Port: Fixed-container scanner fully operational

The content originally appeared on: News Americas Now

Black Immigrant Daily News

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

File photo of containers and cranes at the Port of Port of Spain. File photo/Jeff K Mayers

The Port of Port of Spain says its fixed-container scanner is fully operational.

In a newspaper advertisement in the daily newspapers on Sunday, the Port said it was the only seaport in TT with a fully operational fixed-container scanner.

It said the scanner, a $25 million Nuctech Linea Accelerator X-ray scanner and detection system, was acquired by grant funding from China and commissioned on September 12, 2014.

The Port said the Customs and Excise Division was the “stipulated entity,” under the laws of TT, to conduct inspections of commercial cargo and personal goods passing through any seaport.

“Containers that are delivered directly to their consignees’ premises typically require an on-site inspection by a Customs and Excise official.

“The PPOS is not responsible for inspecting containers or cargo coming into its facilities.”

The advertisement said the port continued to fulfil its mandate to provide support to the Customs division through the maintenance and upkeep of the fixed-scanner facility and the provision of leased space for the division to conduct its inspections and operations.

The issue of non-functioning scanners was discussed at a sitting of Parliament’s joint select committee on national security, last week.

It was revealed that scanners at the port were not working, so fewer than 4,000 shipping containers of the 23,000 imported into TT from January-August were inspected.

Any inspections done were manual.

On Saturday, Finance Minister Colm Imbert issued a press release saying TT examines five times more shipping containers than the US and ten times more than the European Union.