January 26 -International Customs Day
International Customs Day (ICD) is celebrated every year by the custom organizations on 26 January. The day is dedicated to the first official meeting of Customs Co-operation Council. Also known as World Customs Organization (WCO), it is the only intergovernmental organization exclusively focused on Customs matters. Established in 1952, WCO is an independent body solely focused on enhancing the effectiveness and efficiency of customs administrations all over the world. With over more than 177 custom administration members, WCO is a giant body in the field of customs. According to one estimate, total members of WCO collectively process no less than 98% of world trade. WCO is the true voice of international customs community.
Every year, there is a different theme on International Customs Day. The theme of 2010 was “Customs-Business Partnership”. Because of escalating international security risks, international customs bodies have to play an increasing important role. Global business scenario is adversely affected with security related dangers. The day marked the necessity of customs bodies to tighten the vigil and establish better understanding with business firms. WCO’s competence in customs matters and increasing world trade are closely related. Better Customs-Business Partnership is a win-win situation for both sides.
World Customs Organization plays a vital role in stimulating the growth of legitimate international trade. WCO has taken several crucial steps to combat the increasing menace of fraudulent activities. 26 January highlights the need of promoting an honest, transparent and secure custom environment in the world. The health of international trade is very much dependent on the contributions made by the WCO.
The theme of International Customs Day emphasized the importance of partnership approach. WCO has contributed in several areas including trade supply chain security, development of global customs and business standards, anti-piracy initiatives, simplification of Customs procedures and public-private partnerships. Celebrated by all the members of WCO, International Customs Day is a wonderful reminder of important role played by customs bodies in the world.