WCO underlines the potential of data analytics in Customs

12 January 2018

A one-day Workshop on Data Analytics took place at WCO Headquarters in Brussels, Belgium on 9 January 2017.  This event, the first of its kind, was organized to explore and discuss the potential use of data analytics in Customs.

The aim of the Workshop was to discuss ways in which Customs could take greater advantage of the use of data analytics in Customs as an extremely powerful tool for improving the way Customs administrations work, at both the operational and strategic levels.  There is evidence that the massive amount of data generated by Customs is currently underused.  Enhancing Customs’ ability to perform increasingly sophisticated analytics using the available data will become even more crucial in all future policy-making processes.

The Workshop participants included representatives from academia and international organizations, as well as practitioners from Customs administrations.  The discussions and presentations focused on Customs and trade data, as well as data analysis methods that could be used to help Customs gain a better understanding of themselves and the work they do, thus shaping the way towards more efficient and effective Customs administrations.
The WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, shared his views on the need for Customs to develop data analytics skills and encouraged   to make greater use of data analytics as a key tool for more robust analyses when meeting with participants. 

It was agreed, at the end of the Workshop, that the available data provided by some Customs administrations would be used to produce research papers, as well as being collated and summarized for inclusion in a book for the Customs community.