE AND PSEUDOEPHEDRINE TO
GUARD AGAINST DIVERSION TO ILLICIT USES, I.E., EXPORT
NOTIFICATION TO PROSPECTIVE IMPORTING COUNTRIES. DOES
SINGAPORE'S SYSTEM INVOLVE CLOSE LIAISON WITH INDUSTRY,
EXPORTERS/IMPORTERS, AND OTHER PRIVATE SECTOR ACTORS INVOLVED IN
THE TRADE?

A: CNB will monitor and track transactions of controlled
chemicals (including the two substances) for licit trade at both
international and domestic levels, and to identify end users.
The approach that CNB has adopted to control the import or
export of controlled chemicals is consistent with the various
counter-measures listed in the United Nations Convention Against
Illicit Traffic in Narcotics Drugs and Psychotropic Substances.
For Import Control, CNB will be informed of an importation
through a Pre-Export Notification (PEN) issued by the exporting
country in accordance with the UN Convention or a trade
declaration made by a local trader as required under our laws.
We will send a No Objection Letter to the exporting country and
issue an import authorization to the importer after completing
the import enquiries. These enquiries include checks on the
importing company and its office bearers to determine the
purpose and intended use of the chemicals and to establish the
identity of the ultimate consignee, if any. Each import
authorization is valid for one consignment only as CNB does not
provide blanket approval. Upon CNB's approval, the transaction
will be routed to Singapore Customs for clearance which involves
physical examinations.

For Export Control, upon receiving a declaration made for the
exportation of controlled chemicals, CNB will issue a PEN to its
counterparts in the importing country after checks are
completed. All transshipment cases are treated as an import
followed by an export and hence the same control for import and
export will apply.

CNB conducts rigorous site visits on companies dealing with
controlled chemicals so as to increase the awareness of parties
involved in the import and export of listed precursors. During
these visits, CNB officers inspect records, labeling of
consignments and storage arrangements. CNB also conducts random
physical stock checks when necessary. CNB visits at least 300
companies a year (or 25 companies a month).

In addition, CNB has been promoting industry awareness through
site visits to companies, intermediaries and end users of
controlled chemicals. These visits provide an opportunity for
CNB to disseminate information and guidelines on the legislative
and administrative requirements. At the same time, CNB informs
them of the various methods of diversion and the importance of
knowing who their customers are. Traders are also encouraged to
notify CNB of any suspicious transactions.

8. Q: ARE REGULAR AND/OR SURPRISE INSPECTIONS CONDUCTED ON
COMPANIES THAT IMPORT OR EXPORT THESE SUBSTANCE?

A: Yes, CNB conducts rigorous site visits, including surprise
visits to companies dealing with controlled chemicals including
these chemicals. In addition, HSA also conducts inspection of
premises for its suitability for the storage of poisons and
other legal requirements defined in the Poisons Act and Rules
before its approval and periodically after approval. However,
there are no specific requirements for dealings in ephedrine and
pseudoephedrine.

9. Q: WHAT ARE THE PENALTIES FOR COMPANIES THAT ARE NOT
FOLLOWING THE REQUIRED REPORTING AND TRACKING PROCESSES?

A: Section 10B of the Misuse of Drugs Act requires the traders
to maintain records for all transactions involving controlled
substances for a period of 2 years. They have to inform CNB
concerning storage of precursor chemicals. They also have to
ensure that all containers of precursor chemicals must be
properly marked and labeled. Failure to comply with these
requirements carries a sentence of up to 3 years imprisonment,
$10,000 fine or both.

10. Q: DOES SINGAPORE HAVE CHEMICAL DIVERSION INVESTIGATORS IN
THE COUNTRY? DO THEY HAVE THE NECESSARY RESOURCES TO ACCOMPLISH
THEIR MISSION?

A: The Central Narcotics Bureau is the competent authority for
precursor control in Singapore. CNB has set up the Precursor
Control Unit (PCU) to monitor the 23 precursor chemicals as
listed in Table I and Table II of the 1988 UN Convention.

