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Cablegate: Turkish Customs Targeting and Risk Management

DE RUEHAK #1941/01 2111337
R 301337Z JUL 07





E.O. 12958: N/A

1. Summary: Turkish Customs places great importance on
accurate and timely targeting and risk management of
shipments coming to, leaving, and passing through the
Republic of Turkey. Due to the high volume of cargo which
does pass through Turkish Customs areas, Turkish Customs has
been working to improve its targeting approaches. US Customs
and Border Protection (CBP) recently conducted a second
Targeting and Risk Management Workshop focused on land border
crossings. Following the workshop, CBP personnel held
detailed discussions with Turkish Customs Headquarters
targeters in order to gain a better understanding of the
Turkish system and identify possible areas of future


2. Turkish Customs places great importance on accurate and
timely targeting and risk management of shipments coming to,
leaving, and passing through the Republic of Turkey. Due to
the high volume of cargo which does pass through Turkish
Customs areas, Turkish Customs has been working to improve
their targeting approaches. While the systems currently
being utilized by Turkish Customs are effective, contributing
to over 2 tons of heroin being seized in 2006 and over 1 ton
so far this year, Turkish Customs officials recognize that
they can be improved.

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3. Last summer, CBP conducted a sea port targeting and risk
management workshop at the Port of Mersin. This was followed
up with a visit to CBP facilities by a high level delegation
of Turkish Customs officials this past November. The visit
included a tour of the National Targeting Center and
presentations on US methods. This summer another targeting
and risk management workshop was conducted in Ankara for land
border targeting. Turkey has also been working with EU
nations, specifically Germany and the Netherlands, to
incorporate their ideas and practices.

Targeting and Risk Management Workshop

4. US Customs and Border Protection Service conducted a
Targeting and Risk Management Workshop for 24 Turkish Customs
officials in Ankara from July 9 - 13, 2007. The focus of the
workshop was the targeting of shipments through a land border
crossing. Members of Turkish Customs Headquarters along with
representatives from key border locations were in attendance
at the workshop. The course included a day of practical
exercises at the inland clearance station in Ankara. Initial
feedback from those in attendance was that the information
was very useful and will be valuable as Turkish Customs
continues to develop and improve its targeting and risk
management procedures.

5. Following the one-week workshop, CBP instructors
conducted meetings and discussions with members of Turkish
Customs Headquarters operations and targeters. Turkish
officials were open in their discussion of their policies and
procedures in regards to Targeting and Risk Management.
Turkish Customs currently conducts targeting for two distinct
reasons: 1) Customs Enforcement - to stop the illegal entry
of goods into the Republic of Turkey; 2) General Directorate
of Customs - to ensure that proper duties are paid for goods
which are shipped to Turkey. These two systems work
independent of each other, with a very small amount of
information being shared. While these two systems have been
successful in the detection of violators, they incorporate a
significant amount of duplicative man-hours and could be

Risk Analysis - Directorate of Customs Enforcement

6. The Risk Analysis Department of the Directorate of
Customs Enforcement was established seven months ago. Prior
to the establishment of this dedicated department, risk
analysis was conducted by the customs enforcement
headquarters watch officer following a review of information
submitted by the shippers. Now this new department is
dedicated to reviewing not only information contained on the
submitted manifest, but also information on companies,
drivers, and from other relevant sources. The computer
system which is being used to collect and flag shipments of
concern is about 6 years old and utilizes information input
by the border locations and headquarters.

7. The Directorate of Customs Enforcement utilizes two
information systems to develop its list of high risk
vehicles. These systems are the Land Border Information
System and the Intelligence Information System. The Land

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Border Information System provides basic information
concerning the driver, companies, the product and other key
information. This information is screened against high risk
criteria and provides a score. If the score is above the
allowable threshold, the vehicle is required to go through
additional inspection.

8. There appear to be no standard rules for entering exam
information and results. Line inspectors may enter written
exam results without the benefit of codes or a standard
method, possibly leading to misinformation. Results for
negative exams are not always entered into the various
systems. CBP instructors commented that a significant
historical data base and information can be gained from the
negative exams as well as the positive exams. This
information can assist targeters in selection of the higher
risk shipments, if a shipper has a strong record of negative
results. It was also noted that information not entered into
the system was information that was lost for future

9. The Directorate of Customs Enforcement also utilizes a
vehicle tracking system for high risk trucks transiting
through Turkey. This system utilizes a GPS tracking device
being attached to the truck by a Customs official as the
truck crosses the Turkish border. The device provides a
signal which is transmitted back to Customs Headquarters. The
truck is then tracked as it proceeds through Turkey.
Shipments that deviate from their intended routes are subject
to additional inspections when they attempt to cross the
border leaving Turkey. The transmitting devices are then
removed as the truck is processed out of the country.

Risk Analysis - General Directorate of Customs

10. During meetings with members of the risk analysis
department of the General Directorate of Customs, CBP
instructors were given a presentation of the methods which
are used to conduct risk analysis. The process used by the
General Directorate includes:

a. Information is currently being collected via paper forms
which are manually input into an Excel database for storage
and future review.

b. Individual targeters manually review the database for
anomalies or other information which raise certain flags of
concern. The shipments that do become shipments of concern
are then identified and this information is passed to the
border location. If the shipment has not already cleared the
crossing, it is subject to additional inspections. Because
all reviews are done manually through the large databases,
there have been cases where possibly at risk shipments have
cleared the crossing before being identified by Custom

c. The database tracks inspections which uncover violations
of Turkish laws or regulations but does not track negative
inspections as reported from the field inspectors.

d. The database utilized by the General Directorate of
Customs is not linked to any of the databases being utilized
by Customs Enforcement.

Suggested Areas of Future Cooperation

11. Improvements to the database storage and access. The
data which is being collected and stored by the General
Directorate of Customs needs to be migrated from the current
Excel files to a more modern database system. CBP has
developed a system which can access old databases to draw
from this important historical information to assist in
improving targeting. If possible, a model or prototype of
the US system could be shared with Turkish Customs which
would greatly assist in their targeting procedures.

12. Information sharing is an important step in the
targeting and risk management process. Turkish Customs would
benefit from the linking of their targeting database
information. Information collected by Customs Enforcement
officers could benefit the General Directorate of Customs in
their targeting of shipments that are trying to elude taxes
or tariffs. Also, border locations would be able to receive
one list of high risk vehicles which would allow them to
focus more attention on the actual actions at the border
location, which also could raise suspicions on a particular
shipment. CBP could provide additional information on the
positive results of sharing of information and ways which

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have succeeded in the US in improving results without
diminishing authorities.

13. Collection methods for negative result inspections need
to be implemented. Turkish Customs now actively collects
positive results information from inspections, however
negative information is not collected. This negative
information is just as important as the positive inspections
and needs to be collected and incorporated into historic
files. Turkish Customs would greatly benefit from assistance
from IT experts in the development of databases which would
allow easier collection and access to historic information.

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