The World Customs Organization (WCO) has declared 2016 the “Year of Digital Customs”, and is encouraging Customs Administrations around the world to share best practices and promote the use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) in order to collect and safeguard Customs duties, to control the flow of goods, people, conveyances, and money, and to secure cross-border trade from crime, including international terrorism which continues to rear its head across the globe.
Some areas that have made rapid progress in recent years through the use of digital customs include:
- The use of big data analytics to manage risk in the supply chain;
- Real time information sharing between the trade and Customs authorities,
- Enhanced automated trade processing tools and single windows,
- The integration of container/cargo imaging tools and the ability to share images with international partners.
Modernized revenue collection capabilities and the use of handhelds have also allowed for more effective, efficient Customs processes.
Customs authorities, private industry, and international organizations everywhere should promote digital customs innovations in an effort to improve global trade and the larger global economy.
More can be read in the WCO Press Release.