The COVID-19 pandemic dominated the economy of the world in the year 2020. It took lives of millions of people around the globe and changed the lifestyles of billions into a new normal. The pandemic not only posed unprecedented challenge to public health and safety but also to the international supply chain.
Customs Administrations around the world celebrate the World Customs Day under the auspices of World Customs Organization (WCO) each year on 26th January. This year the WCO decided to celebrate a theme interlinked with the past chain of events related to the world economy and the resolve of Customs to not only overcome the challenges but to make the Administrations resilient to any further shocks through promotion of sustainability. This year the Administrations will celebrate the World Customs Day under the slogan “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience for a sustainable supply chain”.
Pakistan Customs during the year 2020, took several measures to facilitate the cross-border movement of relief goods and essential supplies (like coronavirus detection kits, surgical masks, multi-mode ventilators with air compressors, face shields, and other medical supplies). Exemption of custom duty, regulatory duty and additional custom duty on medical and testing equipment was also provided on the goods related to health and safety of the citizens of Pakistan. In order to mitigate the impact of supply chain relationship to global shock, Pakistan Customs assured 24/7 clearance of cargo at ports, airports and all land border stations for protecting the social and economic interest of people. Moreover, a large number of anti-smuggling operations were carried out during the pandemic.
It is important to highlight here the heroic efforts of courageous and inspiring officers during these trying times. We salute our martyrs and frontline workers including Shaheed Zahid Khokhar on this Day as they make us proud during these trying times.
I expect Pakistan Customs to continue to strive for greater professionalism in line with international best practices, to enable them to take intelligent enforcement decisions on the basis of information sharing, targeted data analysis and greater engagement with stakeholders to ensure sustainability of global supply chain.