Building upon training needs identified during the Consortium of Educational Institutions of Border and Customs Agencies, the second session of which was held in Bishkek in February 2017, the Higher Military Customs Institute of the Republic of Uzbekistan demonstrated best practices in X-ray image analysis by hosting between 13-15 June a regional training for trainers and customs officers from Central Asia. The aim of this BOMCA activity is to encourage and support cooperation among the training institutions in Central Asia.

Being one of the significant and important inventions of the modern era, X-rays are used in many spheres of life, not only in medicine - they play an important role in security matters; without X-ray checks in customs zones and airports it is impossible to thoroughly analyse the contents of luggage and cargo and detect illegal substances.

As the quality of analysis of X-ray images at customs control largely depends on the operator, who processes the images and makes a detailed examination of the cargo, the training was focused mainly on technical aspects which can help to better categorise and recognise objects transported in luggage and heavy loads. During the training experts presented a number of recommendations for trainers and examples of practical exercises that can be used in further training of customs officers. The team reviewed a special set of tools and functions that help to identify and search for suspicious objects during X-ray analysis. For example, there were discussed such practices as varying brightness and contrast parameters, highlighting zones with high (low) X-ray absorption levels, adjusting the sharpness, setting the colour display, using a measuring ruler to determine the size of the object, etc.

Thus, the trainers now trained will be able to train customs officers in their countries in X-ray analysis skills when checking cargo at customs checkpoints.

After successful implementation of an exchange of trainers and trainees between customs agencies, BOMCA will organise similar study visits between training institutions of border guard agencies.