International Customs Day

International Customs Day

By Nepali Patro (Sudan Bhattarai Upadhyaya)
January 7, 2022

International Customs Day. Today, January 26, is the International (World) Customs Day celebration. According to the decision of the World Customs Organization, International  Customs Day is celebrated by the Customs community on this day i.e January 26th every year all over the world. In any country, it is illegal to supply goods or services by evading customs. ICD is celebrated to commemorate the very first official conference of the Customs Co-operation Council which is now known as the World Customs Organization, WCO. International  Customs Day is being observed to create a safe business environment because importing/exporting illegal ways shall pose a threat not only to the country’s economy but also to good governance, development, and human security.

The tax levied by the government of any country on import and export is called customs. Customs refers also to the place where one country meets another country, and it refers to the place where information of incoming/ outgoing goods and services are kept. As most of Nepal’s borders are open, security agencies, including customs, have an important role to play in controlling smuggling.

All kinds of goods imported from abroad are brought home by crossing the border or customs. Whether it’s a cup for drinking tea in the morning or a bowl for midday’s lunch. All of these are imported goods through various customs offices. If not made or fabricated in our own country. That is why customs is so important for the simple and easy supply of goods and services we need in our daily life. 

Each country imposes taxes according to its own laws and imports or exports according to its standards. The country collects the customs duty as revenue of the country for various activities of national interest such as development, construction, peace, and security. Therefore, it can be said that one of the main sources of strengthening the country’s economy is also the customs sector.

The “Nepal National Single Door System” has been launched in the country since the month of Magh 2077 BS on the occasion of 69th International Customs Day in order to facilitate international trade. Department of Food Technology and Quality Control, Department of Animal Services, and Plant Quarantine Centers are some of the involvement in it during its first phase.  

Various government and private sector bodies can join this system, which has been implemented with the objective of making customs procedures paperless and simple. The web portal, built under the National Single Door System, will allow traders to submit their documents online using their username and password. It is said that with the introduction of this system, the business community will be freed from the obligation to submit documents to different government bodies.

International Customs Day also recognizes the role of customs officials and agencies in maintaining the flow of goods and services across the globe. When there is a border division between two or more countries, there comes the customs. Customs also help to meet the economic and social as well as environmental needs of our planet. Therefore, it can be said that customs also contribute to a sustainable future.

The Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) was established on 26th January 1952. The inaugural event on the year 26 January 1953 in Brussels was attended by member states of 17 European countries. In 1983, the Customs Cooperation Council introduced the International Customs Day celebration.  And, in 1994, the Customs Cooperation Council was renamed the World Customs Organization (WCO). Today, the International  Customs Organization is the only international body dedicated exclusively to international customs and border control matters. As of today, the World Customs Organization has a total of 183 members.

There is a nail-flesh relationship between all kinds of service delivery merchants and customs offices. And with good coordination between them, importing and exporting goods through the border in a simple and easy way is a pleasant result for all parties. Similarly, the honesty and integrity of the customs staff are very important. The businessmen coming to work in the customs should also fulfill their role honestly and follow the law. And, the traders should stop all the wrong activities that can take place inside the customs. In event of tolerance of those activities, even honest businessmen coming to work at the customs office may flee. 

In Nepal too, International Customs Day is celebrated this day by conducting various awareness programs, educational seminars as well as informative programs including public awareness, speeches, and workshops programs at different ports or customs of the country. 

For a sustainable supply chain, customs must be empowered and suppliers must respect them. In the same way, the demand of the time is that the customs should be transparent day by day and move forward digitally. With the introduction of the Nepal National Single Window System” (NNSW) we all should hope customs/ports shall move forward as the demand of the time.

The customs also has to develop itself not only as a means of revenue collection but also as a service-oriented office. Everyone must pay customs to legally supply goods and services. On the occasion of International Customs Day, best wishes from the Nepali Patro to all the readers and the Customs community.  To Read this article in the Nepali Language please click here.

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