This year’s International Customs Day (ICD) on 26 January 2020 is dedicated to the contribution of Customs towards a sustainable future where social, economic, health and environmental needs are at the heart of our actions, with the slogan “Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet”.

This not being a mere slogan enhances the responsibilities of Customs as a global fraternity and gives a multi-dimensional approach to ever expanding job as well as a meaningful existence for customs cantons everywhere. It is also a welcome recognition of Customs contributions towards sustainable future where not only the economic, but the social, health and environmental needs of the people, the country and the planet at large are a priority and are focused upon during the day to day working of modern customs.

Sustainable development is one that meets the needs of the present day with simultaneous progress towards a secure future for our next generations. This demands that import/export, border controls, tariff rates, revenue collection as well as legitimate trade facilitation is carried out with a view on its impact on present day situation and its future implications in strengthening and sustaining our economy, the country and the international community.

Pakistan Customs, in line with this year’s slogan, has been performing the task of protecting the economic borders of the country in order to ensure a predictable market in the best interest of its industrialists, investors, common man and environment. What makes this task so critical is that no country can offer other countries their market access/share unless they have it properly under control. The market control being referred to here is not synonymous to or implies an inclination towards a closed market but a market that is off limits for un-accounted for and un-documented commodities. Only when we ensure that our gates are properly guarded can we guarantee that whatever comes in is not unfavorable to our people, prosperity or the environment.

One of the core functions of Pakistan Customs, like its counterparts all around the world, is to facilitate legitimate trade. In this era of globalization, we have to very wisely and efficiently open our market to the world so that we know and can thus control what is coming in or going out and what is its impact on our economy, people and environment. In order to carry out the aforementioned task, Pakistan Customs implements more than 26 allied laws of the country, a few of them being Anti-Narcotics Act, Animal and Plant Quarantine Act and Intellectual Property Laws.

If we look closely, this year’s slogan’s focus on the sustainability of the planet is not unfounded. Human beings have a tendency to address imminent problems first which is why we mostly tend to forget the long run impacts of our policies and practices on the environment, our eco system and the planet. Pakistan Customs has ratified to and puts maximum efforts to practically adhere to the conventions focused on securing our planet from all that is any way harmful for it and its residents. There is an overpowering need and thus an ever-critical commitment of Customs throughout the world and in Pakistan to do our part to effectively protect our planet and everything on it from all that is detrimental in any way.

Recently, Pakistan Customs has been entrusted with the responsibility of being the lead agency for Anti-Smuggling in the country. It resonates perfectly with this year’s slogan as it calls for us to develop our capabilities in a manner that we can live up to the international as well as the national mandate. It is an opportunity for us to restructure our service by building the capacity of the workforce and equip it with the resources, tools and expertise it requires to carry out the task. This is a step towards becoming lead Law Enforcement Agency to perform anti-smuggling functions in the country.

This planet is home to humans as we know it. In order for our future generations to be able to have a safe, prosperous, sustainable and healthy life on Earth, we, as the custodians of borders and markets of our country, have to be committed to put such controls in place that check the inflow and outflow of all that is in any way damaging for our people or the planet; by doing that we shall be automatically living by this year’s slogan of fostering sustainability for people, prosperity and the planet.

Long Live Pakistan Customs. Long Live Pakistan.

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