WCO Smart Customs Project kickstarts with dynamic online meetings with National Contact Points (NCPs)

21 June 2024

On 17 and 20 June 2024, the WCO Smart Customs Project hosted the inaugural online meetings (English and French sessions) with National Contact Points (NCPs), setting the stage for a collaborative decision-making and development of key project deliverables. The virtual gatherings provided a crucial platform for engaging WCO Members in discussions driven by their needs and insights.

The meetings saw participation from approximately 85 attendees, reflecting a strong interest and commitment from WCO Members. These sessions were instrumental in sharing initial findings from the WCO Smart Customs Survey, which achieved a remarkable participation rate of 61%. The survey results offered essential evidence for identifying the top three focus technologies of the project: Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML), including components of big data and data analytics, blockchain, and cloud computing.

A significant highlight of the meetings was the active involvement of Members in designing the future Smart Customs Community Portal. This portal is envisioned to be a dynamic resource for Members, enabling them to discover and learn about technological and innovative solutions applied by Customs, and to connect with peers to share experiences in technology adoption. Attendees participated in polls to express their expectations for the portal’s core functionalities, ensuring that the development process remains member-centric. In line with the Project’s emphasis on member engagement, volunteers were sought to join a consultative group. This group will play a pivotal role in shaping the portal’s key functions and requirements, ensuring that it meets the diverse needs of the Customs community.

The lively discussions and valuable insights shared during these meetings underscore the collaborative spirit and proactive engagement of participating WCO Members. This engagement is vital as the WCO Smart Customs Project continues to evolve, aiming to address digital gaps among Customs administrations and target the right technologies for transformative impact.

As the Project moves forward, the contributions and enthusiasm of the National Contact Points will be crucial in driving the success of the Smart Customs community. The WCO remains committed to fostering an inclusive and innovative environment, ensuring that the adoption of disruptive technologies enhances Customs performance globally.