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TEXT: Customs fraternity comes together this year to recognize the services of World Customs in fortifying and strengthening the sustainable supply chain through effective recovery, renewal and resilience during the deadly Covid-19 pandemic. This year’s slogan is a testimony to the selfless contribution of Customs as a global fraternity emphasizing the aspect of organizational responsibility towards fostering a sustainable supply chain in the wake of national lockdowns and worldwide disruptions of legitimate imports and exports.

Customs being an essential service has effectively attained its strategic mission of ensuring sustainability of supply chain while coping effectively with multi-faceted and complex challenges at regional and international levels, which arose due to the Covid pandemic.

Pakistan Customs in line with this year’s slogan has been successfully performing its tasks of revenue collection, effective enforcement and protection and facilitation of legitimate trade while strictly implementing all Covid-19 safety protocols. These trade facilitating measures have successfully ensured service delivery through online collection of leviable duties, paperless clearances, promoting and facilitating legitimate imports and exports and un-interrupted cross-border movement of goods. Throughout the pandemic, Pakistan Customs Operations continued unhindered and extraordinary trade facilitation measures ensured minimum loss to business. This is evident from improvement of Pakistan ranking of Trading Across Border Index from 142nd to 111th and World Bank’s ease of doing business index from 136th to 108th rank. Pakistan Customs have achieved this milestone through strengthening the global supply chain, reinforcing collaboration, harnessing technology and putting ‘people’ at the center of digital transformation process, while paying particular attention to automation, use of innovative technology and adoption of collaborative approaches with all stakeholders along the supply chain.

Thus, Pakistan Customs has been at the frontline during this ‘New Normal’ environment, inspecting incoming and outgoing passengers and cargo and allowing movement of vessels and aircrafts while safeguarding national security through adoption of National Government policy in collaboration with all relevant law enforcement agencies and health department. Pakistan Customs officers and officials have selflessly served round the clock ensuring immediate clearances of essential medical supplies, medical equipment and life-saving drugs at all airports. Similarly, all imports and exports at sea-ports and borders have been facilitated under restrictive SOPs protocols while ensuring proper examinations and assessment of goods to plug any revenue leakages and securing legitimate government revenue.

Dr. Amna Naeem Deputy Collector of Customs MCC (Enforcement & Compliance), Karachi

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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