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BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 19 October 2006 1.What is the Megaports Initiative and which are its objectives? The.

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Presentation on theme: "BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 19 October 2006 1.What is the Megaports Initiative and which are its objectives? The."— Presentation transcript:

1 BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 19 October What is the Megaports Initiative and which are its objectives? The Megaports Initiative is a project of the National Nuclear Security Administration (N.N.S.A.), a division of the U.S. Department of Energy. On November 24 th, 2004 Belgium and the United States signed a Memorandum of Understanding. The port of Antwerp is the first Belgian port to implement the MPI. This does however not exclude the implementation of MPI in other Belgian ports. The main goal of the project is to inspect the container cargo in the largest seaports (‘Megaports’) and to detect the illicit trafficking in radioactive and nuclear material in order to deter possible terrorist actions and to obtain information about terrorist networks. For the United States, the Megaports Initiative project in the port of Antwerp has been the most important MPI project so far.

2 BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 19 October How to achieve this goal? All containers have to be inspected by means of radiation portal monitors. The container proceeds through the portal. Detectors in the portal monitors measure the Gamma and Neutron radiation of the containers passing through. The port of Antwerp is a vast area and has dozens of ‘entrances’. Moreover these ‘entrances’ are also used for non-port-related traffic (f.i. staff of the chemical and car assembly industry). All connections with the hinterland are congested. Putting fences around the port and installing portal monitors at all entrances and exits is unrealistic. The port of Antwerp has 10 container terminals. Therefore all entrances and exits (both for road transport as for rail transport) of these terminals need to be equipped with portal monitors. Containers transported by barge will be checked by the portal monitors on the terminals themselves.

3 BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 19 October How to achieve this goal ? There are several portal monitors per terminal. On each terminal the portal monitors are connected with a Local Alarm System (LAS). This station is situated at the exit (gate-out) of each terminal. Secondly all terminals of the port are (by means of a special optical fibre backbone) connected with a Central Alarm Station (CAS). There are two Central Alarm Stations: one at the Left Bank (located at the future border inspection post) – for all Left Bank terminals – and one at the Right Bank (located at the scan site near the Tijsmanstunnel) – for all Right Bank terminals –.

4 BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 19 October Who is responsible for the project? U.S. Government is responsible for the purchase and the installation of the material. US Government also takes care of the maintenance of the material and the training of the Belgian staff. By ‘material’ we mean: the portal monitors, all hardware and software, the handheld equipment… Once the test phase is finished and the temporary acceptance has been signed, all material becomes property of the Belgian Government. Until now the U.S. Government has invested 40 million dollar in the Antwerp project Belgian Government pays VAT and other taxes on the construction works. This is a onetime cost of several million euro. About one hundred customs officers will work exclusively on the Megaports Initiative project. The Belgian FPS Finance leases an optical fibre backbone for the connection between all portal monitors and the two Central Alarm Stations. This will cost about Euro per year.

5 BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 4. The port of Antwerp

6 BELASTINGEN EN INVORDERINGEN Administratie der Douane en Accijnzen 5.What happens when a container generates an alarm? Phase 1 : The portal monitor raises an alarm The technical measuring data and the video images of the containers are immediately transmitted to the CAS through the optical fibre network. The terminal operator is informed electronically of the non-release of the container, awaiting a decision of the CAS. On the basis of a radiation profile and requested information on the consignment, the CAS will either resolve the alarm or proceed to a second inspection. The alarm rates are expected to be 5 to 10% of all trucks in Phase 1. If the alarm is not resolved, Phase 2 becomes effective. Phase 2 : The container is inspected by CAS personnel from the outside by means of handheld equipment allowing customs authorities to obtain more information on the exact location and the nature of the substances generating radiation. These officials will decide either to release the container, either to call upon the assistance of an approved organisation. Approximately 2 to 5% of the Phase 1 alarms will require a Phase 2 inspection. Phase 3 : The container is transferred to the CAS. The CAS is equipped with the necessary facilities for unloading and loading of goods. Checks are performed by an acknowledged expert. A container can, in exceptional cases and at the request of the Belgian FANC, be isolated on the spot. The amount of Phase 3 checks is estimated at a couple of dozens a year.


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