All Messages World Customs Day
I convey my good wishes to Customs administrations all over the world on celebrating International Customs Day. I cannot but wholeheartedly concur with the underlying spirit of the theme World Customs Organization has chosen for this year’s International Customs Day highlighting Coordinated Border Management expressed through well thought out slogan “Coordinated Border management – An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders”.
I value the role of Customs as the gatekeeper of trans-border trade embodying state sovereignty at the borders. I am conscious that the current competitive world is highly dependent on interconnectedness and integration that invariably influence economic growth and social development. This environment demands Customs to remain vigilant and vibrant along with developing regulatory efficiency and effectiveness through greater coordination between border agencies. Although appreciable progress has been made on this front a great deal remains to be done by adjusting existing processes and designing new ones to tackles the challenges emanating from increasing cross-border flows, limited resources, growing expectations for improved facilitation and control by governments.
My government is acutely cognizant of the importance of accelerated trans-border regulatory reforms to remove unnecessary barriers for trade. I wish to point out that reorganization, automation, infrastructural up gradation and integration of existing border crossing stations under FBR’s Project “Integrated Transit Trade management System” (ITTMS) exemplifies the governments’ commitment to the theme of international customs day.
The present challenges faced by Customs administrations around the globe require adequate acquaintance with and adoption of innovative technology. I have always appreciated Pakistan Customs and FBR for making strenuous efforts in pursuing information connectivity with our regional trading partners for a safe and secure cross-border trade. WCO’s connectivity approach has provided the framework for inter agency sharing of information enhancing expeditious cargo clearance e and trade facilitation.
I am sure that Pakistan Customs would chalk out new plans and strategies to interact with international organization. At the domestic front, collaboration with business and industry would enable all stakeholders to become innovative and competitive. The department has to take up all challenges and play its role in balancing its traditional responsibility aimed at effective enforcement and greater trade facilitation.
Pakistan Customs, like all other Customs Administrations of the world, is celebrating International Customs day on 26th January, 2015. I extend my warm felicitations to all officers and officials of Customs on this special day. The concepts of Customs operations are developed in accordance with the latest economic developments taking place around the world. Role of Customs is not restricted to collecting duty and taxes on goods and guarding sea and land frontiers, but also involves trade facilitation and breathing life into the economy by securing the supply chain.
The theme chosen for this year is “Coordinated Border Management – An Inclusive Approach for Connecting Stakeholders”, which is aimed at promoting coordination among all agencies and authorities responsible for border controls and checks on goods movement or people; both within the country and across regional and continental contours.
There is a need to cope with the changing developments in international trade; which warrants developing a well-planned strategy beginning with the development of a skilled human resource and modern cargo clearance system, besides a robust system of exchange of information, which is the most important element of establishing an effective enforcement and deterrence against cross-border movement of illegal goods and persons.
The rapid pace of globalization in recent years has reshaped international trade scenario and demands a constant information exchange, not only amongst jurisdictions, but also with the business community. Customs organizations around the world are committed to follow a coordinated approach and increased cooperation and Pakistan Customs is equally endeared to this goal.
Tariff rationalization and a facilitative approach can prove a catalyst to the economy. Our endeavor in Pakistan Customs is to work proactively in both these critical areas. This would be Customs contribution to the economy. I wish that the department would continue to follow the path of modernization and trade facilitation and keep on playing its role in the progress of the country.
World Customs community celebrates the “International Customs Day” on 26th January, 2015. Customs play a pivotal role in economic development through efficient targeted controls and the facilitation of legitimate trade. In the prevailing scenario, securing global trade requires international cooperation and coordination amongst governments and trade bodies, as well as with other members of WCO. This year’s theme of “Coordinated Border Management – An Inclusive Approach for Connecting Stakeholders” underscores the importance of coordination and cooperation. In addition to the traditional tasks, Customs has new responsibilities which cannot be addressed without necessary skill set, knowledge and coordination with all agencies and offices responsible for the movement of goods and people over borders.
It is essential to broaden the horizons, enhance the competence and improve the efficiency of Customs administration through better performance, transparency and development of new techniques and systems. I congratulate Pakistan Customs on the introduction and successful countrywide rollout of indigenously developed new software WEBOC (Web Based One Customs) for automated clearance. The department is moving on the path of modernization and intends employing sophisticated equipment at border stations, airports and seaports in collaboration with international Development Partners like UNODC, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, JICA, DFID, GIZ, IFC, etc.
