March 27, 2013 -
The biometric systems at the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge in Belgium is being replaced with Lumidigm V-Series multispectral imaging fingerprint readers.
Alfapass, the provider of the security smart card system at the Belgian ports, is now in the process of enrolling 17,000 truck drivers and 10,000 longshoremen into the new system.
“We have been using biometrics since 2005 but we needed a better solution to provide increased security that is easier for port visitors to use,” Piet Hadermann, Alfapass operations manager said. “Our former technology could not differentiate one person from another at the level of certainty and security we require. The false acceptance rate was much too high. Plus, some people, especially infrequent visitors, would forget how to use it from visit to visit. With the Lumidigm units, visitors intuitively put their fingers on the illuminated blue light, even when using self-service units.”
The solution is a single ID card that covers all facilities rather than a different entrance card for each company at the port. Therefore, visitors to both Belgian ports carry a smart card from Alfapass which includes the visitor’s biometric template. When reading the card, each individual facility has the option of also verifying the fingerprint stored on the card. By checking and verifying the fingerprint, facility personnel can assure that the card is being presented by its rightful owner.
These aren’t the first ports to be secured using a biometric system. Reported previously, the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents has initiated a biometric system for the country’s ports, said to address problems regarding unlicensed agents posing as legitimate agents while conducting fraudulent activities, or paying customs duties on behalf of their importers.