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RFID Seals Provide Border Security in Eastern Europe
Kazakhstan and Lithuanian customs officials are using electronic seals to ensure truck cargo doors are not opened en route.
Apr 15, 2008—Customs authorities in Kazakhstan and Lithuania are using RFID electronic seals (e-seals) on trucks passing through their countries—mostly traveling from China to Russia and into Western Europe—to prevent smuggling and theft of cargo transported within their borders on the way to other countries and ports.
Both nations are employing RFID tags, interrogators and antennas provided by Rockville, Md., company Hi-G-Tek, as well as local systems integrators, to make data about cargo movements available on their own databases. Two years ago, the Customs Control Agency of Kazakhstan began a limited deployment of the Automatic Delivery Control System (ADCS), including Hi-G-Tek RFID seals and interrogators, and software and integration by Kazak systems integrator Science Technical Center (NTC).
The customs agency attaches seals on the cargo doors of incoming trucks—which originate in China and are destined for Western Europe—to help track the movement of cargo across the country and ensure the trucks' cargo doors have not been opened without authorization. On-board sensors on the seals monitor the state of each seal and provide alerts in the event of any attempts to tamper with it or open the doors, by transmitting a signal to the closest receiving RFID interrogator, located either on a highway or at border crossings.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 Chinese trucks make their way across the Kazak border or drive through the country en route to Russia and Western Europe on any given day, and more than $2 billion worth of goods cross through Kazakhstan annually. In the past, a truck's cargo was often stolen and sold on the black market before the vehicle reached the Russian border.
The Kazak customs agency is using the RFID seals to combat this type of theft, which costs the Kazak government large amounts of revenue in lost taxes, as well as to streamline security by reducing the need for manual cargo inspection. By improving trade route security, the government also hopes to attract more commercial cargo traffic.
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