Rapiscan introduces advanced dual-view X-ray system

rapiscan_638dv-320_version2__largeThe new Rapiscan 638DV 320kV is an advanced dual-view X-ray system with a 1837 mm wide by 1800 mm high tunnel opening for screening ULD type, ISO standard, and large cargo pallet type freight.

The new 638DV 320kV features high penetration, dual-view technology and explosives and narcotics detection alert supporting secure inspection and higher throughput for air cargo screening and customs applications.

Detection of Explosives and Narcotics Alert
Target™ and NARCScan™ are designed to assist operators in the detection of a wide range of explosives and narcotics respectively in real time during the scanning process by marking a potential threat on the X-ray image. Rapiscan detection algorithms are based on regulatory material analysis techniques.

Dual View Advanced Technology
As mandated by US and EU regulators, the 638DV 320kV utilizes a dual-view technology which produces two simultaneous images (vertical and horizontal views) of the scanned object. It provides a more complete image, thereby reducing the need for repositioning and rescanning and enabling rapid, accurate and comprehensive threat detection.

Ease of Use Providing Highest Throughput
With over 14 image processing tools and detection alert algorithms, the feature-rich software allows the operator to more easily and accurately search for contraband. Source: Rapiscan

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WCO News – October 2015 Edition

WCO News N°78 - October 2015The October 2015 Edition focuses on the subject of e-Commerce, among’st other developments at the WCO. There’s a discussion on a new book which provides insight into the economic benefits of implementing a single window system, as well as a review of a book titled  ‘The Politics of Trade and Tobacco Control’.

Other articles include an overview of Russia’s Training Centre for NII System experts; Prospects for Africa’s Tripartite Free Trade Agreement in the light of lessons learned from the East African Community and a panorama of diverse discussion articles concerning Customs standards, education, and Customs response to challenges posed by a world of rampant crime and natural disasters. Download and enjoy! Source: WCO

Non-Intrusive Inspection capability – now in the Port of Cape Town

South African Customs has introduced non- intrusive inspection (NII) capability at the Port of Cape Town. The recent completion of an impressive relocatable scanner facility within the port precinct will now afford state of the art inspection services for customs targeted consignments for inspection. This is the third X-Ray scanner installed and operated by the South African Revenue Service (SARS).

In March 2008, a mobile scanner was implemented at Durban Container Terminal. More recently, a relocatable X-Ray Scanner was implemented adjacent to the container terminal in Durban to allow for improved capacity and efficiency.

The new facility in Cape Town not only extends customs risk and enforcement capability in the use of such technology but acts as a deterrent against any possible threat posed by international cargoes entering or leaving the country’s ports of entry.

In addition to the new x-ray inspection hardware, SARS has developed bespoke support to allow scanned images to be reviewed remotely – away from the port area – affording customs increased flexibility, allowing image analysis experts elsewhere in the country to provide almost real-time analysis and support for the inspection team. The approach also meets SARS differentiated inspection case methodology which ensures that case finalization and cargo release does not rest with a single customs official.

Remote screening analysis is a practice that has already been pioneered in Europe with great effectiveness in recent years.

The benefit of non-intrusive inspection (NII) allows customs to ‘see whats inside’ the container, vehicle or tanker without having to break the seal. All of this can be done in a few minutes. It forms part of Customs overall approach to minimise the time taken to conduct a customs intervention and latent cost, damage and theft which plague conventional physical inspection of cargoes.

The new inspection site also enables SARS to increase its participation and effectiveness in the US Container Security Initiative (CSI) which was launched in Durban, December 2003. Under the CSI Agreement, SARS officials together with US Customs & Border Protection Agency (USCBP) officials – co-located at the Port of Durban – analyze and mitigate risks relating to any containerised cargo destined to ports in the United States.

Credit to Indresan Reddy (Customs Business Systems) for the photographs.

