Background

U.S. Customs and Border Protection has announced that beginning this fall it will replace aging rail scanning systems with high-energy rail scanners at the following ports of entry, which process about 60 percent of the rail cargo imported into the U.S.

- Blaine, Wash.

- Brownsville, Texas

- Buffalo, N.Y.

- Calexico, Calif.

- Eagle Pass, Texas

- Eastport, Idaho

- El Paso, Texas (BNSF Railway)

- El Paso, Texas (Union Pacific Railroad)

- International Falls/Ranier, Minn.

- Nogales, Ariz.

- Portal, N.D.

- Rouses Point, N.Y.

CBP said the new scanners use linear accelerators to generate X-rays from electricity rather than radioactive isotopes, producing high-quality images that support faster and more secure cargo inspections. These images enable CBP personnel to discern anomalies in the density of objects within the container or vehicle.

In fiscal year 2020 CBP’s 6.4 million non-intrusive inspections at U.S. ports of entry interdicted 470,000 pounds of illicit narcotics and $11.54 million in undeclared currency. In addition, CBP states, non-intrusive inspection technology generates up to $17.5 billion in economic benefits for the trade community and up to $1 billion in government cost savings every year.

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