Cablegate: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Assistant Commissioner

DE RUEHWL #0764/01 2901843
R 171843Z OCT 07





E.O. 12958: N/A
SUBJECT: U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's Assistant Commissioner
Mullen consults with New Zealand interlocutors.

1. Michael C. Mullen, Assistant Commissioner in the Office of
International Affairs and Trade Relations at the U.S. Customs and
Border Protection (CBP) was in Auckland, New Zealand from September
9 to 12, 2007 to attend the NZ-US Partnership Forum and to meet with
his counterparts in the GNZ especially those at the New Zealand
Customs Service (NZCS). Most significantly he had an opportunity to
consult with Martyn Dunne, Chief Executive Officer for NZCS. Mr.
Mullen's message was to reaffirm CBP's interest in working
strategically with the NZCS and to thank Mr. Dunne for his
leadership role with the international intelligence community
forums. He also reaffirmed CBP's commitment to the international
intelligence community Conference Forums and provided an update on
CBP activities related to the tasks accepted by the USG at the first
Forum held on June 27, 2007. Mr. Mullen also wanted to personally
reassure GNZ officials that he saw no immediate impact on the way
that CBP currently screens cargo destined for the U.S. - over time
some changes may take place, but only after extensive consultations
with the public and trade community and our foreign partners. He
sought to allay local concerns following the recent announcement by
the USG to implement the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act, signed
by the President on August 3, 2007, which requires 100% screening of
all sea freight destined for the U.S. leaving foreign embarkation

2. Mr. Mullen also discussed a recent decision made by the USG to
reorganize/enhance CBP's intelligence function. This change, which
is effective October 1, 2007, involves several offices being
consolidated into a new Office of Intelligence and Operations
Coordination. This new office will be responsible for the entire
intelligence cycle and ensuring that intelligence is packaged to
serve CBP operators and is closely aligned with passenger and cargo
targeting efforts. The office will be at the Assistant Commissioner
level and consist of four divisions: Intelligence and Situational
Awareness, Targeting and Analysis, Field Coordination, and Incident
Management and Operations Coordination.

3. There were also discussions about the next international
intelligence community's meeting in San Francisco. It is hoped that
the meeting will afford an opportunity to discuss strategic
priorities and future customs roles with the goal of establishing
working sub-groups that will focus on specific areas of strategic
cooperation amongst the members. During the last international
intelligence community's meeting, CBP agreed to complete the
following tasks:
--CBP agreed to create a straw man on the topic of Customs in the
21st Century. A copy of the draft was promised by September 15th to
review prior to the next meeting.
--CBP is thinking about the future of discussions of customs in
the 21st Century in conjunction with the World Customs Organization
(WCO). Mullen said it is important to have strong leadership in
those discussions. New Zealand has put forward very interesting
ideas for this paper. He asked if NZ would contemplate take an
active stance in guiding these deliberations in the WCO.
--CBP agreed to reexamine the eight strategic priorities
identified in the Intelligence Meeting held in March 2007 and to be
prepared to discuss these strategic priorities. This review is
still taking place, and CBP should be ready for discussions by time
the next International intelligence community meeting occurs.
--CBP agreed to host the next international intelligence community
meeting in San Francisco in the Fall of 2007. The dates under
consideration are the weeks of October 29th or November 5th.
--CBP agreed to provide the members of the international
intelligence community with information on its proposed Global Trade
Exchange (GTX) initiative so that each member may determine its
interest in participating in a trial of the data exchange.
Additional information will be brought to the next international
intelligence community meeting for GNZ consideration.
--The discussions regarding the benefits to be derived from our
mutual recognition agreement appear to be proceeding well.

4. During the last international intelligence community meeting, CBP
agreed to following tasks:
--Create a draft document on the topic of Customs in the 21st
--Reexamine the eight strategic priorities identified in the
Intelligence Meeting held in March 2007 and to be prepared to
discuss these strategic priorities;
--Host the next international intelligence community meeting in
San Francisco, CA, in the Fall of 2007;
--Provide the members of the international intelligence community
with information on the proposed Global Trade Exchange (GTX)
initiative so that each member could determine its interest in
participating in a trial of the data exchange.

5. Post trip follow-up:

WELLINGTON 00000764 002 OF 002

-- CBP to indicate whether Acting Commissioner Mullen or other CBP
executive can travel to New Zealand later this year to brief the New
Zealand Meat Industry Association Board regarding cargo
-- CBP to contact the Department of Energy to determine if an
official can brief New Zealand on the Megaports initiative. Note:
National Nuclear Security Administration's (NNSA) Megaports
Initiative teams up with other countries to enhance their ability to
screen cargo at major international seaports. The Initiative
provides radiation detection equipment and trains their personnel to
specifically check for nuclear or other radioactive materials. In
return, NNSA requires that data be shared on detections and seizures
of nuclear or radiological material that resulted from the use of
the equipment provided. The Megaports Initiative works closely with
the Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) Bureau of Customs and
Border Protection Container Security Initiative. Together NNSA and
DHS engage other countries to help secure the international maritime
trade lanes. End Note.


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