Related documents

Hong Kong Customs seizes 1.1m sticks of illicit cigarettes worth $3.1m

securityHong Kong Customs mounted a special operation at Lok Ma Chau Control Point to combat organised cigarette smuggling activities. About 1.1 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes with a market value of about $3.1 million and duty potential of about $2.2 million were seized. A 52-year-old male driver was arrested and the vehicle used for conveying the suspected illicit cigarettes was detained.

Customs officers here the other day intercepted an incoming container truck declared to be empty at Lok Ma Chau Control Point.

After X-ray examination and thorough inspection by Customs officers, about 1.1 million sticks of suspected illicit cigarettes in 83 carton boxes were found inside a false compartment of the container. The cigarettes were sorted and packed according to orders placed with a view to quick delivery to buyers.

A Customs spokesman said today (June 5), “The operation showed the effectiveness of the enforcement strategy, especially the escalated enforcement actions against smuggling activities at source. Customs will continue to carry out stringent enforcement action against all illicit cigarette activities.”

Under the Import and Export Ordinance, smuggling is a serious offense. The maximum penalty is a fine of $2 million and imprisonment for seven years. Source: CustomsToday

South African Customs launches new X-Ray Inspection Facility in Durban

SARS Customs New NII Ste - DurbanSARS Customs recently launched its new X-Ray cargo inspection facility adjacent to the Durban Container Terminal in the Port of Durban. Following the trend as in other countries, SARS has identified non-intrusive inspection capability as part of its ‘tiered’ approach to risk management.

In 2008, SARS introduced its very first mobile x-ray scanner which was located inside the Durban container terminal precinct as part of South Africa’s participation in the US Container Security Initiative (CSI). While it has proven itself in the development of Customs NII capability, its location and lack of integration with other Customs automated tools has limited its success.

The new Customs inspection facility is a step-up in technology and automation – a Nuctech MB 1215HL Relocatable Container/Vehicle Inspection System. It has some significant advantages over the original mobile version namely –

  • An efficient and cost-effective security solution with a relatively small footprint (site size).
  • 6 Mev dual energy X-Ray technology with high penetration (through 330 mm of steel).
  • High throughput of 20-25 units of 40ft container vehicles per hour.
  • A unique modular gantry design which improves system relocatability.
  • Self-shielding architecture which requires no additional radiation protection wall.
  • Advanced screening and security features such as organic/inorganic material discrimination.
  • High quality scanning image manipulation tools allowing the customs image reviewer the ability to verify and distinguish the contents of a vehicle or cargo container.

Since its launch more than 350 scans have been performed. Suspect containers were sent for full unpack resulting in various positive findings.

The new relocatable scanner is easier to operate and significantly faster than the mobile scanner. In addition, scanned images are now automatically integrated into SARS Customs case management and inspection software making case management both seamless and efficient.

It is anticipated that until October 2014, both the new scanner and the existing mobile scanner operations will co-exist. During this time, the new scanner will operate risk generated cases directly from SARS automated risk engine. Unscheduled or random interventions will continue to occur at the old scanner site, which operates 24/7.

Plans are in place to decommission the mobile scanner after October 2014. The new scanner will then operate on a 24/7 basis.

Latest US container 100% scanning postponement predictable

Rapiscan_m60UK freight forwarders have welcomed but are not surprised by the latest US postponement by two years of the implementation of new rules requiring all cargo containers entering the US to be security scanned prior to departure from overseas ports, with national association BIFA reiterating calls for the initiative to be abandoned.

Peter Quantrill, Director General of the British International Freight Association (BIFA), said it was “hardly surprising” to hear the recent news that the US had delayed the introduction of the new rules “amid questions over whether this is the best way to protect US ports”, calling the move “a healthy dose of common sense”.

Mr Quantrill commented: “As BIFA has said repeatedly, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has consistently underestimated the enormity of the task in hand relative to the costs both to the US government and foreign governments – as well as, importantly, the limited ability of contemporary screening technology to penetrate dense cargo, or large quantities of cargo in shipping containers.”

