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Cablegate: Thai Concerns About 100 Percent Cargo Scanning

VZCZCXRO3203
PP RUEHCHI
DE RUEHBK #2321 2540924
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 110924Z SEP 09
FM AMEMBASSY BANGKOK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 8243
RHMFIUU/DEPT OF HOMELAND SECURITY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RHMCSUU/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
INFO RUEHCHI/AMCONSUL CHIANG MAI 6972

UNCLAS BANGKOK 002321

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KHLS EWWT ETRD TH
SUBJECT: Thai Concerns About 100 Percent Cargo Scanning

1. SUMMARY: This is an action request, see paragraph 7. The Thai
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the local American business
community have expressed concern about the practical implications of
future U.S. regulations on maritime freight. The QImplementing
Recommendations of the 9/11 Commission Act of 2007Q (9/11 Act)
indicates that by July 1, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security
(DHS) will be required to perform 100 percent cargo scanning on all
freight bound for the United States. The MFA has requested a
detailed explanation on how this will be accomplished and raised
questions about the potential ramifications for trade. It has
organized a seminar to take place September 21-23, 2009 in Bangkok
and at local ports to address the issue. END SUMMARY.

2. The 9/11 Act (Section 1701) requires that Qa container that was
loaded on a vessel in a foreign port shall not enter the United
States (either directly or via a foreign port) unless the container
was scanned by nonintrusive imaging equipment and radiation
detection equipment before it was loaded on a vessel,Q with an
implementation date of July 1, 2012. Although the Act allows DHS a
range of exceptions to extend the deadline indefinitely, the MFA has
requested an explanation of what this act will require specifically
in order to prepare their major ports as soon as possible. (NOTE:
Thailand has been a loyal partner on related security initiatives.
The Container Security Initiative (CSI) has been operational for
several years at the Port of Laem Chabang, and the Megaports
Initiative (MI) has been opera I]3X;M5Qams and long delays, and will Royal Thai Customs receive sufficient
warning before regulations are put in place? What role will the USG
play in these scanning procedures?

6. The local American business community has echoed these questions
and shares these concerns. The head of the transportation committee
for the American Chamber of Commerce, who will participate in this
seminar, has stated that American businesspeople are not aware of
the details of existing initiatives and that the MFA is right to
raise these issues both for Thai interests and for the sake of
American businesses that are involved in import and export in
Thailand.

7. ACTION REQUEST: Post requests relevant guidance by cable or
email from the Department of State, DOE, and DHS regarding questions
of the MFA and business community. PostQs point of contact is
Anthony Pirnot (mail: pirnotav@state.gov; phone: 66-2-205-4698;
fax: 66-2-254-2839). END ACTION REQUEST.

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