International Customs Day is celebrated under the auspices of World Customs Organization on 26th of January every year.

It is an important occasion to express solidarity with the global Customs fraternity and at the same time a day to resolve for future cooperation and collaboration to make international trade safe, secure and beneficial for all actors and nations.

Every year, the World Customs Organization (WCO), keeping in view the emerging trends in international trade, chooses a relevant theme and events are organized around the globe to publicize Customs role and significance with respect to the chosen theme. The WCO has dedicated this year’s Customs Day to the slogan “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”.

Customs administrations around the world are entrusted with myriad of responsibilities including collection of duties and taxes on imports; cargo and passenger clearance; enforcement of multiple laws governing the cross border movement of goods such as health and safety, intellectual property laws, CITES, counter-narcotics regulations, etc.; interdiction of illicit and dangerous goods posing threat to the society apart from the safety and security of international cargo supply chain which is vital for the economic growth and prosperity of every nation.

The WCO cognizant of the role of Customs in nation building has linked this year’s theme to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) for the reason that Customs being the frontline agency at the international border plays a critical role in enforcing laws and regulations which address major social and economic challenges facing societies across the globe thus help promoting human well being and prosperity of the nations.

The vision for Customs outlined by WCO which is “Bringing Customs together for a safer and more prosperous world: Borders divide, Customs connects” has been enshrined in the Organization’s Strategic Plan 2019-2022. The plan in fact explains the role of Customs in securing borders, thereby contributing to economic prosperity and unifying all actors along the entire supply chain.

It is indeed a matter of great pride that Pakistan Customs has made great strides in the last few years to transform the organization into a modern, progressive and vibrant body.

The reforms introduced in the last few years specially in the field information technology and automation have greatly contributed towards reduction in dwell time, safety and security of cargo supply chain and integrating Customs and other government agencies’ systems for better coordination and trade facilitation. Not to mention, the enforcement efforts wherein officers of Pakistan Customs have made phenomenal impact.

In fact, on this year’s Customs Day, we also pay tribute to our fallen hero, Dr. Abdul Quddoos Sheikh who laid down his life in the line of duty on July 9, 2019 in a cowardly and dastardly attack by unscrupulous smugglers. Despite this huge loss, our spirits are not down and we are ever more re-invigorated to eliminate the menace of smuggling from the society. Dr. Abdul Quddoos is a beacon of light for the entire Customs fraternity and reflects the remarkable role Customs is playing for safety and security of our nations.

In the end, I would like to congratulate my fellow officers, officers from other law enforcement agencies and trade community on the auspicious occasion of International Customs Day. Simultaneously, I would also like my fellow officer to remember our fallen colleagues whose sacrifice has given a new lease of life to the organization.

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