Too few checks at Antwerp Docks

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Custom officers only use the scanners a few days each month.

4 April 2008

ANTWERP – Shortage of trained staff at Antwerp Docks has led to too few container checks.

Many customs officers at Antwerp Docks do not know how to operate the hi-tech portable scanners which they are supposed to use to carry out checks on containers at the port. As a result, the scanners are only able to be used during a few days each month.

The trades unions say that a shortage of trained staff means that the portable scanners are often not used at the port. Both static and portable scanners are used at the port to check the contents of containers.

Union spokesman Marc Nijs told the VRT that the mobile scanners are only used on four to six days each month.

Faster customs clearance
However, there is also good news from the quayside at Antwerp.

A new computer system means that containers are able to clear customs more quickly than was previously the case.

However, this means that fewer containers are being put through the static scanners.

The unions are calling for extra staff to enable customs officers to carry out more checks.

[ / Expatica]

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