The deadline for implementation of 100% scanning of all inbound containers has already been delayed from 2012 to 1 July, 2014, and US Secretary for Homeland Security Jeh Johnson, who took over the role just six months ago, has now reportedly decided on another 24-month postponement.

BIFA’s comments follow the recent news of a letter from Thomas Carper, chairman of the US Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs, which suggested that the use of systems available to scan containers would have a negative impact on trade capacity and the flow of cargo.

Quantrill adds: “Media reports suggest that the US Government now doubts whether it would be able to implement the mandate of 100% scanning, even in the long term, and it would appear that it now shares BIFA’s long-standing opinion that it is not the best use of taxpayer resources to meet the USA’s port security and homeland security needs.

“We have always said that expanding screening with available technology would slow the flow of commerce and drive up costs to consumers without bringing significant security benefits.”

He continued: “Whilst the latest news of a two-year delay appears to be a healthy dose of common sense at the US Department of Homeland Security, BIFA still believes that the US Government ought to take an even bolder step and repeal the original legislation.

“That would be the most appropriate way to address this flawed provision and allow the Department and the industry to continue to focus on real solutions, including strengthened risk-based management systems to address any security gaps that remain in global supply chains.”  Source: Lloyds Loading List

Recent Happenings in the World of Customs Scanning

Herewith a collection of articles on customs non-intrusive inspection around the world. True to form, the acquisition and use of such technology is not without controversy of some sort.

Spanish Customs to use ‘Full-body See-through’ Scanner at Frontier

Backscatter Van

American Science and Engineering’s (AS&E) Z Backscatter Van

July 2013 – The Spanish Government is to deploy a ‘Mobile X-Ray Scanner’ at the frontier to detect cross-frontier smuggling of tobacco. A Panorama Investigation reveals the mobile X-ray scan technology mentioned is one installed and operated in a mobile vehicle (van) – it is system that is potentially dangerous!

These plans are said to be part of a strategy to crack-down on cigarette smuggling across the frontier, which they say is causing untoward damage to the Spanish economy. The regional special representative of ‘La Agencia Tributaria’ (Spanish Tax) Alberto García Valera, says he has found it necessary to spend money and invest heavily on new technologies to combat fraud and tax evasion in places like the Le Linea-Gibraltar Frontier.

‘La Agencia Tributaria’ purportedly placed an order with the American company American Science and Engineering (AS&E) for the delivery of this very sophisticated, hi-tech scan system known as the ZBV S-Class.

The ZBV or Z Backscatter Van, is a mobile X-ray vehicle screening system, it uses technology known as ‘Backscatter’ which provides a photo-like images of concealed objects, such as explosives, drugs, currency trade-fraud items and of course things like cigarettes, but the latter not exclusively so.

The ZBV X-Ray Scanning equipment is integrated into a standard van type vehicle, usually powered by a Mercedes or Chrysler engine. The ZBV creates a photo-like Z Backscatter images showing materials by directing a sweeping beam of X-rays at the object under examination, and then measuring and plotting the intensity of scattered X-rays…if you’re in your car, your body will get zapped by the X-Ray beams!

Read the full report by Panaorama (Gibralter) here!

Axis Cams Integrated with X-ray Scanners Secure Korean Airport Customs

Korean Customs Integrated Control Room - Gimhae International Airport

Korean Customs Integrated Control Room – Gimhae International Airport

November 2013 – Korean Customs at Gimhae International Airport , Busan has introduced Axis network cameras and integrated it with the existing X-ray scanners for checked bags into one location. This has allowed Customs to manage its workforce more efficiently and enhance its monitoring capabilities through the “Choose and Focus” function.

An integrated X-ray viewing room has allowed Korean Custom’s management to divide the workforce into teams of two, and the accuracy of reading and individuals’ reading capabilities have been significantly improved. Since the reading staff has been grouped into teams, their level of fatigue has been reduced, and they can concentrate and read multiple X-ray scans at all times.

