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WCO Secretariat celebrates International Customs Day 2022

26 enero 2022

On 26 January, the Secretariat of the World Customs Organization (WCO) celebrated the International Customs Day 2022.

WCO Secretary General, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, shared a recorded message to announce and explain the theme of the year “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem”. He invited the international Customs community to put this theme into practice throughout the year and beyond. The WCO Chairperson, Vice-Chairs and other elected officials were also invited to share their recorded messages.

The Secretary General subsequently took part in the celebrations by Belgium Customs Administration. Belgium’s event saw the participation of Mr. Vincent Van Peteghem, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance in charge of the Coordination of the Fight against Fraud, Mr. Gerassimos Thomas, Director General of DG TAXUD, and Mr. Kristian Vanderwaeren, General Administrator of Customs and Excise, and included keynote speeches and acknowledgement of the achievements by the country’s Customs officers as well as Customs attachés. A parade through Brussels was also held, culminating at the iconic Manneken-Pis statue which was dressed in a Customs officer’s uniform to mark the occasion.

To further elaborate on the theme of the year, for the benefit of the personnel of the Secretariat and Customs attachés, Dr. Mikuriya went on to give a presentation on the WCO Data Strategy. He explained how this year’s theme provided much food for thought on data and its potential, and invited his audience to reflect on how Customs could leverage the digital transformation to take advantage of the power of data. Customs administrations would be empowered by gathering, sharing and analysing data that would lead them to apply innovation to their border processes, contribute to evidence-based decisions and foster an open data society.