The Government of Japan has extended assistance to Pakistan Customs and Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for the establishment of three new Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) Container Scanning Terminals at East and West Wharf in Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim.
Under the Japanese grant assistance, Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) has implemented “The Project for Security Improvement in Port Karachi and Port Bin Qasim” amounting to JPY 1.877 billion (approximately Rs. 2.78 billion).
An inauguration ceremony was held where Kuninori Matsuda, Ambassador of Japan to Pakistan and Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR inaugurated the newly established NII Containers Scanning Terminal at East Wharf at Karachi Port.
At the handover ceremony, Kuninori Matsuda said Karachi Port and Bin Qasim Port are considered the busiest ports of Pakistan and are greatly contributing to the trade and economic activities of the country. These ports are not only important for Pakistan’s economic prosperity but also have great significance as international trade ports due to their geographic location.
The scanners will not only help to detect illegal trade and smuggling to combat terrorism but will also improve the performance of the ports to boost international trade. He hopes that the grant aid from Japan will support the work of Pakistan customs and will strengthen the existing bond of friendship between the two countries.
Mr. Shigeki Furuta, Chief Representative of JICA Pakistan office said that the project will provide adequate technical support to Pakistan Customs to ensure compliance of Security and Facilitation in a Global Environment (SAFE) Framework standard set by World Customs Organization (WCO).
He elaborated that the project will improve the ability of Pakistan Customs to detect and deal with high-risk consignments and increase efficiencies by expediting the clearance and release of goods.
Speaking on the occasion, Syed Muhammad Shabbar Zaidi, Chairman FBR thanked the Government of Japan for their cooperation for this vital project.
Under this project, three Non-Intrusive Inspection (NII) Container Scanning terminals have been constructed at East & West Wharf at Karachi Port and Port Bin Qasim, which includes the scanner, a terminal building, image scanning & analyzing equipment, a waiting room for container’s driver, and backup facility for electricity.
Each scanning terminal has been directly connected with Pakistan’s Web Based One Customs (WeBOC) system with a scanning capacity of 7-8 containers per hour, being able to scan over 450 containers per day in 20 hours. The project also trained 60 officers of Pakistan Customs as Image Scanning Analysts for effective utilization and future sustainability of the project.
The Japan funded project will facilitate the increasing volumes of cargo traffic at Pakistani ports as well as provide essential security to the global supply chain and will contribute to the socio-economic development of Pakistan by increasing revenue collection and trade facilitation.