IMSC focused on Data Analytics and Data Security, leveraging new and emerging technologies

24 May 2017

Over 70 WCO Members and partner stakeholders gathered at the WCO Headquarters in Brussels on 18 and 19 May 2017 within the framework of the Information Management Sub-Committee (IMSC) to discuss various issues relating to the application of Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in Customs and border regulatory environments. The meeting was chaired by Mr. Kim Sung Sig of Korea, the current Vice-Chair, in the absence of the regular Chairperson.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Luc De Blieck, Deputy Director, WCO Procedures and Facilitation Sub-Directorate highlighted the growing importance of ICT in the digitalization of Customs business processes and called upon delegates to actively contribute in advancing work on some of the key agenda items such as Digital Customs, Single Window, Data Analysis, Data Security, and Blockchains.

The Chairperson of the Data Model Projects Team (DMPT), Ms. Louritha GREEN (the US) provided an update on the outcomes of the DMPT meetings held in January and May 2017 in maintaining and preparing the next release (version 3.7.0) of the WCO Data Model. The result of the survey on the status of the global adoption of the WCO Data Model which showed positive developments was presented to the IMSC. It was agreed that the promotion and collective commitment to producing of My Information Packages (MIP) by Members could significantly enhance the level of adoption of the Data Model. In addition, the promotion of the WCO Data Model through engagements with private sector stakeholders was considered as another potential way forward.

The draft updated Single Window Compendium was noted by the IMSC with a suggestion to rename it to “Building Single Window Environment” in order to better reflect the scope of the Compendium. Korea Customs Service also shared their experiences in enhancing Customs clearance systems that had the capability and functionality to support Single Window system - called UNI-PASS.

Noting the WCO theme of the year on ‘data analysis’, the IMSC discussed various use cases and approach of data analysis in the Customs environment (e.g., risk management and policy making support). Delegates explored some strategic enablers supporting data analysis and agreed to work hand in hand with other WCO working bodies to support from a more technical perspective. In this context, the delegate of Hong Kong, China shared her Administration’s experience in analyzing data for Customs business processes.

Furthermore, the meeting discussed the draft update of the Digital Customs Maturity Model which contained a set of activities and relevant WCO tools for each phase and provided suggestions (e.g., initial strategic planning, business capabilities from organizational and human resources perspectives) to further enhance it. Hand in hand with the maturity model, Members highlighted the importance of strengthening digital resilience by the application of a robust data security management. It was agreed to collect Members’ good practices in this area through a survey that would be sent out soon.

The delegate of the European Union shared the EU’s e-Customs Multi-Annual Strategic Planning (MASP) to provide a working view point in connection with the envisaged update the WCO IT Guide for Executives.

On the topic of the Blockchain technology, based on a document prepared by the Secretariat and a presentation by ConsenSys, the IMSC further explored this technology to better understand its working and technical perspectives, and identified some specific use cases in the Customs environment.

In addition, a presentation by the IATA on the possibility of cooperation between Customs and Airlines to facilitate the collection of passenger Customs declaration electronically concluded discussions on technical issues.

Finally, the IMSC elected Mr. Kim Sung Sig of Korea as the Chairperson and Mr. Alvaro Palmigiani of Uruguay as the Vice Chairperson of the IMSC for a period of one year.