The Estonian Tax and Customs Board (EMTA) opened a new vehicle inspection and X-ray screening hall at the Luhamaa border checkpoint in Southeastern Estonia on Thursday.
According to Toomas Huik, head of EMTA's Southern Tax and Customs Centre, state real estate management company Riigi Kinnisvara AS (RKAS) has renovated and built new inspection and X-ray halls with X-ray screening equipment at both Southeastern Estonian vehicular border checkpoints — in Koidula and Luhamaa. The X-ray screening equipment installed at the two checkpoints features the latest technology and is among the first of its kind to be employed in the Baltics, EMTA spokespeople said.
"The new X-ray screening equipment will increase the inspection capability and speed of the EMTA," Huik said, who noted that recent large contraband cigarette discoveries were made with the help of the new equipment.
"Thanks to the implementation of modern X-ray screening equipment, the EMTA is definitely one of the technically best equipped customs inspection authorities in Europe," the EMTA official highlighted. "The new equipment also cuts back on time spent on inspection. Before now, vehicles requiring additional inspection and X-ray screening had to be taken from Koidula to Luhamaa, which was tedious and time-consuming."
The EMTA in August 2016 concluded a €12.1 million tender contract with Chinese technology company Nuctech for the purchase of five additional X-ray devices. In additional to a cheaper price, Nuctech, which was selected from among three offers received in the public procurement, offered full maintenance and a guarantee for ten years.
The renovation and development of the customs inspection halls of the two border checkpoints cost approximately €5.9 million in total. The cost of one stationary X-ray screening device totaled approximately €1.95 million.
Editor: Aili Vahtla