WCO Theme for 2019 – ‘Smart Borders’

On occasion of the annual celebration of the International Customs Day, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) will initiate a Smart border theme for cross border transactions on 26 January for provisioning seamless trade, travel, and transport in the economy.

Stating further about the initiative, a representative of WCO said ‘2019 will be devoted to smooth and swift movement of goods, people and means of transport across borders. As customs play a pivotal role in facilitating trade and border procedures, it becomes mandatory for customs to take a consolidated effort with other agencies to amplify and promote an easy flow of goods and people across borders.

To that effort, the representative added to this statement that WCO to its new agenda will work to promote the transformation of frontiers to ‘Smart Borders ‘with customs acting as a central connecting hub, coordinating all procedures.

The concept of ‘SMART’ borders strives to strengthen government procedures to facilitate trade, travel and mitigate related threats to the flow of goods, people and means of transport. Smart here stands for

S – Secure

M – Measurable

A – Automated

R – Risk Management

T -Technology-Driven

Under this theme –

For Security measures – WCO will call upon customs, partner agencies and other economic operators to enhance the security of the supply chain and build transparency in the process.

For Measurement – WCO will initiate efforts for developing a robust mechanism for performance measurement to cover all custom competencies and procedures.

For Automation – WCO observed how rapid digitization, e-commerce helped to remove demarcation between physical, biological and digital components, so it urged customs to strengthen its policy measures towards cutting edge technology to improve its services, processes, and its overall performance.

For Risk-management: WCO noted that intelligence driven and data-enabled risk framework helped custom administrators to be effective at all levels, but it is essential for the agencies to be more focussed on a common approach to identify and address potential risks at a scaled dynamic basis.

For Technology driven – WCO referred the way technology helped customs and authorities to explore & use information and other communication technologies including smart track and trace technologies for containers cargo and conveyance. Thus, WCO triggered the need to explore the use of other technologies also.

Praising WCO initiatives General Secretary Kunio Mikuriya said ‘Working SMART means being prepared for re-engineering the business processes with the application of new technologies and achieve an interconnected global value chain which will faster economic growth in an inclusive manner. ‘