The mobile Vehicle and Cargo Inspection System (VACISTM) unit is a truck-mounted gamma-ray scanning system that captures an image of the contents of a marine container, rail car or truck. Border services officers use this unit to quickly scan a shipment in order to detect contraband, weapons and other potentially dangerous goods.
Mobile VACIS units use a low-level radiation source to penetrate vehicles and their 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. Mobile 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 mobile 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 strategically located mobile VACIS units at various seaports, airports and land border crossings in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.