Today, the Customs fraternity around the globe is celebrating International Customs Day under the umbrella of the World Customs Organization (WCO). The theme chosen for this year’s International Customs Day: “Data Analysis for Effective Border Management”, not only highlights the importance of information sharing for effective border management, but is the hallmark of efficient Customs enforcement through targeting and risk profiling.
Customs is in fact the first line of defence against illicit movement of cargo across borders. The role of Pakistan Customs is fast transforming from a mere revenue collecting agency to a dynamic enforcement agency against illicit movement of import and export cargo across international borders, thereby safeguarding the global supply chain security.
Pakistan Customs is dynamically leading modernization and connectivity in a rapidly changing world. It is also an axiomatic fact that borders divide, Customs connect since borders are synonymous with division, the main challenge for Customs administrations is to identify and pursue the best methods to increase connectivity which refers to people to people, institutional and information linkages that underpin and facilitate the achievement of objectives. However, effective border management is increasingly becoming a daunting task due to complex endogenous and exogenous threats and challenges. Pakistan Customs, being cognizant of this enormous challenge, has embarked on its flagship project, titled “Integrated Transit Trade Management System” (ITTMS), which not only envisages infrastructural improvement, but bolstering inter-agency coordination and using data analysis for robust targeting and risk profiling to maximize trade facilitation without compromising regulatory controls.
On this occasion, I would also like to thank a host of International Development Partners including the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID, JICA, UNODC, USCBP, HSI, DFID, GIZ, IFC, etc. Without their technical and material support, it would have been difficult for us to attain the present level of advancement.
In the end, I sincerely felicitate Pakistan Customs and the global Customs community on the occasion of International Customs Day and hope to work in close coordination with each other to achieve the common objective of safeguarding our economic frontiers against illicit trade.