One of the Customs dogs in front of one of the new scanners
As many know, from the General Directorate of Customs we daily communicate all types of findings that are the product of the expertise of the personnel deployed on the borders of Argentina. Thanks to a mix of analysis and intuition, the agency’s specialized agents discover irregularities that sometimes border on the truly unusual.
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That said, since I returned to lead Customs in 2022, it was clear to me that in a country like ours, with almost 15 thousand kilometers of border, it was essential to incorporate technology to exercise control of international trade.
We must not lose sight of the fact that Argentina is a point of strategic importance for the southern cone, since it offers a quick exit to the Atlantic for the economies of the region. In this framework, investment in technology facilitates the detection of illicit maneuvers: smuggling, arms trafficking, explosive materials, prohibited chemical substances and narcotics. But it also speeds up the flow of goods and people with a high degree of security.
5 trailer-type scanners were acquired for containers and large vehicles, which allow us to deepen control against drug trafficking and smuggling in port terminals and at border crossings.
That is why in the last 14 months, after 9 years without any incorporation, we acquired 44 new scanners of different types and renewed the Single Customs Monitoring Center (CUMA) that does satellite tracking of trucks and monitors more than 7,500 cameras in terminals. ports, airports and tax warehouses throughout the country.
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Specifically, we acquired 5 trailer-type scanners for containers and large vehicles, which allow us to deepen control against drug trafficking and smuggling in port terminals and at border crossings with Chile, Bolivia, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay. It should be noted that in the province of Entre Ríos alone, Argentine Customs has more container scanners than the entire Republic of Uruguay.
At the Ezeiza International Airport we added 25 new state-of-the-art X-ray equipment, which offer views, simultaneously, from two different angles, thus facilitating the detection of violations. This type of scanners were also put into operation at the border crossings of La Quiaca, Salvador Mazza, Gualeguaychú and at the Mendoza Airport, to name a few.
In the last 14 months, after 9 years without any incorporation, we acquired 44 new scanners of different types and renewed the Single Customs Monitoring Center (CUMA)
The scanners even make it possible to detect people who travel to other countries with drug capsules inside them—popularly known as mules. The body scans at the Ezeiza Airport made it possible for Customs to increase the detection of these maneuvers by 100% in 2023, compared to 2022.
Now, the modernization of control instruments is not only essential to combat drug trafficking and organized crime: ultimately, they serve to protect those who comply with the regulations of our country. In this sense, the investments that Customs makes in technology contribute to ensuring fair conditions for national production and employment.
The author is Director General of Customs