WCO supports Qatar moving forward with SMART Borders

07 May 2019

At the request of, and the support from, the Qatarese General Authority of Customs, the WCO organized a national Workshop on SMART Borders from 23 to 25 April 2019 in Doha, Qatar. More than 20 senior managers from various departments and units of Qatar Customs participated in the Workshop.

Qatar will organize the Soccer World Cup in 2022. It is imperative for Qatar Customs to prepare for this global event by enhancing the ongoing efforts to ease the flow of goods and people across borders while ensuring national security and addressing other risks such as drug trafficking and IPR infringed goods. To that end, the workshop was aimed at transforming Customs frontiers into “SMART Borders” with Customs acting as the central connecting and coordinating agency, thus ensuring seamless flow of goods and people, strengthening supply chain integrity, and mitigating potential security and other threats.

Each of the guiding principles for SMART borders, namely: Secure, Measurable, Automated, Risk Management-based and Technology-driven, as well as associated WCO instruments, tools and global best practices were discussed in detail with a view to identifying specific measures that Qatar Customs can implement in a time bond manner. The Workshop highlighted the importance of Customs to take the lead in consolidating and further amplifying the ongoing efforts to transform the frontiers into “SMART Borders” with the effective implementation of relevant WCO instruments and tools, in order to enhance security and efficiency of supply chains and passenger flows.

The participants developed a better appreciation of various methodologies for measuring the performance of Customs in facilitating trade and controlling borders, as well as evaluating the overall organizational performance. They also developed better insights and practical understanding on how to simplify and strengthen Customs measures by exploiting cutting-edge technologies to improve its processes, services and overall performance through business process re-engineering and greater use of information and communication technologies for an effective risk management system.

Throughout the workshop, the current and future challenges for Qatar Customs were discussed, as well as associated potential solutions were explored. Based on the discussions held and potential actions identified at the Workshop, Qatar Customs will prepare an Action Plan for implementing a set of identified measures at borders in the run-up to the preparations for the Soccer World Cup. Going forward, the WCO is committed to continue providing further support, as may be required from to time.