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Wednesday, November 20, 2019
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Colombo Port installs modern scanning systems

THE Colombo Port will be the first port in the region to introduce the Mega-Port concept, which will be coming into operation within the next few weeks, Sri Lanka Customs sources said.

Under this concept, all outbound and inbound containers will be checked to prevent weapons of mass destruction and radioactive items to be smuggled in and out of Sri Lanka, Director General Sri Lanka Customs C.S.W. Jayatilake said.

He said that all necessary instruments have been installed at the Colombo Port and containers will be subjected to comprehensive monitoring and checking of all inbound and outbound shipping cargo.

Once this system is installed the Colombo Port will be one of the most secure ports in the world. At present only 20 major ports have adopted this concept and will increase its number upto 50 before the end of this year, Jayatilake said.

The US Energy Department extended its support to Sri Lanka following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the Ministry of Ports and Aviation.

The local component was provided by the Sri Lanka Ports Authority, especially necessary infrastructure. This will be a major breakthrough for the Colombo Port with this status.

The US Customs Authority has also provided a container-scanning machine free to scan containers that are bound for USA from Sri Lanka as a supply security management measure. Jayatilake said the container security initiative was embarked on two years ago but due to various reasons the process got delayed.

To prevent other competitor ports taking advantage from this delay, the Sri Lanka Customs negotiated with the US Customs Authorities who provided a free scanning machine to Sri Lanka. At present 38 leading ports in the world are equipped with this system.

The reason for introducing scanning machines in the Colombo Port was due to the request from the US government to stop contrabands and other dangerous arms entering into US territory.

Jayatilake said that it is the need of the hour to introduce the container scanning system to prevent mass scale smuggling. Sri Lanka handles more than one million containers per year.
(DN - 30092005)

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