I take the opportunity to state that, in an era of declining resources and increasing volumes of trade and travel, effective engagement and information exchange with all allied agencies and partners is a necessity for Customs. The Custom clearance system, WEBOC, connects all internal and external users through electronic interface. It has the potential to become the lead system which connects all border agencies for data and information sharing so that in time the trader can enjoy a one-window facility making Custom and border clearance much more facilitative, easy and faster for all businesses.
I also would like to congratulate all officers and officials of Pakistan Customs on this special day of global importance and hope that the department will continue its commitment in achieving revenue targets, facilitating trade and passenger traffic, besides demonstrating efficiency to counter trafficking of drugs and smuggling of contrabands. We have to improve in all fields to contribute positively in the domestic economic growth and consolidation of international trade relations in consonance with the WCO’s 2015 slogan of coordination.
The theme of International Customs Day for 2015 is ‘COORDINATED BORDER MANAGEMENT’.
In fact the theme refers to smooth flow of international trade by way of connecting countries across the world with better infrastructure, simple and harmonized Customs procedures.
The Customs plays a vital role in the growth of trade among different countries of the world. Pakistan is an active member of World Customs Organization (WCO) and is signatory of a number of international conventions and treaties which are aimed at flourishing international trade.
Afghanistan Pakistan Transit Trade Agreement (APTTA-2010) is the best example in this perspective. Pakistan’s role in promoting transit trade with and among central Asian republics at the platform of Central Asian Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) is commendable.
Pakistan Customs is committed to continue efforts for promoting international trade.
As the Customs community celebrates International Customs Day 2015 on 26 January with the theme “Coordinated Border Management – An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders”, I would like to take this opportunity to share some thoughts on The term Coordinated Border Management (CBM). The border environment is complex and comprises a variety of actors with conflicting interests. Throughout human history borders have played a major role in the state by being a silent tribute to its sovereignty. The Coordinated Border Management (CBM) refers to a coordinated approach by border control agencies, both domestic and international, in the context of seeking greater efficiencies over managing trade and travel flows, while maintaining a balance with compliance requirements. CBM can result in more effective service delivery, less duplication, cost-savings through economies of scale, enhanced risk management with fewer but better targeted interventions, cheaper transport costs, less waiting times, lower infrastructure improvement costs, more wider sharing of information and intelligence, and strengthened connectivity between all border stakeholders.
Pakistan’s geostrategic advantage lies in the fact that it shares borders with Iran, Afghanistan, China and India while Arabian Sea connects it to the rest of the world. In the context of Pakistan, Customs authorities face the dilemma of increasing volumes of people and goods without any corresponding increase in resources, while both traders and travelers too have greater expectations for speedier processing and clearance times whilst government and society expect border authorities to rigorously apply the law in order to protect their interests, safeguard the health and safety of their citizens, and ensure national security. This means balancing trade facilitation on the one hand with trade security on the other.
Directorate General of Transit Trade serves to facilitate bilateral trade between Pakistan and its neighboring land-locked countries, thus converting Pakistan into a “land bridge” between South Asia and Central Asia. As the essential part of CBM involves dialogue between Customs and other agencies at the border as well as between Customs and the business community; hence the Directorate General of Transit Trade being an integral part of the trade across the border is intended to encourage traders and individual border agencies to engage one another more actively to ensure efficient, safe and secure transportation of Transit goods with the help of coordinated management of national borders.
The International Customs Day scheduled on 26th January, 2015 has been dedicated to promoting Coordinated Border Management under the slogan “Coordinated Border Management – An inclusive approach for connecting stakeholders”. It refers to a cooperative approach by border control agencies, both at the national and international level, in the context of seeking greater efficiencies over managing trade and travel flows. It may result in more effective service delivery, less duplication, cost-savings through economies of scale, enhanced risk management with fewer but better targeted interventions.
