The pallet Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACISTM) unit is a stationary gamma-ray scanning system that captures images of pallets and large pieces of freight in commercial examination facilities. Border services officers use this unit to examine dense freight in order to detect contraband, weapons and other potentially dangerous goods.
Pallet VACIS units use a low-level radiation source to penetrate cargo. The cobalt 60 energy source emits a gamma-ray beam that provides an image similar to those produced by X-ray systems. Operators use computers to view the radiographic images to easily identify hidden compartments that may conceal stolen or illegal goods. Pallet VACIS units enable border services officers to determine if commercial cargo is consistent with the declared manifest.
This safe and secure technology allows shipments to be scanned quickly, which minimizes disruptions and costs for importers and enhances container security. The pallet VACIS unit is part of the Canada Border Services Agency's (CBSA) investment in new technology that enhances the CBSA's ability to stop dangerous goods from entering Canada and to better protect Canadians.
The CBSA has installed pallet VACIS units at marine container examination facilities in British Columbia, Quebec and Nova Scotia.