The 6th World Customs Organization (WCO) Technology & Innovation Forum, organized in cooperation with the Japanese Customs Administration, was held in Tokyo, Japan from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November 2017. Approximately 500 participants attended, representing: border management and other government agencies from around the world, as well as technology providers, research institutes, international organizations, consulting firms, and other private businesses.
Multiple topics pertaining to the theme of technology and innovation in customs were discussed throughout the forum, including: the pros and cons of new border technologies, the impact of disruptive technologies on borders, coordination between agencies involved in the border clearance process, the trust between humans and machines, the use of geospatial data in the Customs environment, and the utilization of data analytics. Other topics discussed included: innovative technology solutions designed to enhance optimal work flow, safety and security of global supply chains, how to how to enhance supply chain visibility, the future of Customs enforcement, and how Customs and businesses can benefit from improved transparency.
CT Strategies’ Andrew Farrelly was invited to moderate a panel at the forum entitled “Borders by Numbers and Maps: How to go Beyond the ‘Point of Entry’?” Farrelly and the presenters discussed the GIS Platform for Border Protection, Geo-Spatial Technologies, and provided examples of where Geo-Spatial Technologies were implemented in Tunisia, Algeria and Iraq, and what we can learn from Geodata to enforce borders.
Overall, the 6th WCO Technology & Innovation Forum provided an exciting opportunity for government and private sector representatives to engage in direct dialogue to explore innovative technological solutions to assist in border management and Customs enforcement.