Pakistan Customs is gradually shifting its focus towards protection of national borders, in sync with modern global Customs administrations. It is heralding in a new era in border controls through automated systems. Border controls encompasses checking of illicit trade through smuggling, intellectual property rights infringements, Arms trafficking and numerous other forms of cross-border transmissions. Automated system enables Customs to keep an online check on real time basis. Besides profiling, electronically monitored tracking and computerized random selectivity also enables the Customs administration to keep a vigil without creating inconvenience for bonafide stakeholders.
Border management in an efficient manner could not be over emphasized in the changed economic and security milieu of the world. Stopping the illegal movement of goods and persons while facilitating the movement of genuine trade and persons, is the ultimate aim of integrated border management which happens to be the aim of this year’s Customs day celebration. With a total value of around US $ 37 trillion in the year 2013 and a scope for further increase, efficient border management poses new challenges to developing countries like Pakistan which has got quasi-porous and hard to control inaccessible borders.
The concept of Integrated Border Management in Pakistan’s context involve co-operation and co-ordination amongst all the law enforcement agencies to strike a balance between trade facilitation and border controls in order to achieve the expeditious movement of goods and people in a legal manner across the borders. The process also includes the efficient utilization of modern gadgetry and technology for ensuring the security of the people of Pakistan. However, to achieve the best results with least effort, “co-ordination and co-operation” is the key; be that intra-FBR co-ordination, inter-agency coordination or international co-operation.
In order to achieve maximum co-operation amongst the various formations of the FBR, Pakistan Customs has taken various initiatives. The integrated Web-based Once Customs (WeBOC) System has enabled the different wings of the FBR to make integrated efforts for enforcing the regulatory regime across the country. Whether it’s the sales tax authorities or Directorate of Intelligence, all can access the Customs data-base electrically. Similarly, the motor registration authorities, the Ministry of Commerce and Engineering Development Board of Pakistan can perform their functions against a unique user identifier in the WeBOC, without any restriction of time or place provided that the personnel doing the job are connected to the internet. The benefits accruing from the electronic interlinkages are already having a positive impact on the economy and security of the country. In the near future, Pakistan Customs is poised to adopt the concept of “One-Window Clearance” where the exporters, importers and regulatory authorities of the exporting and importing countries would be linked up in WeBOC for expeditious and hassle free movement of goods ensuring absolute certainty in the supply chain barring the acts of God. Negotiations are already underway link WeBOC with the authorities, so that imports under the Pakistan China Free Trade agreement could be cleared without the need for the cumbrous requirement of paper based certificates which despite the best efforts are prone to manipulation by unscrupulous elements. The scope of the same will subsequently be expanded to other countries, as well.
Pakistan Customs is also utilizing its technological expertise in the field of combating illicit movement of money across borders, which makes it relevant to any efforts pertaining to combating terrorist financing.
It is hoped that integrated border management will play it’s role in protecting the people of Pakistan, environment and economic interests of the country by ensuring enhanced co-operation and co-ordination between the various stakeholders.
Coordinating Boarder management is one of the prime concerns of any Custom Administration world over and Pakistan Customs is no exception.
In the present day scenario, Interactive and interconnected world of trade, Boarder management, Boarder Coordination, Transit Processing and Trade facilitation are the Cardinal Processes and procedures which if managed properly would lead to effective enhancement of Revenue in addition to trade facilitation and foreign Exchange earnings for the country.
Pakistan Customs is efficiently managing the vast boarders with Afghanistan, India, Iran and China.
In addition to Trade Facilitation, Customs Administration of Pak. is effectively perusing the anti Smuggling activities at the Border areas as the lead agency in Collaboration with neighboring Custom Administrations.
Pak Customs has in the recent Past created the Directorate General of Transit and Boarder Trade with clearly defined Functions of Coordinated Boarder Management.
This is a right step forward for coordinated and integrated Boarder Management leading to the desired Results as envisaged.
Customs fraternity through effective border management and stringent control is transforming the hitherto divided world into an economic hub. The soaring seagull which is an insignia of Pakistan Customs depicts the all encompassing role of customs in ensuring hassle free trade equipped with optimum security.
Pakistan Customs has spearheaded in bringing in technological advancement in its operations through WeBOC. It has remained a visionary smart, dynamic and efficient organization that has contributed to the national exchequer and guarded the physical and ideological boundaries of our motherland.
World Customs Day