On this day 26 January the Oceania Customs Organisation (OCO) is joining the rest of the world customs family in celebrating the International Customs Day. The World Customs Organization (WCO) is dedicating 2017 to promoting data analysis under the slogan “Data Analysis for Effective Border Management”.

The theme of this year’s International Customs Day resonates well with the OCO strategy to strengthen the operational capacity of Member administrations to collect, collate and analyse Customs data and trade statistics for informed decision-making. The traditional methods for detecting and managing risks have served many administrations well, but there exists new opportunities to optimize the use of data to enable OCO members to drive priority setting, performance management, compliance strategy, budget planning and operations.

Although there are only eight (8) customs administrations in OCO who are members of the WCO, it is widely accepted and recognized that customs processes should be simplified and streamlined to ensure flow of trade. Therefore, Customs administrations in the Pacific are striving to implement WCO instruments and modernized customs practices to achieve trade facilitation and trade security objectives.

Recently, the OCO through partnership with and financial assistance of the European Union under the “Trade and Facilitation in Customs Cooperation Project” has provided capacity building to our members with a focus on aligning domestic legal frameworks and processes with international customs standards and best practices.
The OCO has offered training on customs data management and promoting regional efforts in the management of customs data to enable members to strengthen their capacity in analysis of data and coordination. The harmonization of data sets allows for the simplification of information exchanges, which helps facilitate the transition of the digitization of customs.

The implementation of the WCO Harmonized System 2017 amongst OCO members will be a key focus for this year considering its importance for trade statistics, rules of origin, economic research and analysis.

The OCO has embarked on strengthening capacity on sharing of information and intelligence not only within members but also with other regional partners with a focus on improving capability on law enforcement. The utilization of WCO tools such as the Customs Enforcement Network, Training Portal, and CLiKC will be rolled out to members to further enhance their capability.

To obtain quality data, sound and effective IT platforms are necessary and the OCO is prioritizing the transition towards single window environment for members.

“Data Analysis for Effective Border Management” will also be the theme of the OCO Annual Conference to be held in Guam on 2-5 May 2017. The Conference will provide an opportunity for key international experts to share knowledge and experiences aimed at encouraging members on the importance of data analysis not only to improve border management but also for strategic decision-making. The Pacific region has the potential to unleash the power of data to propel customs to new heights.
Happy International Customs Day!

Message from the Oceania Customs Organisation
26 January 2017

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