10 March 2006

Smiths wins cargo screening contract from Belgian Customs

SMITHS Detection has used its world-leading expertise in x-ray detection technology to develop a system that will distinguish between organic and non-organic materials in cargo.

Belgian Customs has placed a €10 million order for Smiths Heimann Cargo Vision (HCV) systems.

The systems will be used to help customs officers find contraband and other illicit goods hidden in cargo.

The HCV system is able to penetrate thick metal containers, x-ray the contents and then distinguish organic cargo from non-organic in a colour-coded image.

It is the first system of its kind to be deployed in Europe.

Organic materials for example, drugs and explosives will appear on the screen coloured bright orange, alerting customs officers to investigate further. Non-organic materials are coloured blue and mixed materials will appear in green.

The systems will be deployed over the next 12 months at the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge, where they will be used to check import and export cargo transported in trucks and containers.

The equipment will be housed in specially constructed buildings, inside which the trucks will be scanned. One of the fixed systems has a two-lane screening process, allowing Belgian Customs to scan two vehicles at the same time.

Belgium has also ordered the high-energy mobile cargo screening system HCV-Mobile that can screen more than 25 loaded trucks and containers per hour and generates high resolution images of the cargo.

It is the second contract for container and vehicle inspection systems at ports awarded by Belgian authorities to Smiths Detection, the worlds leading provider of X-ray and detection equipment. The earlier systems did not have material discrimination functionality.

Stephen Phipson, group managing director Smiths Detection, said: This follow-on order received from Belgian Customs proves the authoritys trust in our high-performance systems, which can play a major role in helping security personnel reduce the volume of goods trafficked in Europe.

ENDS