The Directorate General of Foreign Trade on 15th November 2021 has notified the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for random checking of imported consignments of metal scrap with respect to radioactive contamination.
As per the SOP, No container without a certificate issued by a Pre-Shipment Inspection Agency (PSIA), should be allowed to be unloaded and be sent back to country of origin.
As a part of normal work practice of Indian Customs, various activities like checking of the seal, serial number of the container, material description etc, as list in the manifest should be carried out.
The authenticity of PSIA should be verified from the list given in Appendix – 2G (https://content.dgft.gov.in/Website/APPEnDIX-2G.pdf), as amended from time to time, in Appendices and Aayat / Niryat Forms of FTP 2015-20
The background radiation levels at the location where the container is placed should be measured and It should be kept in mind that the background radiation level varies from place to place and it normally ranges from 0.04 µSv/h to 0.1 µSv/h (micro Sievert per hour). However, the background radiation levels at certain regions of the world may be more than 0.1 µSv/h. In case any container is found showing radiation levels exceeding the preset alarm level, it should be immediately subjected to identification of source of radiation with an Isotope Identifier (a handheld RDE can identify the specific radionuclide emitting the radiation).
If the source of radiation is identified as a Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material (NORM), the container may be considered as clean, and free to depart the measurement/monitoring area.
Further, Necessary steps shall be initiated for repatriation/deportation of the container having contaminated metal scrap by ―the importer / owner of the goods or their authorized representative, failing which, the person-in-charge of the vessel or any other person as may be specified by the Central Government, by notification in terms of Section 30 of the Customs Act, 1962 shall take action to repatriate / deport such container.