The customs service has introduced a scanner at Tanjung Priok Port in Jakarta to check the contents of containers and reduce the risk of collusion between importers and customs officers.
The new scanner is similar to the baggage scanners used at airports, except that it is much bigger.
"We discovered that importers who had regular contact with our field officers tended to become involved in collusion with them," the Finance Ministry's director general of customs and excise, Anwar Suprijadi, said Thursday as reported by Antara.
"Therefore, we are trying out this new system, which restricts contact between field officers and importers. For now, we are trying it out in Tanjung Priok," he said.
Anwar said that Tanjung Priok had been selected for the trial as it was the point of entry for around 70 percent of the country's imports.
According to Anwar, the Tanjung Priok system has been in place since early April, and is expected to be extended soon to Batam.
In addition to the new scanning system, the customs service has set up a monitoring team to police the conduct of the approximately 100 customs officers stationed at the port.
Thanks to the new system, Anwar said, the customs service would obtain more accurate reports and data on imports.
Containers could, however, still be required to undergo physical inspections in certain circumstances, he added, without elaborating.
The customs service collected Rp 3.1 trillion (US$351.6 million) in import duties in the first three months of the year, higher than the Rp 2.1 trillion collected in the corresponding period last year.
The service is also reforming its risk-management system to help ensure the smooth flow of particular types of goods.
"The service will no longer necessarily conduct physical inspections on containers carrying farm products after the reforms are complete," said Anwar. (06)