ISLAMABAD: Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Shabbar Zaidi presided over a seminar on the Pakistan Customs Strategic Plan 2019-2024 here at Customs House. The seminar was organized by the Customs Collectorate in collaboration with the Directorate General Training & Research (Customs), Regional Office Islamabad. The purpose of the seminar was to apprise the officers of Pakistan Customs working in North Region about the future vision of the organization. The Chairman FBR congratulated Member Customs-Operations Jawwad Agha and his team for their tireless efforts to produce Strategic Plan 2019-24 which will serve as driving force for shaping future of Customs in conformity of its vision and changing roles at domestic and international level. He expressed his appreciation for sharing the plan with customs officers which will definitely inculcate ownership to the reforms and will go in long way for their informed participation in the entire process. Dr. Jawwad Uwais Agha, Member Customs-Operations, in his keynote address shared latest developments in the department, besides citing the steps so far taken for enhancing organizational capacity, reforms and restructuring through which Pakistan Customs is to be equipped with modern tools to meet emerging challenges. The Member Customs-Operations further apprised the participants about the progress made by Pakistan Customs both at national and international levels. At national level, the Customs has been re-organized on professional/ functional lines of Appraisement and Enforcement streams. Accordingly, new field Collectorates have been established across the country and human resource has been redeployed with these formations on need basis. Modernization in automation of Pakistan Customs i.e. from WeBOC to the new WeBOC Glo version and assigning the lead role to Pakistan Customs in National Single Window (NSW) are other major achievements of the Customs; informed the Member (Customs-Operations). Member (Customs-Operations) reiterated importance of reforms in light of changing socioeconomic environment and for better service delivery. He stated that application of information and communication technology, artificial intelligence and modern management techniques are essential for trade facilitation and effective enforcement of laws and rules. The Member further highlighted the role of Customs as defender of economic frontiers and its contribution in the development of the country. He expressed appreciation of the assistance of World Bank in the development of the Strategic Plan and hoped that effective implementation of this five years Plan will not only ensure organizational development but will also be instrumental in reduction in cost of doing business. He applauded the team members who contributed in preparation and making the Strategic Plan a comprehensive document, as without a blue print for the future development, effective reforms and restructuring could not be carried out. The Chief Collector Customs (Enforcement) South, Dr. Wasif Ali Memon, in his remarks enlightened the participants of the seminar on the role of Post Clearance Audit and propounded that in automated environment, it is inevitable for Customs administration to apply this tool in an effective and transparent manner; and in absence thereof neither clearance time can be reduced nor the issue of residual risk can be addressed. The Director General Customs Valuation, Mukarram Jah Ansari, informed about the issues related with Customs Valuation and highlighted the efforts for reforms in line with World Trade Organization and World Customs Organization guidelines. He further apprised the audience that in line with the directives of the Chairman FBR and under supervision of Member (Customs-Operations), the Customs as part of reforms, has rationalized Units of Measurement and reissued valuation rulings pertaining to more than 900 tariff lines. Mumtaz Ali Khoso, Collector Customs, Customs Collectorate Port Muhammad Bin Qasim, in his presentation explained the Strategic Objectives and their importance for effective Customs operations. Ahmad Rauf, Collector Customs, Customs Collectorate (Preventive) Lahore, presented in the shape of specific projects in the Strategic Plan, implementation timelines and Key Performance Indicators given in the Plan. The Director General Training and Research (Customs), Mr. Faiz Ahmad informed that this is the third Seminar for creating awareness and ownership about the five year Strategic Plan. The earlier two such seminars were held in Karachi and Lahore.