|Lebanese Customs acquires mobile X-ray technology
|The Beirut Port has begun upgrading its cargo-inspection system and plans to complete the installation of a new mobile X-ray scanner within three weeks, the director general of the Lebanese Customs Authority said Wednesday.
Asaad Ghanem said the mobile X-ray scanner, purchased from China using an interest-free loan from the Council for Development and Reconstruction, will speed up the clearance of goods in and out of the country and limit smuggling.
"This system will promote trade activity and reinforce the international confidence in the cargo being exported from Lebanon," he said.
By allowing customs officials to identify the contents of shipping containers without opening them, the machine will limit the traffic of all illegal goods, including weapons and drugs, he added.
"It can immediately detect the nature of goods, photograph them and record the images in a connected computer," Ghanem said.
The Lebanese Customs Authority expects to receive another X-ray machine from China by the end of the year, further bolstering inspection capacity by allowing surveillance of a greater number of containers and vehicles.
Chinese scanner manufacturer Nuctech has sent engineers to oversee installation. They attended a launch ceremony at the Beirut Port Wednesday, which was also attended by Finance Minister Jihad Azour, who hailed China's contribution to the "modernization of Lebanese customs."
"The purpose of customs is to serve the country's economy, and support the state and the private sector," Azour said.
"It will also facilitate the import and export of goods and preserve the state's budget," the minister added, "while respecting the rule of law."
The Daily Star