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Cargo Examination

The Cargo Inspection facilities of Bahrain Customs are located throughout the major border points. The facilities are responsible for the seizure of significant amounts of illegal materials, as well as the recovery of revenue due to duty evasion through under valuation or misrepresentation of information on customs declarations.

Bahrain Customs uses risk assessment techniques, coupled with the latest non-intrusive inspection technology to examine a greater volume of cargo more quickly and accurately. The benefits generated by these include:

  • Increase in volume of cargo that can be inspected and cleared, thereby facilitating greater volumes of cargo
  • Reducing revenue loss through evasion and the supply of incorrect information
  • Protecting local industry from the illegal 'dumping of goods'
  • Preventing illegal goods, weapons and other materials harmful to the community from entering the country

Due to the unique environment of Bahrain and being a small Island we cannot compromise on security. As a result, typically 99% of containerized cargo is scanned (X-ray). In addition to random inspection, if any container is suspect, it will be assigned for further intensive physical inspection. The cargo Inspection Facilities at the major border points have facilities for scanning of Containerized and non containerized cargo.

 

Further Information on cargo Inspection

How is cargo selected for screening?

After a customs declaration has been submitted, Risk Officers perform a risk assessment and the container assigned for inspection accordingly.

What happens when a container is selected for inspection?

The selected container will be loaded by the port operator onto a Bahrain Customs trailer which will be driven to the scanner enclosure. The container will be scanned whilst on the truck and the resulting image analyzed. Based on the scanning result the container will either be delivered via the normal processes or routed for further detailed inspection.

What do you use for Inspection?

At the Sea and Land entry points, X ray scanners are used which are equipped with a 6MeV linear accelerator. The scanning facilities are fully self-contained and include the linear accelerator, detectors, electrical, mechanical and Imaging systems. The container itself is scanned by a moving rail based electro-mechanical system.

In addition, all border points have X-ray Pallet scanners, which provide the ability to view palletized and suspect cargo within containers more closely.

Are the goods affected by the scanning equipment (X-rays) used?

The scanning equipment is safe and is fully compliant with, and meets the stringent international safety regulations and standards set out by the World Health organization and other international bodies.

What if Customs want to physically inspect the container?

If suspect cargo is identified in the container and it can be easily accessed or is safe to inspect, the container may be sent for a quick ramp inspection. Otherwise, if the container requires a detailed physical inspection, the container is transported to the Container Freight Station (CFS) and unloaded for detailed physical inspection. This may involve putting the cargo through pallet X-ray scanners, as well as actual physical inspection. Customs officers supervise the unloading and repacking of containers.

How long does inspection take?

The whole inspection process using X-ray scanning takes typically between 15 and 20 minutes per container. This includes the acquisition of the image and its subsequent detailed analysis by specialized Image analysis inspection officers.

If it is determined that a more thorough physical inspection is required, the container will be transported to the physical inspection facility where the container will be unpacked and undergo a detailed physical inspection. The time taken for physical inspection will depend on the type of inspection required and the nature of the goods. Typically this process is completed under normal circumstances within 24 hours.