The Customs Department will by the year-end complete installation of 23 x-ray machines above the baggage carousels at Suvarnabhumi Airport in a move to improve the efficiency of security checks of luggage of inbound passengers and to prevent goods smuggling. The machines will be switched on early next year.
“The machines will help improve the security check of luggage transported from inbound planes before the passengers can claim them,” Customs director-general Krisada Jinawijarana said on Friday. “At present, we use the random check method by human staff, which results in smuggled goods being slipped through sometimes.”
Krisada noted that with the x-ray machines, customs officials can see what is in the luggage and immediately prompt the passengers to pay the Customs duty before leaving the airport.
“This measure is one of the policies assigned by the Ministry of Finance in order to improve the efficiency of tax collection. Additionally, it provides safety and security for all,” he said.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Uttama Savanayana said that in addition to installing the x-ray machines, he had also ordered the Customs Department to use internet technology systems to improve their working processes.
“The government aims to establish the National Single Window (NSW), a comprehensive network of an import-export database that connects all related departments nationwide and with those of neighboring countries,” he said.
“The system is scheduled to be up and running in three months and we only have two countries left to connect with – and that should also be finished by year-end.”
“As for the x-ray machines at Suvarnabhumi Airport, they will not only help with tax collection but also prevent the smuggling of sensitive goods into the country, such as agricultural products, palm oil, fuel oil, and drugs,” said Uttama.