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The 7th TEG-NII Meeting concludes in virtual mode

10 septiembre 2020

The 7th Meeting of the Technical Experts Group on Non-Intrusive Inspection (TEG-NII) was held from 31 July till 9 September 2020 in two phases - a documents-based consultation process and two virtual meeting sessions. 119 experts from 52 Member Customs administrations registered for the Meeting, together with representatives from three vendors of NII equipment. Each of the virtual meeting sessions that were held on 8 and 9 September 2020 via the KUDO platform, were attended by more than 90 delegates.

The TEG-NII discussions centered around two main topics – the Unified File Format (UFF) Development Programme and other NII-related matters.

In his opening remarks, the WCO Director Compliance and Facilitation, Mr. Pranab Kumar Das, highlighted the importance of optimizing the use of scanning equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. NII not only contributes to various Customs functions, such as revenue collection, facilitation of legitimate trade, security and protection of society, but during the COVID-19 pandemic, it contributed to social distancing measures necessary to prevent the spread of the disease. NII also helped ensure supply chain continuity, not only with regard to relief consignments, but with regard to trade in general.

Following an election process for a new Private Sector Co-Chairperson of the TEG-NII, Mr. Christopher Hogg of Rapiscan AS&E was elected to the position. Mr. Hogg, delegates and the Secretariat conveyed their appreciation to the former Co-chair of the TEG-NII, Mr. Timothy Norton of Smiths Detection, for his commitment and energy in co-chairing the TEG-NII in the past.

The TEG-NII took note of a Full report on the testing and evaluation of the UFF Phase 2 architecture. The Group also took note of the progress in the development of a use case on a UFF 2.0 deployment project involving large scale cargo NII systems with available internet or glass fibre connection and provided further suggestions and guidance with a view to its finalization. The TEG-NII further invited Members that have tested and deployed UFF 2.0 in real-life operations to share their success stories with the Secretariat.

Under the agenda item devoted to the scope and timelines of Phase 3 of the UFF Development Programme, the TEG-NII took note of oral reports from the two virtual groups established by the 6th TEG-NII Meeting – the Technical Virtual Group and the UFF Governance Virtual Group.

The TEG-NII approved a new update to the WCO Guidelines for the Procurement and Deployment of Scanning/NII Equipment (NII Guidelines) that reflects comments and suggestions made by Members during the first phase of the 7th TEG-NII Meeting – the documents-based consultation. The updated NII Guidelines will be submitted to the 23rd/24th Sessions of the SAFE Working Group for endorsement.

The Customs Co-Chairperson of the TEG-NII, Mr. Joris Groeneveld of Dutch Customs delivered a presentation on handling of obsolete NII equipment and experts from China Customs and the United Kingdom Border Force presented innovative technological developments.

The closing of the 7th TEG-NII Meeting marked the completion of the first blended WCO meeting for the financial year 2020-2021.