US embassy cable - 03HALIFAX51

U.S. CUSTOMS AT HALIFAX PORT

Identifier: 03HALIFAX51
Wikileaks: View 03HALIFAX51 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Halifax
Created: 2003-02-27 21:02:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: PTER ASEC PREL ETRD EWWT CA Ports
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
This record is a partial extract of the original cable. The full text of the original cable is not available.

272102Z Feb 03
UNCLAS HALIFAX 0051 
 
SIPDIS 
 
STATE FOR WHA/CAN 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: PTER, ASEC, PREL, ETRD, EWWT, CA, Ports 
SUBJECT:  U.S. CUSTOMS AT HALIFAX PORT 
 
 
1.   SENSITIVE BUT UNCLASSIFIED Q ENTIRE TEXT. 
 
2.   SUMMARY: Canada Customs and Revenue Agency  (CCRA) 
officials in Halifax are pleased with the cooperation they 
have enjoyed over the past year with the U.S. Customs 
inspectors assigned to work at the Halifax port.  Since U.S. 
Customs began assigning inspectors to Halifax on a rotating 
basis last March, CCRA has scrutinized nearly 500 U.S.-bound 
marine shipping containers specifically at the request of 
their U.S. colleagues, in addition to the 3,000-3,500 
containers that CCRA normally inspects for its own reasons. 
Local CCRA officials would welcome a permanent U.S. Customs 
presence here.  END SUMMARY. 
 
3.   On February 25, CG visited the customs facility where 
two U.S. Customs inspectors are working with their Canadian 
counterparts in identifying U.S.-bound marine shipping 
containers that merit closer scrutiny and inspection.  Both 
the U.S. Customs personnel and the CCRA officials with whom 
they work spoke highly of the collaboration that has evolved 
since last March, when U.S. first sent two inspectors here. 
The U.S. Customs inspectors commented that they receive full 
cooperation from CCRAQs container targeting unit and have 
never had a problem persuading CCRA to inspect a U.S.-bound 
container at their request.  The targeting unit is co- 
located with the inspection facility. 
 
4.   Senior CCRA officials in Halifax have told CG that this 
arrangement has worked out very well thus far.  They noted 
that it has been beneficial for both sides that the U.S. 
Customs people have access to a different database and can 
therefore make slightly different decisions about which 
containers coming in to Halifax port might be suspicious. 
They insisted that CCRA is happy to isolate and inspect any 
container flagged by the U.S. inspectors and that there have 
been no jurisdictional problems.  Since the U.S. inspectors 
arrived, CCRA has inspected almost 500 U.S.-bound shipping 
containers at their request.  The CCRA officials observed 
that this statistic compares favorably with those at the 
ports of Montreal and Vancouver, both of which have a higher 
volume of U.S.-traffic.  Halifax annually inspects a total 
of over 3,000-3,500 containers that have come to the 
attention of CCRA or other law-enforcement agencies for 
various reasons. 
 
5.   Our local CCRA contacts believe it would be 
advantageous if U.S. Customs decided to make its presence at 
Halifax port permanent.  They pointed out that each newly 
assigned TDY inspector over the past year has had to spend 
some time developing the necessary personal working 
relationships with Canadian counterparts, as well as having 
to undergo a certain learning curve with regard to CCRA 
practices and procedures.   Assigning U.S. Customs people 
here on a more permanent basis would solve this problem. 
Co-locating U.S. inspectors with the Canadian 
targeting/inspection unit makes sense, they argued, and 
might be even more feasible on a long-term basis once the 
unit moves to a new, larger facility  this spring. 
 
 
KASHKETT 

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