KARACHI: The border management is one of the biggest challenges of our times and customs administrations all around the world are facing it with appropriate response.
While talking to Customs Today exclusively, the collector said that the efficient and effective border management ensures security and smooth trade flow – import, export and transit of goods. The generally accepted mission of customs administrations world over is to design, develop and implement such integrated policies and procedures that ensure increased safety and security as well as effective trade facilitation and revenue collection for the state.
This aim is better achieved through appropriate use of information/data analysis in dealing with cross border movement of goods, conveyances, and people. It is against this backdrop of increasingly globalized world that the World Customs Organization (WCO) has dedicated this year theme “Data Analysis for Effective Border Management.” The promotion of data analysis by WCO is aimed at developing border management strategy built on proactive decision making. If the borders are well managed then the results could be reduced documentation, speedy clearances of goods by eliminating delays, lowering of cost of doing business, economic growth and ultimately to reduce poverty and increase prosperity.
In line with WCO’s present theme, Pakistan Customs is already using this model of “Collection and Analysis of Data” as an integral part of Customs Modernization process for better border management/clearance of goods for import, export or transit since the introduction of Pakistan Automated Customs Clearance System (PaCCs) in 2006 and Web-based One Customs (WeBOC) in 2012. Among World Customs administrations especially in the regional context Pakistan Customs has taken a lead by introducing and successfully operating WeBOC for real time clearance of cargo.
This is an automated clearance system providing end to end solutions for both imports and exports. The pace of trade across the border has reached a new height with this technological advancement achieved by Pakistan Customs. Pakistan Customs’ Reforms & Automation Directorate is continuously improving and offering this platform to various ministries and departments and progressing towards main objective of “National Single Window” for all stakeholders. The WeBOC development team is now developing module for Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) after signing MOU with IATA. This will capture data of incoming and outgoing passengers and help Pakistan Customs in analysis of passengers’ data and take enforcement action against khepias, drug traffickers, currency plus gold smugglers, etc.
The data analysis is helping Pakistan Customs to achieve new levels of success in facilitation for bona fide trade/passengers and controlling illegal trade/suspicious passengers. The data analysis is thus greatly supporting the core Customs’ objectives of revenue collection, border security, collection of trade statistics and trade facilitation. As the reforms in Pakistan Customs are going on the same would further strengthen the culture of collection and analysis of data for further trade facilitation, revenue collection, meeting the national targets of economic growth and prosperity.
Pakistan Customs is therefore fully determined and devoted towards the protection of national borders in line with best and modern global customs practices. I congratulate the world customs fraternity in general and Pakistan customs in particular on this special day of great significance and importance.