WCO enhances Armenia’s X-ray image analysis capacity

14 May 2024

A National Workshop on X-ray Image Analysis was delivered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Yerevan, Armenia from 29 April to 3 May 2024. The workshop was conducted with the financial assistance of the Customs Cooperation Fund of Korea (CCF Korea) and gathered 25 Customs officials from the State Revenue Committee of the Republic of Armenia.

During the first part of the event, the Workshop facilitators provided an overview of the WCO tools and initiatives pertaining to non-intrusive inspection (NII), such as the WCO Technical Experts Group on NII (TEG-NII) and its deliverables, including the Unified File Format (UFF) and the WCO Guidelines for the procurement and deployment of scanning/NII equipment (NII Guidelines), as well as the annual WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition. Furthermore, the WCO experts showcased best practices for integrating NII techniques into Customs operations and conducting NII based on risk analysis. Additionally, the Workshop facilitators delved into various topics related to image analysis skills, tools, functions, common mistakes, material discrimination, and automated threat recognition. A field visit to a scanner location and hands-on practical exercises were conducted during the second part of the Workshop focusing on the discussion of case studies and lessons learnt.

The use of NII technologies is outlined in the Customs to Customs cooperation pillar (Pillar 1) of the SAFE Framework of Standards and serves one of the key objectives of SAFE - to promote the seamless movement of goods through secure international trade supply chains. As per standard 3 of Pillar 1 of the SAFE Framework of Standards, non-intrusive inspection equipment and radiation detection equipment should be available and used for conducting inspections, where available and in accordance with risk assessment. The standard also prescribes that the equipment is necessary to inspect high risk containers or cargo quickly, without disrupting the flow of legitimate trade.

The Workshop helped turn X-ray image analysis into a continuous journey of Customs officers’ skill enhancement, a testimony from a participant revealed.