Article: Syed Tanvir Ahmad Director General (Customs Valuation), Custom House, Karachi
Data analysis for trade facilitation and effective enforcement.The growth in bilateral or multi-lateral trade is directly proportional to trade facilitation and effective enforcement. With the passage of time the trade of Pakistan with other countries is increasing and is expected to increase manifold. The need of effective border management has never been so important in Pakistan's perspective than today, especially in the aftermath of CPEC, framing of new free trade agreements, opening of Iran's trade to world and business potential with Cental Asia and India. Undoubtedly, the core to effective border management is system based data analysis. Such is the importance of the data analysis that customs world has decided to dedicate the slogan to it for the International Customs Day 2017. From the regional perspective, if we observe, different systems are being used by customs for goods clearance. In Pakistan, WeBOC is operational. In India, Iran and Afghanistan Asycuda system is working, whereas China has home grown system for custom clearances. For effective border management, the data sharing of the trading countries is of essential importance and in the absence of uniform systems, it is cumbersome to share and utilize the customs data. Thus, the real challenge from Pakistan's perspective, is the IT-based linkages for sharing data on real time basis to effectively check the issues of mis- declaration, under valuation, misclassification and illicit trade. In the first instance, for effective border management based on data analysis, joint border facility by the border customs authorities of neighbouring countries may be initiated. However for ideal atmosphere, the Export GD of one country, should be treated as import GD of the importing country. A parallel option, however, is that we consider following WCO Data Model. The WCO Data Model helps in meeting the procedural and legal needs of Customs for controlling export, import and transit transactions. It is consistent with other international standards such as the United Nations Trade Data Elements Directory (UNTDED). The WCO Model not only includes data for different customs procedures but also information for the cross-border release and clearances. In our environment, WeBOC is a Single Window system as it allows the reporting of information by all government agencies in one system. The adoption of WCO Data Model will help us in effective border management as well as enhancement in revenue together with effective and timely handling of misdeclarations, under valuation, illicit trade, smuggling and money laundering.