Cablegate: Exbs Program in Morocco Ready to Evolve


DE RUEHRB #0739/01 2441538
P 011538Z SEP 09




E.O. 12958: N/A

REF: A. STATE 123198
B. RABAT 0545

1. (SBU) Summary: The Department's Export Control and
Related Border Security (EXBS) Program has led a
well-received, coordinated interagency effort to improve
Morocco's export control and border security system since
2007. Morocco has recently reached a "turning point" in its
trade control system, however, and needs to start
strategically focusing its attention on targeted operational
training, drafting a trade control law and adopting a control
list that meets international standards. Moroccan Customs
and Ministry of Foreign Trade (MFT) officials have conveyed
to the Mission official requests for specific assistance,
including equipment, operational support, technical exchanges
and training. Post priorities for EXBS funding of GOM
requests include assisting in the development of a national
control list, providing expertise to implement export control
regulations, organizing an exchange to the U.S. for working
level export control experts, additional licensing training
and border security equipment. Post also recommends more
comprehensive coordination of EXBS assistance with other USG
and other donor programs to align more closely with Moroccan
needs. End Summary.


2. (SBU) The Department of State's Export Control and
Related Border Security (EXBS) Program has been leading
interagency efforts to improve Morocco's export control and
border security system since 2007. In 2009 EXBS provided
assistance in commodity identification, regional security and
small arms/portable anti-aircraft missiles (MANPADS), EU
control list conversion, and the development of export
control regulations. EXBS also donated personal radiation
detectors and sponsored a delegation of Moroccans to attend
and present at the Tenth International Export Control
Conference in Istanbul, Turkey. The Government of Morocco
(GOM) appreciates and values EXBS assistance. The GOM
assesses that the assistance provided thus far has increased
its capabilities to enforce existing export controls.
However, the GOM recognizes that its current export control
framework is inadequate and seeks further USG assistance to
replace the current regime with updated laws and regulations
that meet international standards.

3. (SBU) MFT Director of Foreign Trade Policy Zahra Maafiri
told EconOff that the EXBS programs in Morocco have laid the
foundation for Morocco to develop a legal framework for
export controls. "We have reached a turning point in the
development of the Moroccan export controls system," she
emphasized, which requires more targeted assistance. A few
existing laws and decrees control military items,
radiological sources and materials related to health and
environmental safety, but Morocco does not have a strategic
trade control law or control list consistent with
international standards. The GOM would like to develop a
completely new legal and regulatory framework to govern
exports. In order to implement this new system, the MFT
delivered to the Embassy an official request for technical
assistance to help Morocco "contribute efficiently to the
international efforts being undertaken to combat the
proliferation of weapons of mass destruction." The MFT
seeks USG assistance in targeted operational training,
drafting a trade control law and adopting a control list that
meets international standards.

4. (SBU) The seven areas for technical assistance that the
MFT identified in its request include:

-- Providing Morocco with hands-on expert assistance for
putting in place a legal framework governing exports control
of dual use items;

-- Assisting the Ministry to put in place an agency that will
be in charge of the export control of dual use items,
particularly licensing (Note: In accordance with provisions
of Law 13/89 related to foreign trade and its governing laws
and regulations, MFT is in charge of licensing products
submitted to the exports approval regime. End Note.);

-- Helping Morocco to identify the components of a national
list of dual use items;

-- Assisting the Ministry in developing a mechanism to
control the export of dual use items;
-- Assisting with capacity building for licensing officials;

-- Organizing study and information tours to U.S. ports and
other U.S. authorities in charge of controlling the export of
dual use items to allow experts from Morocco, particularly
the MFT, Customs, and Ministry for the Administration of
National Defense, to learn from relevant U.S. entities'
related experience; and,

-- Assisting the MFT in raising industrial sector awareness
of the importance of export control of dual use items.


5. (SBU) Moroccan Customs officials have similarly conveyed
appreciation for the high level of cooperation between
Morocco and the United States, particularly on the EXBS
Program. They also continually stress that they would like
training to be more practical and hands-on, with less theory.
Customs Director of Training Yamina Andoh told EconOff that
Morocco needs most support at its Customs Training Academy in
Casablanca, which provides training to all Moroccan Customs
personnel as well as to Customs officials of other
French-speaking African countries. The Director of the
training academy, Abderrazak El Mergaoui, provided EconOff
with a list of the Academy's needs, including training
equipment (desk-top and laptop computers, intelligent boards,
digital video conference equipment, etc.), Customs training
documents in French or Arabic and a request for practical
operational training from U.S. Customs experts. Customs
Officials made the same request to International Narcotics
and Law Enforcement (INL) Regional Coordinator Aaron Alton
during a recent visit (Ref B). As INL has already obligated
USD 875,000 to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for
supporting the Moroccan Customs Training Center, Post urges
EXBS to consider giving priority to other worthwhile security
efforts in Morocco.

