Cambodian Customs Unveils AI HS Algorithm: A Milestone Marked at WCO's BACUDA Workshop

07 September 2023

The World Customs Organization's BACUDA Team, in collaboration with the Customs Cooperation Fund Korea (CCF-K), recently hosted a three-day Data Analytics Workshop for Cambodian Customs. Held from August 28-30 in Phnom Penh, the event was a harmonious blend of education and innovation, aimed at equipping Customs personnel at various levels, including over 50 participants. For the executive tier, the workshop served as an eye-opener to the game-changing benefits of data analytics in modern Customs operations. On the operational side, it was an intense training ground where officers were able to delve hands-on into Python programming for tasks such as data cleaning and implementing advanced analytics algorithms.

Further enriching the workshop were extensive presentations from member countries that are leaders in Customs Data analytics, showcasing various use cases. Their experiences offered invaluable insights into what can be achieved with robust data strategies. Representatives from the private sector also joined the conversation, shedding light on cutting-edge technologies that can be harnessed for Network analysis in the fields of Cargo and Passenger Selectivity.

AI HS Algorithm: An open-source tool to facilitate HS Classification

The highlight of the workshop was the official unveiling of Cambodian Customs' application of the state-of-the-art AI HS Algorithm, which was announced by the IT division. Trained on local Customs data, the AI model already showcases an impressive 80% accuracy rate, with aspirations for future refinement led by a BACUDA scholar. Executed with limited supervision and resources, this innovative model has set a new standard for AI applications in Customs worldwide.

The algorithm met widespread approval across the organization, from working-level officers to the executive strata. Plans are already underway to integrate this algorithm into the E-Customs System, making it accessible to all staff in the near future.

During the event, the BACUDA Team had the opportunity to gain first-hand experience of Cambodian Customs processes through visits to the Customs headquarters and the Sihanoukville port. These visits paved the way for substantive discussions with directors from various departments, including IT, Risk Management, and International Cooperation, setting the stage for future collaborations.

This milestone workshop has proven to be a catalyst in the transformation of Cambodian Customs to a data-driven organization. This instance demonstrates the seamless integration of BACUDA's open-source AI solutions into Member administrations but also underscores the immense potential these tools offer for enhancing Customs operations.

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