International Customs Day, a day celebrated worldwide by the Custom Community to commemorate the first official conference held on 26th January, 1953 of the Customs Co-operation Council, officially known as the World Customs Organization. This day is celebrated worldwide to honor the valuable role played by Customs Administrations throughout the world in the protection of National borders from contraband as well as facilitation of legitimate trade. Each year, the Customs Community sets a theme to gather information and re-affirm World Customs Organization’s mission of enhancing effectiveness and efficiency.The information gathered is used to provide people with knowledge of business safety and security so as to enable them to work towards a better future.
To mark the significance of the challenges faced by the Custom Community due to the Pandemic, the World Customs Organization has dedicated the theme of 2021 as “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience for a sustainable supply chain”. The said theme highlights the united efforts of the Custom Community in supporting people and businesses in these difficult times by strengthening the global supply chain, reinforcing collaboration and harnessing technology.
During this pandemic, Covid-19 Customs demonstrated the relevance and critical role that it can play in facilitating trade and travel, simplifying, standardizing and harmonizing border procedures, and securing the borders. It is indeed proudly that I say that Pakistan Customs in this time of need ensured continuous operation of the supply chain guaranteeing that all goods including but not limited to food items, medicines, etc. cross borders without any delay. At a time when all departments of the country were not fully operational and the country was fighting its battle with the pandemic, Pakistan Customs fulfilled its role well by ensuring smooth delivery of goods till its end consumer, facilitation of trade and strengthening the global supply chain.
It is indeed encouraging that Pakistan Customs with the help of State Bank of Pakistan has already made significant headway towards digital transformation by ensuring that payment of Custom duties and taxes of any amountis also be acceptable through e-payment.With the launch of this system of e-payment across Pakistan, not only cost and time shall be saved but it shall also ensure seamless movement of goods across borders.
Since Custom Administrations around the world interact with global supply chains therefore, the best practices need to be adopted to ensure smooth national and international transactions. The pandemic has further reminded us that the path of modernization and trade facilitation is necessary to ensure a safe business environment. In today’s world, the international trade scenario has changed drastically, demanding not only dialogue between international jurisdictions but also sustainable partnerships with the business community.We all appreciate that Customs Administrators play a vital role in smooth flow of trade fighting on the front line to ensure trade is safeguarded against all economic terrorism.
The Karachi Customs Agents Association is especially grateful to Pakistan Customs for ensuring to fulfill its role even in these difficult times. I once again wish to convey my best wishes to the Pakistan Customs on the International Customs Day.