​NZ Customs turn to Red Hat for eGate system upgrade

The New Zealand Customs Service uses eGates to processes 14,000-plus passengers each year.

New Zealand accepts around 14,000 international travellers through its borders each year, and with visitor arrivals forecasted to increase by 4.8 percent each year over the next five years, the country's Customs Service upgraded its technology to keep pace.

New Zealand Customs Service (NZ Customs) embarked on an eGate upgrade project, turning to Red Hat for a new automated way to get through passport control.

NZ Customs developed a solution architecture based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Red Hat JBoss Enterprise Application Platform (JBoss EAP), Red Hat Fuse, and Red Hat AMQ.

"Customs has been on a bit of a journey in the technology space, reinventing ourselves to address the challenges that a significant and on-going increase in passenger and trade poses to us," NZ Customs chief architect Mat Black told Red Hat Forum 2018 in Sydney on Wednesday.

"This eGate project was one of those foundational projects that allowed us to put in new ways of working and new platforms to really meet those challenges."

eGate uses biometrics to match the picture inside a passport with the picture taken at the gate.

The eGate option is available to passengers over the age of 12 holding an ePassport from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, China, France, Germany, Ireland, and Netherlands.

Customs said the biometric data collected during the process is kept for a period of three months.

"The upgraded eGate solution improved processing for both frontline staff and travellers," Red Hat regional vice president and general manager of Australia and New Zealand Max McLaren added.

"Based on its internal calculations, NZ Customs was able to increase the number of passengers processed by the modernised eGates, reduce manual processing, and reduce the average time required to process each passenger through the eGates."

Updated 10.40am AEDT 23 November 2018: Passengers processed was initially reported as 20,000.

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