11. Q: DOES SINGAPORE HAVE PROVISIONS IN LAW WHICH WOULD ALLOW
ITS AUTHORITIES TO PROMPTLY SEIZE AN EPHEDRINE OR
PSEUDOEPHEDRINE SHIPMENT, WHICH SUFFICIENT EVIDENCE INDICATES
MIGHT BE AT RISK OF DIVERSION FOR ILLICIT USES?

A: Section 10A of the Misuse of Drugs Act (MDA) criminalises the
manufacture, supply, possession, import or export of equipment,
materials or substances useful for the manufacture of controlled
drugs. Sections 26 of the MDA provides for power to search,
seize and detain any controlled substances, including ephedrine
and pseudoephedrine found in ships, aircraft, vehicles or trains
arriving and departing from Singapore.

12. Q: DOES SINGAPORE HAVE A SYSTEM IN PLACE WHICH WOULD ALLOW
IT TO NOTIFY A DESTINATION COUNTRY AND/OR INTERNATIONAL
AUTHORITIES SUCH AS THE INTERNATIONAL NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD
(INCB) IN VIENNA THAT A GIVEN SHIPMENT OF EPHEDRINE OR
PSEUDOEPHEDRINE SEEMED TO BE IN DANGER OF DIVERSION, OR HAD
ALREADY EFFECTIVELY BEEN DIVERTED?

A: Yes, CNB will notify the importing country of all
consignments due for its ports using Pre Export Notification
(PEN). CNB is in the process of moving to an on-line version of
PEN.

13. Q: DOES SINGAPORE HAVE LAWS/REGULATIONS REQUIRING THAT,
WHEN DUAL-USE CHEMICALS LIKE EPHEDRINE OR PSEUDOEPHEDRINE ARE
IMPORTED OR EXPORTED, THEY MUST BE LABELED PROPERLY WITH THE
IDENTIFYING INFORMATION OF ALL THOSE INVOLVED IN THE
TRANSACTION?

A: Yes, Singapore's regulations require that any person who has
imported or who intends to export any controlled substance, not
being a controlled substance in transit, shall keep or store the
controlled substance in a place approved in writing by the
Director of CNB. The container in which any controlled
substance is kept or stored shall be clearly marked on the
outside with the name of the controlled substance and shall not
contain any substance other than the substance so marked.

14. Q: ARE SUCH DOCUMENTS REQUIRED TO BE FILED FOR AT LEAST TWO
YEARS SO THAT, IF NECESSARY THEY COULD BE RECOVERED FOR USE IN A
LEGAL ACTION ARISING FROM A GIVEN SHIPMENT? WOULD SINGAPORE
PERMIT LEGAL AUTHORITIES OF ITS FOREIGN TRADING PARTNERS FOR
THESE CHEMICALS TO REQUEST COPIES OF SUCH DOCUMENTS FOR USE AS
EVIDENCE IN THEIR DOMESTIC COURTS?

A: Yes, the documents are required to be kept for at least two
years. Singapore could permit such request for assistance under
the framework of the Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters Act
(MACMA).

15. Q: DOES SINGAPORE REPORT EACH YEAR TO THE INTERNATIONAL
NARCOTICS CONTROL BOARD (INCB) IN VIENNA THE AMOUNTS OF
EPHEDRINE OR PSEUDOEPHEDRINE SEIZED DURING THAT YEAR AND OTHER
RELEVANT INFORMATION DESIGNED TO SUPPORT INTERNATIONAL
COOPERATION TO PREVENT DIVERSION OF THESE TWO PRECURSOR

CHEMICALS?

A: Singapore submits information on substances frequently used
in the illicit manufacture of narcotic drugs and psychotropic
substances to INCB as required under the 1988 UN Convention.
However, we have not encountered any seizure or diversion of
precursor chemicals (including ephedrine and pseudoephedrine).

HERBOLD

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