Pakistan Customs to implement AI based centralized scanning of all imported cargo

KARACHI: The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has planned to implement an Artificial Intelligence (AI) based centralized scanning of all imported cargo and automatic customs declarations verification system.

The verification of declarations will be through intelligent system based analyses and inference based on cargo images and customs declaration data with color coding library.

This Artificial Intelligence (AI) software is internationally available and is already being used by China, Latvia and Singapore.

The system, which FBR intends to implement, would issue automatic alarm for cargo/declaration mismatch based on HS codes. The system would help determine replaced cargo, mis-declaration and evasion without physical and intrusive examination.

Presently, all the scanners are working in isolation without any predefined Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs), while very limited non-structured images are available for reference on stand-alone-basis. The scanners offer limited utility as there is no integration with the WeBOC system and operators/analysts are yet to acquire expertise in image analysis.

Member Customs Owais Agha Jawwad had formed a committee headed by Chief Collector Enforcement Wasif Memon and comprising Collector Port Qasim Mumtaz Khoso, Additional Collectors Umar Shafiq and Sheraz Ahmed. The committee was tasked to design a centralized scanning and automatic system to expedite Customs clearance and efficiently detect cargo replacement, mis-declaration and revenue evasion.

The proposal has been prepared and submitted to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for approval.

This AI based centralized scanning system will be initiated at SAPT as a pilot project with all the containers marked red and having 1-3 HS Codes will be scanned and structured reports will be fed into the system.

The pilot project will be initiated in collaboration and technical supervision of M/s NECTECH for two months scanning around 150 containers per day.

According to the proposal, the scan repository will be centralized and all the available and future scanners at Karachi will be linked to a centralized cargo determination center fully integrated with the WeBOC system.

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