Customs and Excise
What are Cargo Scanners?

What are Cargo Scanners?

Last Updated: 17 January, 2018 - Print

Cargo scanning or non-intrusive inspection refers to non-destructive methods of inspecting and identifying goods in transportation systems. It is often used for scanning of intermodal freight shipping containers.

Cargo scanners are mounted on trucks to scan containers, vehicles and objects without opening them. They produce x-ray images of goods being transported in containers, tankers or even break bulks.

The Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) through the Government of Malawi received a donation of five non-intrusive cargo scanners from the Peoples Republic of China.

In the short term, MRA will operate the Mwanza Border pilot site which handles over 60 percent of all imports into Malawi but a process is underway to contract out Scanner Management and Operations to a private company through an open competitive bidding process.

What are the objectives of Cargo Scanners?
The introduction of Cargo Scanners will achieve the following objectives:
• Detect contraband in conveyances passing through customs
• Strengthen customs function of protection of society from harmful and prohibited goods such as weapons which may not ordinarily be declared to customs
• Contribute towards increased revenue collection as ordinary goods can pass through customs unnoticed without any payment of tax
• Limit to some extent the frequency of physical examinations by customs thereby facilitating legitimate trade and improving the doing business environment in Malawi  
• Efficient utilisation of available resources in form of personnel.

What are the environmental effects of Cargo Scanners?
There are no known negative environmental effects from the use of Cargo scanners. However MRA as a responsible corporate entity is working together with the Department for Environmental Affairs in ensuring that environmental health and safety standards are satisfied in the implementation of scanning technology.

What will be the outcome of using Cargo Scanners?
The use of cargo scanners is expected to significantly reduce the time it takes to clear goods with customs by compliant traders and importers. This is good for the business community as it allows for faster clearance of goods thereby reducing the cost of doing business.

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