ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Customs Service organised seminars across the country and burned contraband goods as it observed the International Customs Day on Sunday.
Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi chaired and addressed the major event held at the Customs House Islamabad. Member (Customs Policy) Muhammad Javed Ghani was also present.
Speaking on the occasion, Shabbar Zaidi said Pakistan Customs had achieved milestones in ensuring social, economic, and environmental development and safety of the people of Pakistan.
The FBR chief said in addition to existing automated (WeBOC) system, the customs had initiated a project namely WeBOC-GLO and Pakistan Single Window for updating and modernizing the system keeping in line with international best practices for facilitating and securing trade.
Customs had also implemented Advance Passenger Information System (APIS) and Global Travelers Assessment System (GTAS), he added.
Felicitating the officers and officials of Pakistan Customs, he asked them to continue to strive for greater professionalism in line with the international best practices and transform the organization into a business-friendly, forward-looking and a partner in the economic development of Pakistan.
Zaidi emphasized that customs’ efficiency could be improved best with the alignment of its operations with internationally recognized/recommended practices.
He also underscored that customs’ role now was more of facilitation and regulatory.
Member (Customs Policy) Muhammad Javed Ghani highlighted the milestones the department had achieved during the last one year.
He referred to the enforcement tools like National Customs Enforcement Network (nCEN) which Pakistan Customs had installed.
With nCEN, Pakistan Customs was included in the club of 35 customs administrations in the world who were using nCEN, Ghani said, adding Pakistan was the seventh country in the Asia-Pacific region where nCEN was operational.
He further stated by streamlining its operations, Pakistan Customs had achieved a milestone in increasing its ranking by 31st in the ‘Trading across border’ Index.
“This has also significantly contributed to Pakistan’s improvement in Ease of Doing Business Index by 28 positions.”
According to him, Pakistan Customs had developed model Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements and signed MoUs which included all the required provisions to have cooperation by other/important customs administrations in this arena.
“To this effect, Pakistan Customs finalized the draft agreements and MoUs in consultation with all the ministries and departments in Pakistan and had sent the same for finalization (and signing) to USA, European Union (EU), Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. Moreover, significant headway has been made regarding Green Corridor and other Customs initiatives with China,” Ghani said.
FBR Chairman Shabbar Zaidi and Member (Customs Policy) Javed Ghani also witnessed the burning ceremony of seized contraband goods and items at the end.