In the acknowledgement of the contribution of Customs towards social, economic, health and environmental needs of the globe, the World Customs Organization has aptly decided the slogan for International Customs Day (ICD) for the year 2020 as, “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”.

In most of the countries including Pakistan, Customs is known more for clearance of goods imported into and exported out of the country and generating revenue. However, in the developed countries, it is seen as a department that brings economic prosperity by ensuring that goods demanded in the market of one country are supplied from the other country in the shortest possible time so that capital rolls over quickly and by protecting businesses against illegal trade and copyright infringements.

In these countries, it is also known for prevention of inflow and outflow of items which are harmful to social safety and public like weapons, drugs, medicines, expired and unhealthy food items and for protection of environment against ozone depleting substances.

The role of Customs to combat illegal international money transaction has also been fully recognized in the developed world. I feel that awareness about these “non-revenue generation” roles of Customs is lacking not only amongst public but also amongst most of the members of Customs family in the country.

Announcement of the theme of “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”, by WCO for this year’s Customs day not only provides us the opportunity to highlight these lesser known important role of Customs in the country but also to reaffirm our commitment as Customs officers to provide best service towards the triple Ps identified by WCO that is People, Prosperity & Planet.

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