Customs

Customs Facilities

Customs facilities represent a strategic traffic chokepoint at the entry to any country. These facilities provide the first defence against the trafficking of illicit substances via both passenger and commercial channels. In many cases customs facilities are based in huge warehouses containing many thousands of packages or can be based at the side of shipping docks, which accommodate the largest of ocean-going vessels. For passenger traffic, customs facilities normally located at the port or airport of entry.

Wide Area Threat Detection

In conjunction with x-ray technology, potentially coupled with intelligence information a wide range of packages need to be checked for illicit materials. These can range from simple padded bags all the way through to shipping containers. For passenger traffic individuals are chosen based on intelligence information, behavioural monitoring, and in some cases, random selection.

Detecting Threats from Drugs/Narcotics

Preventing the importation of drugs/narcotics is an important strategy within most countries Customs facilities. In all cases the presence of drugs/narcotics can be detected quickly by a trace narcotics detector. These detectors can operate in a vapour mode sampling the vapour given off from a material of interest. Alternatively, to minimise the need to open sealed items or to damage “objets d’art”, trace detection measurements can be made on a non-scratch swab that has been rubbed on the suspect item.

This swab is then placed into the DE-tector. It then informs the operator by means of a traffic light system whether an illicit substance has been found. Green means nothing has been detected, but red means the presence of an illicit material has been discovered. Text associated with the discovery shows the name of the drug that has been discovered and the necessary legal action can then be taken with the specific item, its exporter or its importer.

The Bruker RoadRunner

The Bruker RoadRunner is a hand-held, battery-operated portable device that can be used both to check for explosives in a vapour mode, or can be used in trace detection mode using the swab that is rubbed on the suspect item. Traffic light symbols are used on the display to indicate what has been discovered in the process. Green means nothing has been detected, but red means the presence of an illicit material has been discovered. Text associated with the discovery shows the name of the drug that has been discovered and the necessary legal action can then be taken with the specific item, its exporter or its importer.