Unsung Heroes in Global Trade: Celebrating International Customs Day 2024

February 14, 2024

Contributor: Rashid Shabir Abbasi | Editor: Supriyono

UIII - In a world marked by intricate global trade networks within a global village where global trade volume stands at a staggering 24.9 trillion U.S. dollars, International Customs Day, observed annually on January 26, stands as a testament to the unsung heroes ensuring the seamless flow of goods across borders.

The theme for this year, "Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose," serves as a compelling call to action in today’s swiftly changing environment. Functioning as the lifeblood of a global economy that beats at extraordinary rhythms, customs agencies hold a crucial position. Their role extends beyond merely facilitating trade; they are instrumental in upholding the integrity and security of international commerce.

This global celebration was launched in Brussels, Belgium in 1953 by representatives from 17 European countries and known then as the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC). The CCC later became the World Customs Organization (WCO) with membership being extended to all corners of the globe totaling 182 nations today. The change reflects how customs agencies have evolved over time.

In Indonesia, the Directorate General of Customs and Excise (Bea Cukai or DJBC), operating under the Ministry of Finance, embodies the spirit of International Customs Day. This occasion not only serves to bolster leadership, guidance, and support for Indonesian customs but also stands as a salute to customs administrations worldwide.

It is imperative to acknowledge the significance of customs departments globally as we celebrate this day. The meticulous job carried out by these custom officials around the world involves checking every item that passes through borders, ensuring that they are both safe and legal. The theme for this year impels customs administrations to go beyond the usual scope and adopt fresh ways of ensuring continued legitimate global trade in a rapidly changing world.

To truly honor International Customs Day, let us seize the opportunity to educate ourselves on the intricacies of customs work. Understanding the advantages and risks associated with their roles fosters a heightened awareness of the vital role customs departments play in global trade.

This celebration goes beyond just saying thank you to customs officers; it is a collective acknowledgment of how significant they are in promoting economic growth, maintaining national security and respecting international trade integrity. International Customs Day acts as a yearly reminder that challenges need joint effort for a world where goods can move freely across borders safely and legally.