KARACHI: S.M. Tariq Huda, Collector, Model Customs Collectorate (Preventive) has said that the theme for “International Customs Day” by the World Customs Organization (WCO) “Communication: sharing information for better cooperation”, could not have come at a better time.
As the role of Customs evolves from a revenue generating agency to one that plays an imperative role in safe guarding the economic interests of our country against all agents that might bring harm to it, it is now more vital than ever that the gates of communication be open. In todays technologically advance world, where easy access to communication has made many licit opportunities available, it has also made planning and execution of illicit activity very easy. As our world becomes increasingly interconnected, the phenomenon of trans-national crime is become increasingly common. Therefore, it is imperative that an infrastructure is developed where interagency communication within countries and between international agencies and countries can take place seamlessly to efficiently block illicit activity.
Customs organizations over the world are the first line of defense which can block substances deemed harmful to a country’s well being when they enter its borders. Therefore, Customs serves as a critical link between the international community and the local law enforcement, and increased interagency cooperation for data sharing both nationally and internationally. Customs can only play this role effectively if real time data and communication is made available. It is because of these reasons that highlighting the need for sharing information as means of better cooperation by the WCO are very fitting for the International Customs Day, as it serves to bring to the forefront the biggest hurdle Customs faces today.