AI at Customs: Unraveling the Takeover Debate


The global customs industry has significantly grown over the past few years, mainly due to advanced AI solutions. A custom department’s aim is to facilitate seamless movement of goods across international borders. This poses many risks since custom agents are responsible for the thorough investigation of every item being imported and exported. They need to ensure safety, security and protection. Through AI and automated systems, this can be handled more efficiently

Several governments such as the Customs Administration of the Netherlands (CAN) are using AI auto-detection in Customs to recognize objects that’s it’s trained for. AI is a very reliable tool when it comes to detecting the places where we might find something suspicious. 

In customs they already work with algorithms that detect unusual activities, but through AI they would like to use a more complex version of it. This is the reason they are currently working on developing AI models that are capable of automatically recognizing objects through X-ray images which is called autodetection.

However, people are still quite reluctant when it comes to full automation within customs. The reasons behind this are mainly because customs are a much more complex and nuanced department. While AI doesn’t always seem to understand these nuances. Then there is the matter of data privacy and security. Customs declarations involve sensitive corporate or governmental data. This makes it very dangerous to rely solely on AI and the automated systems since you’ll be more susceptible to cyberattacks. And there’s also the fact that customs are an ever-evolving department since international relations and policies are constantly changing.

Customs work will never be completely replaced by AI and human intervention will remain. AI algorithms simply help detecting deviations and assist humans into making better decisions. As we see it, AI and auto-detection provide improved supervision, but at the end of the day customs officers will be the ones making the final decisions.

AiDock, T. S.-f. (2023, August 11). LinkedIn.
Dr Nivash Jeevanandam. (2024, January 27). Impact of AI on Customs Operations.
Web editor. (2022, October 4). Smarter Supervision with the Help of AI Models and Autodetection.
Image by Bearfotos on Freepik

What are you waiting for?

Let us make sure that you have the correct Electronical Cargo Tracking Note for you shipment!