Network Cameras with panoramic function in each carousel monitor the CIQ customs, immigration and quarantine area that passengers must go through when departing or arriving. The cameras now permit Customs to accurately track and monitor travellers as they claim their baggage. All stages from Check-in of checked bags to their check-out are carefully recorded, resulting in disputes with travelers about lost or damaged bags can be smoothly resolved. The high-definition network cameras allow the entire route to be monitored for abnormal cargo. It is much easier to identify risks and monitor movement during incidents. Read the full report here! Source: asmag.com

Nigeria Customs takes inventory, evaluates scanning machines ahead of takeover

Nigeria Customs takes inventory, evaluates scanning machines ahead of takeover

Nigeria Customs takes inventory, evaluates scanning machines ahead of takeover

October 2013 – Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has begun an inventory and evaluation of the scanning machines with a view to ascertaining the state of the machines ahead of the December 1, take over date.

In an exclusive interview with Vanguard at the Customs Headquarters in Abuja, service spokesman, Mr. Adewale Adeniyi, a Deputy Comptroller of Customs said that consultants and experts including the manufacturers of the scanners (Smith of France) were all brought to carry test of the machines.

Adeniyi also said that more than 500 of the newly recruited men and officers of the service will be deployed to both the information technology and scanning departments. He disclosed that in the course of evaluating the machines, it was discovered that maintenance of the scanners had been compromised.

He added that the development will not in any way stop the take over of the scanning machines by the Nigerian Customs Service. The Customs spokesman disclosed that the maintenance of the machines were sub-contracted to other consultants other than the manufacturers.

Adeniyi further disclosed that the integrity of the machines in terms of maintenance have been compromised. Source: www.energymixreport.com

Nicaragua – Fixed Rate to be Charged for Customs Scanning (Fail!)

Port of Corinto, Nicaragua (Picture: Wikipedia)

Port of Corinto, Nicaragua (Picture: Wikipedia)

July 2013 – The government has recognized that it was a mistake charging for the scanner service based on the value of the cargo.

The presidential adviser for economic affairs, Bayardo Arce, believes the head of the Directorate General of Customs (DGA), Eddy Medrano, may have overstepped the mark in approving a contract with the company Alvimer Internacional y Compañía Limitada on the right to collect on the declared value of the goods that pass through the scanner system to be installed in the country’s customs offices.

“We have been made aware of this criterion of entrepreneurs and talked with President … and it is clear that a technical error was made,” the official, adding that the fee collected will be at a fixed rate as in the draft Law on Granting of Non Intrusive Inspection Services in National Security Border Controls, prior to the approval of Congress.

The concessionaire in charge of scanning services in Nicaraguan customs offices would recover its investment in 15 months and earn $220 million in the 15 year contract.

From all this money, 10% will go to the Directorate General of Customs (DGA). According to preliminary calculations made ​​by the Nicaraguan private sector, the company will invest about $22.4 million in the seven scanners to be installed in each of the seven Nicaragua customs offices, recovering its investment in just 15 months. Source: centralamericadata.com

100% Container Scanning in Ports – a solution on the horizon?

Decision Sciences maintains that 100% container scanning is possible without bringingcommerce to a crawl (Credit: Maritime Professional)

Decision Sciences maintains that 100% container scanning is possible without bringing
commerce to a crawl (Credit: Maritime Professional)

The following article published by Maritime Professional describes a new technology, already in use by a major terminal operator, which appears to put the requirement for 100% scanning of all inbound containers back on track. The article has been doing the rounds on a social media platform with some sceptism still being shared on its viability as a ‘100%’ scanning solution. All the same its always interesting to learn of new innovations. I guess the US Treasury has spent billions sponsoring these types of tech-development so as to vindicate its original threat to the rest of the world! (For the PDF version please click here!)

