The World Customs Organization (WCO) has committed to bolstering recovery, renewal and resilience for a sustainable supply chain as it celebrates ‘International Customs Day’ (ICD) today.
Secretary General Dr Kunio Mikuriya said enhanced collaboration and embracing digital transformation, along with other advanced technologies, would drive the post-Covid recovery process.
And customs was uniquely placed, given its pivotal role in keeping borders safe, to contribute to a sustainable supply chain, he added.
But the recovery process cannot be undertaken in isolation. “The expertise of all border agencies and stakeholders will be a decisive factor.
“The Covid-19 crisis has shown that much-needed coordinated border management is not only possible, but can operate efficiently and can be further institutionalised at both national and international level, including for facilitating the cross-border movement of vaccines.”
Mikuriya pointed out that the pandemic had shown the importance of major innovative and technological concepts that the WCO had been promoting for a number of years now. “These include fully digital and paperless clearance of goods and persons, the single window and the use of technology in implementing effective controls and facilitating customs processes while ensuring compliance with social distancing rules at borders.”
Building on the lessons learned, customs administrations needed to look at the way goods were cleared at borders from a fresh perspective, he added. “Non-intrusive inspection devices, blockchain technology, artificial intelligence, sensors and connected objects, and other technological advances offer tangible benefits in terms of collecting, combining, sharing and analysing data.”