Secretary, Revenue Division/Chairman, Federal Board of Revenue
As Pakistan Customs prepares to mark International Customs Day on January 26, 2019, Customs Administrations across the world shall express their commitment to this year’s theme of “swift and smooth cross-border movement of goods, people and means of transport” with the slogan “SMART borders for seamless Trade, Travel and Transport”.
This is very relevant in view of the fact that Customs not only helps connect borders, but Customs Administrations worldwide must always balance the function of trade facilitation with effective border enforcement to ensure the unhindered flow of illicit trade and legitimate passengers across borders.
SMART borders aim at providing a more stable and safe business environment for global trade and movement of people. These are enabled though various information and communication technologies that allow for de-territorialized border controls including biometrics, database and information sharing systems, increased automation, risk-based strategies etc.
It gives me great pleasure to observe that Pakistan Customs is rapidly becoming an increasingly automated organization. Its automated cargo clearance system WeBOC ensures effective data analysis, thereby allowing Pakistan Customs to employ a more targeted approach towards enforcement and border security, consequently enhancing security of the business environment without compromising on trade facilitation.
With rapid globalization, the dynamics of international trade have suddenly changed, particularly in the wake of increased focus on counter terrorism and the physical security of goods and people moving across borders. The fight against illicit trade includes money laundering and terrorist financing and Pakistan Customs is already involved in efforts to establish the National Targeting Centre to control the same.
Pakistan is a signatory to the World Trade Organization (WTO)’s Trade Facilitation Agreement and Pakistan Customs recognizes that a safe business environment is an important pre-requisite for trade facilitation. For this purpose, various tools are at our disposal, including risk management on the basis of advance information, Non-Intrusive Inspection Technology, export controls and information exchange between the public and private sectors. With the launch of the National Single Window, Pakistan Customs shall be another step closer to a more cohesive border management solution that involves Customs, partner government agencies, economic operators and industry.
I extend my felicitations to all officers and officials of Pakistan Customs on this auspicious occasion and foresee that Pakistan Customs shall continue on the path of modernization and trade facilitation in order to ensure a safe business environment that encourages economic growth and development. [the_ad id=”31605″]