International Customs Day is celebrated every year on 26 January to recognize the efforts of Customs community around the globe and to meet the new challenges faced by customs in terms of revenue generation and trade facilitation.

Pakistan Customs being part of the International Customs fraternity and also a member of World Customs Organization is observing this day with full zeal and zest adhering to this year’s theme “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet.”

Due to ever increasing population resulting in massive globalization trends multiplying International trade so far has brought new challenges to the existing societies. Tax collection, revenue generation and trade facilitation are some primary roles of Customs but increasing globalization demands multifaceted participation of customs to ensure existence of secure, prosperous and healthy societies.

Pakistan Customs, in this regard, is already implementing WCO Framework of Standards on Cross Border E-Commerce to leverage e-commerce opportunities in inclusive manner. In 2012, Pakistan Customs started Safe Transportation Environment (STE) project to manage risk of Afghan Transit (AT) cargo and to reconcile cargo data at the entry and exit points.

It is taking place on real-time basis by tacking and monitoring of vehicles carrying AT cargo. Another development project namely Integrated Transit Trade Management System (ITTMS) jointly funded by FBR and Asian Development Bank (ADB) has been launched for development of trade related infrastructure at border crossing stations of Torkham (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), Chaman (Balochistan), Wahga (Punjab) and Ports of Karachi and Bin Qasim (Sindh).

The afore-referred programs and activities clearly reflect that Pakistan has made a considerable progress regarding WCO's SAFE Framework of Standards, Revised Kyoto Convention (RKC) and WTO & #39’s Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA).

Major development in this direction is five years project (Sept; 2015 to Aug; 2020) namely the Pakistan Regional Economic Integration Activity (PREIA) Project funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). PREIA & #39s focus area is trade promotion and facilitation in collaboration with public and private sector to improve competitiveness resulting into increased volumes of trade and transit.

Pakistan is also signatory to the Stockholm Convention, Rotterdam Convention, Basel Convention and the Montreal Protocol. All these prohibit trans-boundary movements of persistent organic pollutants, certain industrial chemicals and ozone depleting substances.

Government of Pakistan is fully committed to make Pakistan Customs fully resourceful in term of technology and skillful manpower to foster sustainability for a prosperous economy and green environment.

In the end, I would like to highly appreciate the officers and officials of Pakistan Customs for their untiring efforts in fostering sustainable economy and also their role for ensuring healthy and green environment is equally laudable among all major stakeholders. Pakistan Customs is truly playing their part as the guardians of economic fronts of the motherland and I am very much hopeful for their more effective role in fostering sustainable development so that our future generations can witness a more stable Pakistan (In sha ALLAH).

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