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Embassy News 2005

U.S. Grants $400K of X-Ray Equipment to Armenian Customs

January 21, 2005

Friday, January 21, 2005, the U.S. Embassy EXBS program granted cargo and luggage X-ray equipment valued at $393,225 to the Government of Armenia. Deputy Chief of Mission of the U.S. Embassy, Anthony F. Godfrey, and Head of the Armenian Custom House, Karen Janoyan, participated in an official transfer ceremony held at the Zvartnots Air Cargo Terminal. The equipment will help the Customs Service of Armenia examine cargo and baggage entering and leaving the country. X-ray units are already installed at Zvartnots Airport, and will soon be functioning at Gyumri Airport and the land borders at Meghri and Bagratashen. The largest X-ray unit, installed and in use at the Zvartnots Air Cargo Terminal in Yerevan, is the first one of its size in Armenia, and can screen entire pallets of cargo.

The Export Control and Related Border Security Assistance (EXBS) Program, administered by the Department of State, has been operating in Armenia since the year 1999. The Program operates in more than 45 countries, and is designed to strengthen a countries export control system by providing legal and regulatory advice, training of licensing officials, enforcement and interdiction equipment, and industry to government outreach, all in the fight against the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, their delivery systems, conventional weapons, and related materials.

The EXBS Program for Armenia also continues to conduct formal training seminars both locally and in the United States in order to provide Border Guards and Customs Inspectors with the advanced techniques of investigation necessary to identify sophisticated nuclear, chemical and biological weapons.

Over the last several years the EXBS Program has equipped the Border Guards and Customs Services of Armenia with various types of inspection and detection equipment: a radio-communication system, several types of border sensors, metal detectors, vehicles, computer equipment, cargo truck scales, and X-ray units. Last year, the EXBS Program initiated several construction projects to upgrade the customs border facility at Bagratashen, border guards barracks at the Gogavan Port of Entry, and both border guard and customs training facilities in Yerevan.