In July 2007, U.S. legislators passed a law requiring 100% scanning of U.S. bound containers at their last foreign ports by the year 2012. That federal requirement nearly died a quick death recently but has received a reprieve of sorts. Originally scheduled to take effect July 1, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano in May of 2012 notified Congress that she would use her authority under the 2007 law to delay implementation by two years. Napolitano said systems available to scan containers would result in a negative impact on trade capacity and the flow of cargo, and that some foreign ports do not have the physical characteristics needed to install such systems. If the last part was true then, however, it may not necessarily be the case now.

As reported in our 1Q 2012 edition of MarPro, pilot efforts were established at several foreign ports under the Secure Freight Initiative (SFI) targeting in-bound containers for weapons of mass destruction (WMD) prior to loading. Objections by trading partners surfaced and were confirmed by the Government Accounting Office (GAO).

In her testimony before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano said in part, “DHS has learned a great deal from these pilots, but it has also encountered a number of steep challenges. Some of these issues relate to the limits on current technology. Technology doesn’t exist right now to effectively and automatically detect suspicious anomalies and cargo. This makes scanning difficult and time-consuming. …Therefore, DHS is compelled to seek the time extensions authorized by law with respect to the scanning provision.” At the time DHS’s Science & Technology Directorate (S&T) had already spent nearly $10 million on efforts to develop a container security device; to no avail.

New Technology: New Hope for Compliance
As the U.S. government continues to try to find a solution to its own scanning requirements, it also continues to fund testing when a promising solution comes to light. In September of last year, Decision Sciences International Corporation (DSIC), a provider of security and detection systems, announced that it was awarded a $2.7 million contract by the DHS Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) for an Advanced Technology Demonstration (ATD) of its Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS). Under the contract, DSIC supports government testing of MMPDS intended to evaluate the system’s effectiveness and readiness for transition to production. Before that, Decision Sciences was awarded another contract – this one worth $400,000 – by the U.S. Department of Defense to test muon tomography based scanning systems capable of detecting explosives. 

The Multi-Mode Passive Detection System – how it works
Based in Chantilly, VA, with a development/production facility in Poway, CA, DSIC and its 27 employees and contractors hope to bring together hardware and software development, systems integration and cutting edge science to improve the safety and security of global commerce. Based on patented technology invented by scientists at the Alamos National Laboratory, the Multi-Mode Passive Detection System (MMPDS) was developed with private sector investment and expertise. MMPDS is billed as a safe, effective and reliable automated scanning device for detecting unshielded to heavily shielded nuclear and radiological threats. In reality, and as MarPro found out during a focused site visit in Freeport, Bahamas, the system does so much more.

DSIC’s passive scanning technology uses naturally occurring cosmic ray muons to detect potential threats in cargo, vehicles and other conveyances. DSIC President and CEO Dr. Stanton D. Sloane explains, “Equipment can generally be classified into two main categories; active and passive. Active systems include x-ray and/or radiation technologies. In other words, they add some sort of radiation or energy to the environment. Our system is 100 percent passive; we don’t generate any additional energy. We simply use the existing cosmic ray ‘muons’ to do the scanning. When cosmic rays hit the upper atmosphere, they create showers of atomic particles. One of the particles is a muon. High in mass, muons travel at near the velocity of light. Because of this, muons penetrate materials … even very dense materials … readily.

Normal cosmic radiation is 5000 muons per minute and penetrates through lead, steel, concrete and just about anything else. Sloane adds, “That’s really the breakthrough technology. We have upper and lower detectors. As the muons go through the upper detector we calculate their trajectory. As they go through the bottom detector, we calculate their trajectory and we look for a change in that track. The angular change of the track is a function of the density of the material that the muons go through. The denser the material that the muons penetrate, the larger the angular change.”

Beyond the efficacy of the system is its vivid imagery of the inside of the container it is scanning. With x-ray machines, if something is found, the container must be taken to the side, analysis performed and delays to the container magnified. Not so with Decision Sciences technology: false positives are eliminated because the density of typical items – and the dangerous ones too – can be catalogued.

