RASCargO is a new cargo freight security screening service. It is a quick and efficient alternative to conventional screening services such as X‑ray, hand search or freight delay prior to transport. Based on Remote Air Sampling for Canine Olfaction (RASCO), the product involves a two-stage process.
The first stage requires (security) staff to pass air from cargo trucks (up to 100m³), cargo containers or cargo pallets through specially designed filters. In the second stage, specially trained dogs analyze or sniff the filters for the presence of minute traces of explosives and/or narcotics.
The use of RASCargO offers many advantages: no expensive infrastructure or equipment required; speed of clearance; high throughput of up to 30 trucks per hour with an 8‑dog unit (currently doing 400 000 tonnes/year at Paris CDG, probably the biggest screening operation in the world at one airport), high detection rate and low false alarm rate; can be used to screen all cargo types including dense, cluttered, outsized and high water-content cargo; reduced handling and risk of damage to cargo; off-site air sampling and analysis possible; and proven technology.
RASCargO has been approved by government regulators in France and the UK for use in air cargo screening. Since mid‑2004 it has been used on a 24/7 basis by over 100 major airlines and freight forwarders.
1. Does the Commission agree that RASCargO is a very promising security screening service? If not, why not?
2. Does the Commission have any plans to promote RASCargO on a European level in order to convince government regulators in other Member States to approve RASCargO for use in air cargo screening? If not, why not?