As gatekeepers of EU borders, customs authorities have seen their mission to detect and seize maximum amounts of illicit goods on their way to enter the EU become increasingly challenging. Partly due to the growing number of customs declarations and limited customs staff members, this situation can further be explained by the expanding range of threats EU customs have had to face. Next to the “classic cross-border threats” such as drugs trafficking, cigarette smuggling, weapons trafficking, and duty and other border tax fraud, EU customs have indeed been required to deal with a new and complex risk landscape ranging from counterfeit products and new psychoactive substances to sensitive dual-use technologies, and nuclear and radioactive materials.
Addressing these new threats requires innovative and reliable technologies, combined with information sharing and collaboration mechanisms, to enhance border customs staff’s capabilities and allow them to focus on detecting and inspecting high-risk shipments without preventing legitimate trade from circulating as quickly and freely as possible.
It is this challenge that the 3-year EU funded “EfficieNT Risk-bAsed iNspection of freight Crossing bordErs without disrupting business”, i.e. the ENTRANCE project, launched on the 1st of October 2020, aims to address.
Concerned with developing, implementing and testing through field-trials a comprehensive user-based Toolbox for risk-based non-intrusive inspection of cross-border freight movements, the ENTRANCE project seeks to deliver five key outputs:
1. Automated Risk Assessment, Threat Recognition and Information Sharing Platform (ENARTIS)
2. Suite of Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) technologies for detecting contraband hidden in high-density cargo
3. Enhanced relocatable unit for non-intrusive detection of wide number of threats including explosives, illicit drugs, chemical warfare agents, nuclear and radioactive materials and special nuclear materials such as enriched uranium and plutonium
4. Trans-European network of Radiation Portal Monitors (RPM) for passive detection of illicit nuclear and radioactive material combining detection facilities of different types and technologies
5. Novel high-speed RPM detection technology for passive detection of nuclear and radioactive with minimal disturbance of flow