WCO releases guidelines for cargo scanning equipment
The World Customs Organization has released guidelines to its member customs administrations about what they should consider when buying and operating cargo scanning equipment.
Many customs administrations plan to purchase either X-ray or gamma ray equipment to help them more efficiently check containerized cargoes, but the equipment is expensive.
“To justify the outlay, and to ensure the maximum return for the investment, it is necessary to ensure scanning equipment is used effectively and that it is fully integrated into the risk assessment regime,” the Brussels-based organization’s guidelines said. “The experience of customs administrations who currently use it emphasizes that planning for the equipment’s introduction at an early stage is essential.”
The guidelines strongly recommend that a customs administration carry out a cost/benefit analysis that includes not only the cost of the machines, but their maintenance and return to operations.
The guidelines also review the general types of cargo scanning technologies available on the market and how they may be integrated into day-to-day customs operations.
The WCO warned its members that the guidelines cannot provide customs administrations with “quick answers” to their equipment investment decisions. “Those will depend to a great extent on your specific circumstances, including the reaction of local trade interests,” the WCO said.