THE AUSTRALIAN Border Force is ramping up sea cargo examinations in Tasmania.

The ABF announced last week it had deployed a new mobile x-ray unit in Hobart, with TasPorts to provide the facilities for officers to use the technology.

The new unit is expected to improve screenings of incoming sea freight at various site across the state, with a focus on detecting contraband such as narcotics, illicit tobacco, vapes and firearms.

It is is a custom-manufactured piece of kit, and notably larger than previous versions in service with the ABF.

ABF said it operates one of the largest government fleets of x-ray equipment in Australia, with capabilities to x-ray shipping containers in the sea cargo system and pallets in the air and sea cargo system.

Screening and detection capabilities also extend to individual items of baggage, mail and cargo.

TasPorts CEO Anthony Donald said the ports corporation was pleased to provide space for the ABF to launch its new mobile x-ray unit in Hobart.

“As operators of Tasmania’s multi-port network, TasPorts maintains a strong relationship with the Australian Border Force to ensure thorough monitoring of cargo, passenger and freight operations entering the state,” Mr Donald said.

“We hope this new technology can further enhance detection capabilities, protecting Tasmania’s borders and ports and, in turn, keeping our local communities safe.”

And ABF Superintendent Dan Peters said the technology upgrade would significantly enhance ABF officers’ ability to examine a range of sea, air and land cargo.

“With the arrival of the new mobile x-ray unit into Tasmania, our focus – as it is across all of Australia – will be on detecting narcotics including cocaine and methamphetamine, as well as illicit tobacco and vapes, firearms, and other abhorrent products such as child exploitation material – providing an enhanced capacity to keep the people of Tasmania safe,” Superintendent Peters said.

“We continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to disrupt criminal activity and prevent a range of illicit and harmful goods from entering the Tasmanian community.”

ABF officers have commenced familiarisation training on the new mobile x-ray unit, with an emphasis on how to safely drive, deploy and operate the equipment.