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October 10, 2019

Customs gets support from Japan for three scanning terminals


October 10, 2019

The Government of Japan extended a vital support for the establishment of three NII container-scanning terminals at Karachi and Bin Qasim ports.

The spokesman for the customs said on Wednesday that the Government of Japan had extended assistance to the Pakistan Customs and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for the establishment of three new state-of-the-art non-intrusive inspection (NII) container-scanning terminals at the East and West Warfs in Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim.

Under the Japanese grant assistance, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) implemented the “Project for Security Improvement in Port Karachi and Port Bin Oasim” amount of 1.877 billion Japanese Yens (approximately Rs2.78 billion).

An inauguration ceremony to this effect was held in Karachi whereby Kuninori Matsuda, ambassador of Japan to Pakistan, and Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, chairman of the FBR, inaugurated the newly established NII containers’ scanning terminal at East Warf at Karachi Port.

At the handover ceremony, Kuninori Matsuda said Karachi Port and Bin Qasim Port are considered the busiest ports of Pakistan and are greatly contributing to the trade and economic activities of the country.

These ports are not only important for Pakistan’s economic prosperity but also have greater significance as international trade ports due to its geographic location. The scanners installed would not only help in detecting illegal trade and smuggling to combat terrorism but would also improve the performance of ports to boost international trade.

He further emphasised the hope that the grant aid from Japan would support the work of the Pakistan Customs and would strengthen the existing bond of friendship between the two countries.

Shigeki Furuta, chief representative of the JICA Pakistan office, in his remarks said that the project would provide adequate technological support to the Pakistan Customs to ensure compliance with the Security and Facilitation in a Global Environment (SAFE) Framework Standard set by jthe World Customs Organisation (WCO).

He elaborated that the project will improve the ability of Pakistan Customs to detect and deal with high-risk consignments and increase efficiencies by expediting the clearance and release of goods. Furthermore, the working environment of the custom officers will also improve, who are bound to conduct physical inspections of all inbound and outbound consignments.

Speaking on the occasion, Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman, FBR thanked Government of Japan for their cooperation for this vital project. Dr Jawwad Uwais Agha, Member Customs (Operations), FBR, also thanked government of Japan and stated that the Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) functionality imparted by these scanners will enhance trade facilitation by the Pakistan Customs and hoped that this cooperation will continue in future as well for other ports in the country.

Under this project, three Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) containers’ scanning terminals have been constructed at East and West Warfs at Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim, which includes a scanner, a terminal building, an image scanning and analyzing equipment, waiting room for container’s driver, and backup facility for electricity.

Each scanning terminal has been directly connected with Pakistan’s Web Based One Customs (WeBOC) system with scanning capacity of 7-8 containers per hour with a total capacity of scanning over 450 containers per day altogether in 20 hours, which is the estimated net operation hours under the 24 hour-operating conditions. The project also trained 60 officers of the Pakistan Customs as image scanning analysts for effective utilisation and future sustainability of project.

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