Continue reading →

Portable multi-purpose airport scanner

Flatscan portable scanner

Flatscan 27 portable scanner

Mondial Defence Systems provide the full range of CBRNe (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive) solutions to government, military and civil agencies.

The FlatScan 27 is a highly innovative flat portable battery-powered X-ray photodiodes system that has been specifically designed for high-speed and high-resolution inspection tasks. It incorporates a state-of-the-art 2D (two-dimensional) self-contained robust scanning detector, a laptop computer and a CP120B or CP160B portable constant potential X-ray generator to deliver real-time image processing. FlatScan 27 was developed in cooperation with specialised EOD (Explosive Ordnance Disposal) teams and comprises various unique features, specifically to meet any emergency situation. The technology will predominantly be of interest for applications used by the military, police, prisons and customs.

The FlatScan 27 comprises a large number of unique technological features and delivers a versatile and highly thin detector (thickness of just 55mm). This detector means that large objects with dimensions up to as much as 535 x 412mm can be scanned in just one attempt, even in situations where they might be located in very inaccessible places (e.g. close to a wall).

Flatscan 27 providing material discrimination and conventional scanning capability

Flatscan 27 providing material discrimination and conventional scanning capability

Furthermore, the FlatScan 27 delivers an excellent image quality with a high penetration capability (up to 34mm of steel at 160kV, 0.5mA). This is possible as a result of its sensitivity, the 800 microns resolution and the ability it offers for slowing down the speed of the scanning detector.

The FlatScan technology can be extended through a variety of options including materials separation. This involves the colour coding of a package to indicate whether the components inside are organic or inorganic in nature. This option delivers extra insight to the operator when making an informed judgment relating to the contents of suspect objects or packages.

The detector is equipped with a battery that lasts for two hours, while the two X-ray source cells each enable the development of up to 200 images. It should be noted that in cases of long-lasting laboratory applications, both items can be powered by optional mains power supplies.

For quick on site intervention, the FlatScan 27 detector can be easily transported in a backpack, while all accessories are stored in a carrying case. For more information visit – http://www.mondial-defence.com

 

Nigeria Customs acquires sophisticated Smith-Heimanns fixed scanner

HCVS Fixed X-Ray scanning tunnelSecurity solutions specialist Smiths Detection has received a multi-million Euro order from Nigeria for its dual view, high energy X-ray container scanner, which includes a state-of-the-art material discrimination system. The order was placed by Global Scan systems Ltd and forms part of the Destination Inspection Programme (DIP) established by the Nigerian Ministry of Finance for the Customs Authorities of Nigeria. The stationary scanner, which will be the most advanced system of its kind in West Africa, will be deployed at the customs and border checkpoint between Nigeria and Benin.

The HCVS (Heimann Cargo Vision System) with material discrimination features X-ray images that distinguish between organic and inorganic substances. The associated colour coding greatly helps in the detection of threat objects such as weapons, explosives and drugs.

The HCVS is the most powerful tool in Smiths Detection’s cargo inspection product portfolio. It is permanently installed on a dedicated site, providing a swift and non-intrusive inspection procedure for every part of fully loaded trucks and containers

Technical features of the scanner
• Stationary X-ray system for the inspection of fully loaded trucks and containers
• State-of-the-art technology for outstanding image quality
• Ideal for maritime ports, border crossings and airports dealing with heavy traffic
• Easy and fast processing with low staffing requirements
• viZual technology for real organic/inorganic material discrimination
• Top of the line system for manifest verification
• Detection capacity reaching 100%
Optional Features
• Automatic Radioactive Material Detection (ARD)
• Discrimination high energy
• Single of dual view technology
• Single or dual tunnel version
• Available in 6MeV & 9MeV (Mega electron volt)

Source: Smiths Detection