6. (SBU) During the donation ceremony for EXBS-provided
personal radiation monitors, Customs Head of International
Cooperation Fatha Hajjar thanked the USG for the constant
support but highlighted Customs' pressing need for X-ray
scanners for ports and border posts. The only posts with
scanners in stock are the ports of Casablanca, Tangier,
Tangier-Med, Nador, Agadir, and the border post of
Guergarate, Hajjar noted. Despite the administration's
efforts, he stressed, &we do not yet cover all ports and
land border posts and sometimes the scanning coverage
available is not sufficient for the size of the port (i.e.
Casablanca).8 In order to reduce risk and properly manage
border security, Hajjar added, Morocco needs more scanners
and help maintaining and operating them.

7. (SBU) Customs subsequently provided an official request
listing their current stock and scanning needs. The
inventory and request follows:

Current Stock:

-- 2 NUCTECH LIMITED 6 MeV moveable scanners (Casablanca and

-- 4 NUCTECH LIMITED 4.5 MeV mobile scanners (Tangier, Nador
and Agadir)

-- 2 SMITH DETECTION 4.5 MeV mobile scanners (Tangier and

-- 1 SMITH DETECTION 6 MeV moveable scanner (Tangier-Med)


-- 5 Z Backscatter X-Ray drive-through system for light

-- 5 Mobile Scanning systems with a minimum power of 4.5 MeV


8. (SBU) Based on an evaluation of GOM needs and USG
programs, Post recommends ISN/ECC review its offering of
border enforcement assistance to avoid duplication of the
efforts of other USG agencies in Morocco. Ref A proposals
for International Seaport Interdiction Training, Special
Teams Operations Training and Targeting and Risk Management
Training are comparable in scope and projected audience to
trainings offered to Morocco by INL, the U.S. Coast Guard
and/or DHS Customs and Border Patrol. The GOM has told us
that it is aware of its export control technical assistance
needs and does not require further assessments to help
identify them. Ref B outlines Post's priorities that have
been identified for INL programs and funding, including areas
of INL interest that support EXBS goals. Based on prior
assessments and consultations with GOM officials, Post does
not recommend further EXBS assessments of Morocco's export
control system. (Note: Although the University of
Georgia,s Center for International Trade and Security (CITS)
has already been contracted to conduct an export control
assessment in Morocco, Post believes this is unnecessary and
would likely be perceived by the GOM as duplicative and
non-responsive to current requirements. We recommend that
EXBS reprogram this CITS funding, if possible, to provide
instead advisory assistance for the implementation of export
control regulations. End Note.)

9. (SBU) Post priorities for EXBS funding of GOM requests
are as follows:

-- Assisting Morocco to develop a national control list;

-- Providing consulting expertise required for drawing up and
implementing a regulatory framework for dual use commodities
(This assistance could consist of a team of U.S. export
control experts visiting Morocco for an exchange with MFT
regulations officials.);

-- Organizing a policy exchange visit to the U.S. for
working-level Moroccan export control experts (including
Customs, MFT and National Security Officials);

-- Further capacity building of licensing officials; and,

-- Providing customs and border security equipment including
scanners and/or assistance operating and maintaining the
current stock of scanning equipment.

10. (SBU) Comment: The GOM's efforts to prioritize needs and
convey these requests for technical assistance are a welcome
opportunity to evaluate and align USG offerings to ensure
that we meet EXBS export control goals for Morocco while
strengthening the level of cooperation with the GOM. GOM
officials have in the past passively accepted foreign offers
of technical assistance without internal coordination to
de-conflict programs offered by different donor countries.
The result is that the same or very similar workshops have
been provided by the U.S., the EU or other foreign donors.
(For example, the German export control authority, Federal
Office of Economics and Export Control (BAFA), has
facilitated EU control list training in Morocco almost
identical to the EU Control List Conversion Seminar that EXBS
funded in May). End Comment.

Visit Embassy Rabat's Classified Website; cco


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