He was making these remarks during the historical commissioning of the new X-ray equipment for the Solomon Islands Ports Authority in Honiara, Monday.
This X-ray technology has automatic alert systems to detect organic material which can provide high levels of detailed information to customs and biosecurity officials.
In his remarks Sogavare said it will enable SIPA and Customs Division of the Ministry of Finance and Treasury (MoFT) to undertake non-intrusive inspection of cargo imports and exports packed in shipping containers to detect cargo that falls under a “high risk” classification at the Honiara International sea port.
He further added that this new technology will assist Customs and biosecurity officials in executing their border protection mandates and facilitate efficient and timely revenue collection on behalf of the government whilst facilitating legitimate trade and compliance with our Customs laws.
“With this new mobile x-ray scanner, cargoes will be scanned and identified through Customs assessed intelligence by the Risk Management teams.
“The results of the scan will enable officers to decide if the container should be diverted for further physical inspection from initial interpretation of the x-ray colour coded images or released,” Sogavare said.
He further highlighted that it also maximises security and revenue collection through the use of unobtrusive examination technology.
One of the positive benefits is that the new technology also acts as a deterrent to importers or exporters who may attempt to breach the country’s laws and regulations.
“Let me close by once again congratulate the Chairman and the CEO of the Solomon Islands Ports for taking our country to a new era in enhancing the efficiency and security of our port operations in Honiara through this magnificent Xray technology.
“I am confident that this technology which needs to be expanded to our other international ports in due course will greatly assist the efficiency and effectiveness of our port operations, the revenue collection by our customs officers and also strengthen our biosecurity capabilities,” Sogavare said.
By ANDREW FANASIA