CORDIS - EU research results

Advanced technologies for scanning and detection of illicit material for postal services and express courier flows (iFlows Toolkit)

Project description

Better mail monitoring to detect parcels with illicit materials

Beware of post and parcel flows! Dangerous and illicit goods, materials and substances flow across the EU in the mail. Customs, police and postal/courier authorities screen mail early in the supply chain of outgoing and incoming mail in order to detect parcels containing illicit materials. However, efficiency, speed and continuity in screening and detection tasks remain limited. The EU-funded iFLOWS project will design, develop, integrate, test and validate an innovative multi-tier synergistic toolkit to assist customs, police and postal/courier services. The technology will boost cooperation between EU police, customs and postal/courier services and improve intelligence extraction, screening and detection operations.


Preventing and fighting illicit material and dangerous substances postal and courier services flows in EU areas is of top priority. However, ensuring efficiency, speed and continuity in screening and detection tasks remains yet a challenge. Currently, custom, police and courier authorities involve a range of screening systems in place but there is still much to do in terms of detection efficacy and creation of intelligence towards risk and threat identification. On top of that, criminals or smugglers exploit the multitude of flows and easily spot security gaps that allow parcels or letters to be transported within or across EU with relative ease. To overcome these constraints, iFLOWS proposes a unique approach to assist customs, police and postal/courier services in preventing and detecting such crimes by improving operational readiness, enhancing situation awareness, reducing detection time, providing operational efficiency and achieving superior mission performance. iFLOWS will design, develop, integrate, test and validate a novel multi-tier synergistic Toolkit in enhancing intelligence extraction, screening and detection operations of illicit material and hazardous substances within courier and postal flows moving across and within EU borders. iFLOWS works upon these 3 building blocks to deliver a) a tailored to such operations C4I that boosts preparedness and cooperation be-tween police, customs and courier/postal services, b) enhanced Intelligence in terms of threats, risks and suspicious flows and c) novel detection technologies (i.e. THz Scanning system and UWB Scanner) featuring enhanced detection capabilities over a large span of illicit material and substances, which, coupled with advanced image-based feature extraction in combination to legacy systems (e.g. X-Ray and Raman) optimise the detection process without interrupting the postal/courier flows.

Fields of science


Net EU contribution
€ 603 000,00
4040 Linz

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Westösterreich Oberösterreich Linz-Wels
Activity type
Research Organisations
Total cost
€ 603 000,00

Participants (13)

Partners (2)