Customs uses technology, tactics and advance information when controlling the flow of goods. Based on risk profiling and other observations, Customs picks out goods, vehicles and persons for inspection. Sometimes, Customs also performs spot checks. The purpose of all the inspections performed by Customs is to protect society and to contribute to the lawful recovery of taxes.
Customs uses technology to make its job easier, to speed up inspections and to ensure the legality of its activities. Besides cameras, weighing appliances and various measuring instruments, Customs has one superior technical device: namely, the X-ray scanner. Using the same x-ray technology that a doctor uses to check if any bones are broken, Customs scans cargo in order to protect society.
In passenger terminals and vehicle inspection halls, Customs uses small X-ray devices to scan suitcases and spare tyres. By using fixed x-ray scanners installed at Vaalimaa Customs and Vuosaari harbour, Customs is able to scan entire trucks.
Customs also has X-ray scanners installed on trucks that operate across the country, which means that heavy goods vehicles can end up being scanned by Customs at any harbour or border crossing point. Whole trains, in turn, can be scanned in Vainikkala on the Finnish-Russian border. Each year, a considerable number of smuggling attempts are uncovered with the help of Customs’ x-ray scanners.
No. Before the vehicle is scanned, the driver assures Customs in writing that there is no one in the vehicle. Nevertheless, the radiation dose received during a scan is so small as not to pose any danger to humans. A normal medical x-ray examination gives a higher radiation dose to a patient.
Customs does not under any circumstances scan people. Customs can order a person to undergo a bodily search that is performed in the form of an x-ray examination. The x-ray examination of a person is a medical procedure and is always undertaken under the supervision of a doctor.
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