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Globally networked customs, need of the hour
February, 03rd 2012

A globally networked customs can help in trade facilitation and enforcement. The trade mispricing accounted for an average of 54.7% of cumulative illicit flows from developing countries. The global network of custom authorities will facilitate exchange of information on valuation of goods, rules of origin and intellectual property rights, said M V S Choudhary, commissioner for customs, Mangalore Customs Commissionerate.

Dwelling on this years' theme of International Customs Day 'Borders divide: Customs connect' on the occasion of International Customs Day and 50th Year of Customs Act (1962) on Thursday, he said customs would build a global security network through advance electronic information. This requires standardized cargo data elements and effective risk management to facilitate customs-to-customs and customs-to-business co-operation.

In support of this network, it is logical for World Customs Organization to dedicate the theme this year to connectivity, which aims at prompting customs administration to find the best way to increase collaboration, in terms of people, institutions and information that underpin and facilitate the achievement of customs' main goals. They are ensuring smooth and lawful flow of cargo and passengers as well as fighting various frauds and crime.

The single-window environment has the potential to deliver transformational advantages to business by simplifying and unifying touch-points between the members of trade and different government departments involved in cross-border regulatory procedures. Steps like harmonized system nomenclature, world's global standard for classifying goods is already in place. As a first step, India is rolling out a system -- authorized economic operator.

Under AEO, Choudhary said traders, logistics providers and customs agents sporting secure trader tag will be able to move their goods speedily through customs in countries with similar facility. The Presidential Award winners from Mangalore Customs and DRI - Srinivasa Nayak, superintendent and K Ramakrishnan, were facilitated on this occasion. Customs officers who retired were also feted.

KCCI president Latha R Kini said customs has evolved the years and adapted to changing scenarios. "In the event of Goods and Services Tax being implemented, customs will have a bigger role to play," Latha said.

Former IRS officer Giselle D Mehta recalled her days as an IRS officer in customs and central excise and spoke about her literary contributions and how her earliest creative cravings took place in the customs department.

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