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04AMMAN4983 2004-06-17 15:29:00 CONFIDENTIAL Embassy Amman
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					  C O N F I D E N T I A L SECTION 01 OF 02 AMMAN 004983 


E.O. 12958: DECL: 06/17/2014

REF: A. USDAO AMMAN IIR 6 853 0184 04 (6/15/04)

B. USUN 1357

C. FBIS EUP20040116000015 (1/15/04)

Classified By: DCM David M. Hale. Reasons: 1.5 (C, D)

1. (C) SUMMARY: Government of Jordan (GOJ) Customs
Department described procedures for handling scrap metal and
spare parts at the Al Kerama border station with Iraq, a
process that was upgraded in early May after the CPA issued
licensing procedures in Iraq. Screening at the border
includes an initial radiation scan and document check,
followed by referral of all scrap metal and used spare parts
to a separate border truck yard for review by a Special
Security Committee. Those trucks that pass the committee
screening are sent to a special free zone in Muwaqqar for
further review. New spare parts are sent directly to Zarqa
Free Zone. High-radiation cargos and those lacking proper
documentation are refused entry into Jordan. Of about
400-500 trucks carrying goods from Iraq into Jordan daily,
about 150-200 are hauling scrap metal or used spare parts.
About one percent are rejected and turned back at the border.

2. (U) Jordan's handling of scrap metal has attracted
increasing attention since a batch of low-radiation
"yellow-cake" uranium oxide turned up at a Rotterdam scrap
metal company last December (Ref C) sourced to a Jordanian
scrap firm that was selling material from Iraq. Recent press
reports have reported on the appearance in Jordan's scrap
yards of hazardous scrap and apparently brand new materials
-- including metal cables -- that may have been looted from
Iraq sites, including possibly reconstruction projects.

3. (C) Ref A notes that some scrap metal shipments contain
suspect unexploded ordnance (UXO) requiring EOD evaluation at
the Al Muwaqqar site near the Sahab industrial area 30
kilometers southeast of Amman. Ref B notes UNMOVIC finding
UNMOVIC-tagged dual-use items in Jordanian scrap yards, but
does not indicate any UNMOVIC coordination with Jordanian

GOJ Policy and Procedures on Scrap Metal From Iraq



4. (SBU) Amjad Al-Majdoubeh, a special assistant to the
Customs Director General, told us June 17 that GOJ Customs
halted imports of scrap from Iraq immediately after the Iraq
war, but had loosened the prohibition by the fall. In
December 2003 the GOJ established a Special Security
Committee at the Al-Kerama border to review incoming
shipments of scrap metal and used spare parts. GOJ Customs
began tightening up its procedures on these shipments in
early May after CPA issued regulations implemented by Iraq's
Ministry of Trade for licensing the export of scrap metal
from Iraq in April, he stated. Al-Majdoubeh telephoned the
Al-Kerama border station customs director in our presence to
verify the current procedures. GOJ procedures at the Iraq
border include radiation monitoring at the border gate where
Customs agents carry out the first physical inspection of
trucks and review the documentation. Required papers include
an invoice or bill of lading and an Iraqi manifest from the
Iraqi Border Police (Customs). If papers are not in order or
radiation levels are above those set by Jordan's Atomic
Energy Commission, the trucks are turned back at the first
border station gate. Border gate inspectors are also trained
to make an eyeball inspection for any possible arms or
ordnance in scrap shipments.

5. (SBU) All trucks carrying scrap metal or used spare parts
that pass the first inspection at Al-Kerama are directed to a
special border truck yard for further inspection by the
Special Security Committee, which includes officers from
Customs, Interior, intelligence, and the military. Trucks
passing this next inspection are directed to the Inquairn
Free Zone in Al Muwaqqar.

6. (SBU) Al-Majdoubeh emphasized that trucks carrying new
spare parts are not subjected to this inspection regime;
rather, if new parts meet the documentation requirements they
are sent on the Customs Free Zone in Zarqa, he said.

Military Scrap Destined for Europe and India


7. (SBU) According to the Al-Kerama border customs
director, an average of 400-500 trucks carrying goods pass
out of Iraq to Jordan each day (excluding empty trucks). Of
these, about 150-200 are carrying scrap metal or used parts,
he relayed over the phone. He said that only about two
trucks each day were turned back at the border after
undergoing all border inspections. When asked why so many
trucks were hauling scrap, he noted that most were carrying
used military equipment or parts.

8. (SBU) Al-Majdoubeh said that most of the scrap metal and
used parts transits Jordan through Aqaba port for shipment to
scrap yards in Europe and India.

9. (SBU) Irregular shipments to date have included whole
machines disassembled and passed off as used parts and
low-radiation shipments, said Al-Majdoubeh.

10. (C) COMMENT: While an improved inspection regime is in
place at the border, those irregular shipments that get
through are a source of concern. Jordan's ongoing review of
a Border Management Task Force will be one positive step
forward toward more comprehensive handling of the problem.
Also of concern is the policy of turning back high-risk
shipments without any apparent cooperation with Iraqi
authorities. Our source said the GOJ did not know whom to
call on the Iraqi side regarding turn-arounds of hazardous or
rejected shipments, even when communication systems might be