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Cablegate: Arab League Boycott Reporting - Syria

VZCZCXRO4091
PP RUEHBC RUEHDE RUEHDH RUEHKUK RUEHROV
DE RUEHDM #0828 3351217
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 011217Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY DAMASCUS
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 7073
INFO RUEHEE/ARAB LEAGUE COLLECTIVE PRIORITY
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON PRIORITY 0803
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS PRIORITY 0759
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC PRIORITY
RUEHRC/USDA FAS WASHDC PRIORITY
RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC PRIORITY
RHMFISS/USCENTCOM INTEL CEN MACDILL AFB FL PRIORITY

UNCLAS DAMASCUS 000828

SENSITIVE
SIPDIS

DEPT FOR NEA/ELA, NEA/RA, NEA/FO, EEB/EX;
DEPT PASS TO USTR
COMMERCE FOR BIS/SONDERMAN/CHRISTINO
NSC FOR SHAPIRO/MCDERMOTT
TREASURY FOR HAJJAR/CURTIN
PARIS FOR NOBLES
LONDON FOR LORD

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD KBCT PREL SY IS
SUBJECT: ARAB LEAGUE BOYCOTT REPORTING - SYRIA

REF: STATE 120272

1. (SBU) In response to ref A concerning foreign government
applications of the Arab League Boycott (ALB), Syria
continues to be the strictest adherent of the primary and
secondary boycotts. Although it allows goods to be imported
with a positive, rather than negative, country of origin
certificate, Syria strictly monitors and controls entry into
its ports by ships that have made calls in Israel. Syria
often requires certification of commercial activity in Israel
by companies seeking to register trademarks or acquire import
licenses. However, Syria has shown restraint and limited its
enforcement of the tertiary boycott.

2. (SBU) In 2008, the SARG approved Directive No. 4964/1
exempting all new trademarks, patents, industrial drawings
and design applications from the Israeli Boycott declaration.
The directive was implemented on September 1, 2009.

3. (SBU) Syria maintains its own blacklist of firms for the
boycott, separate from the outdated Arab League Boycott
Office list.

4. (SBU) Damascus is host to the Arab League's Central
Boycott Office (CBO). The CBO holds official regional
meetings in Damascus twice per year. During its last
meeting, Syria proposed that the boycott be fully reinstated
by all Arab League members and that a study be conducted to
determine how to enforce this policy.

5. (SBU) The SARG's boycott practices have not had a
substantive impact on U.S. businesses because Syria has been
subject to U.S. economic sanctions since May 2004.

6. (SBU) In addition to the CBO, Syria maintains an ALB
office under the wing of the Ministry of Defense. Among the
duties of this ALB office is to recommend to the Ministry of
Economy and Trade the banning of certain companies from
operating in Syria and deleting names of companies from the
"Blacklist".
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