Search

 

Cablegate: 100-Percent Scanning "Unworkable," Says Singapore

VZCZCXRO3846
RR RUEHCHI RUEHDT RUEHHM RUEHNH
DE RUEHGP #2150/01 3390636
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 050636Z DEC 07
FM AMEMBASSY SINGAPORE
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4537
INFO RUCNASE/ASEAN MEMBER COLLECTIVE
RUEHHK/AMCONSUL HONG KONG 6292
RUEHGH/AMCONSUL SHANGHAI 0083
RUEHIN/AIT TAIPEI 6420
RULSDMK/DEPT OF TRANSPORTATION WASHDC
RUEAHLC/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY CENTER WASHINGTON DC

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 02 SINGAPORE 002150

SIPDIS

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ETRD EWWT ETTC PTER ECON USTR SN
SUBJECT: 100-PERCENT SCANNING "UNWORKABLE," SAYS SINGAPORE

REF: A. SINGAPORE 1612

B. STATE 108528
C. STATE 119837

SINGAPORE 00002150 001.2 OF 002


1. (SBU) Summary: The Singapore government remains opposed
to the "100-percent" scanning provision of the 9/11 Act,
calling it "unworkable" in its current form. Senior GOS
officials have urged in meetings, formal letters, and public
fora that the USG reconsider the legislation.
Singapore-based business representatives appear less
concerned about the new requirements, but have told us they
have their doubts about implementation. End summary.

GOS Gives Thumbs Down to 100-Percent Scanning
---------------------------------------------

2. (SBU) GOS reaction to the new 100-percent legislation has
been unenthusiastic. In an August 2007 letter to Secretary
Chertoff, Transportation Minister Raymond Lim noted "serious
concerns about the significant negative impact" the law would
have on trade efficiency (ref A). Lim highlighted three
points, excerpted below:

1) A 100-percent scanning feasibility study (under the Secure
Freight Initiative) has not yet commenced. Therefore, the
United States and other countries do not have an appreciation
for the types of problems that could arise.

2) The new requirements will result in higher costs for U.S.
consumers.

3) Current technology will not allow for an effective
assessment of the data generated by the project.

Lim also outlined several technical concerns related to costs
and duplication of data collection.

3. (SBU) Singapore's Ambassador to Washington Chan Heng Chee
called the legislation "unworkable" in a July meeting with
A/S Sullivan (ref B). She noted that a pilot program in Hong
Kong had failed to produce "usable results." Singapore is a
participant is several USG security initiatives, but does not
seem to receive any tangible benefits for its compliance, she
said. Modern Singapore's founding father and senior
statesmen, Lee Kuan Yew, has also made disparaging remarks in
public about the legislation.

The View from the Private Sector
--------------------------------

4. (SBU) Econoffs met recently with more than a dozen
members of the American Chamber of Commerce's Manufacturing
and Supply Chain Committee to discuss the new legislation.
Approximately half of the attendees professed to have no
prior knowledge of the new requirements. Among the companies
represented were PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hewlett-Packard,
Kodak, and Maersk Shipping lines.

5. (SBU) AmCham members seemed less negative than the GOS
about the legislation's effect on their businesses, but
raised several questions. Issues related to data processing
and standards generated the most concern. Like the GOS, they
doubted the USG's ability to extract meaningful information
from the voluminous data that 100-percent scanning will
produce. They also questioned how the USG would go about
setting standards and definitions to ensure consistency in
the implementation process. In particular, the participants
wondered if DHS would impose the same technology requirements
on every port in the world. If not, would it harmonize the
data collected from different machines in different
locations? AmCham representatives urged the USG to engage in
extensive trials before implementation to ensure that systems
and operating plans were in place that will maximize
flexibility and minimize failure rates.

Comment
-------

6. (SBU) The GOS will continue to resist the 100-percent
scanning legislation requirements in the hopes they will "go
away." If the requirements are maintained, we expect the GOS
will seek compliance exceptions that would enable it to delay
implementation beyond 2012 (per the provisions of the 9/11
Act.) Singapore has been a willing partner in programs such
as the Container Security Initiative (CSI) and Megaports, and
we are currently negotiating the launch of a Secure Freight

SINGAPORE 00002150 002.2 OF 002


Initiative (SFI) pilot here. However, Singapore complains
that we do not always follow up on representations made in
connection with earlier initiatives (e.g., access to customs
"green lanes" under CSI) even as we impose new expectations
and requirements. The possible negative repercussions of
100-percent scanning to the port of Singapore's bottom line
appear to be the main cause of GOS concern.

Visit Embassy Singapore's Classified website:
http://www.state.sgov.gov/p/eap/singapore/ind ex.cfm
HERBOLD

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

UN SDG: UN Appoints Twenty Eminent Thinkers To Shed New Light On The World’s Greatest Challenges

New York, 21 January 2021 – Twenty prominent personalities, globally renowned for their intellectual leadership in economic and social fields, will form the second United Nations High-level Advisory Board (HLAB) on Economic and Social Affairs, the ... More>>

UN: As COVID Deaths Pass Two Million Worldwide, Guterres Warns Against Self-Defeating ‘Vaccinationalism'

With more than two million lives now lost worldwide to COVID-19, the UN Secretary-General appealed on Friday for countries to work together and help each other to end the pandemic and save lives. In a video statement , Secretary-General António Guterres ... More>>

UN: Violent Attempt At US Capitol To ‘overturn’ Election, Shocking And Incendiary

A group of independent UN rights experts released ... More>>

UN: Guterres To Seek Second Five-year Term
António Guterres will be seeking a second five-year term as UN Secretary-General, which would begin in January 2022.... More>>