The Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) today celebrated the International Customs Day- 2024 in New Delhi. This year, the World Customs Organisation (WCO) has dedicated the International Customs Day to the theme of ‘Customs engaging traditional and new partners with purpose’.
Shri Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Revenue, Ministry of Finance, presided over as the chief Guest and Shri Sanjay Agarwal, Chairman, CBIC, was the guest of honour. In tune with the theme, the celebration saw widespread participation of the officers of Customs from across the country, various partnering agencies, and dignitaries from other government departments.
In her message on the occasion, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman stated, “This year's theme of International Customs Day, with the theme of ‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose’, completely resonates with the Motto of ‘Sabka Saath Sabka Vikas’ given by Our Prime Minister. Every partner needs to collaborate to put India on course to becoming the third-largest economy by 2027-28, with a GDP surpassing $5 trillion.”
“With a common purpose of ease of doing business for nation building during India's ‘Amrit Kaal’, all the stakeholders need to come together and contribute for benefits to citizen of India. Many initiatives taken by Customs such as Faceless Assessment, Direct Port Delivery, Single Window Clearance, AEO Scheme need to evolve with overall objective of growth of trade and business. Special focus on MSMEs, new start-ups and inclusivity will align with the vision of our PM,” Smt. Sitharaman added.
In his message on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary stated, “Customs plays important role of continuity amidst international political boundaries and said that to facilitate businesses from India, Customs must forge partnerships on the lines of initiatives like use of postal network through Dak Niryat Kendra and encouraging MSMEs to supply jewellery through e-commerce.
In his address on the occasion, Shri Malhotra praised the manner in which technology was increasingly being leveraged by the department and acknowledged the crucial role played by Customs and the partner agencies in the significant improvement in the dwell time of cargo across the ports and airports in the country.
In his address on the occasion, Shri Agarwal focused on reinvigorating Customs engagement strategies for successful collaborations, the need to forge new partnerships and improve ourselves constantly and strive to achieve global benchmarks, and to continually assess the impact of implemented strategies.
Shri Agarwal also made a call to action in reference to the clarion call made by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi to inculcate global best practices in Customs during the recent interaction with the Officer Trainees at NACIN Palasamudram.
In his welcome address, Shri Surjit Bhujabal, Member (Customs), CBIC, said, “This year’s theme ‘Customs Engaging Traditional and New Partners with Purpose’ comes at an apt time and resonates very much with our ambitions. It is obvious that, future of all international trade stakeholders is closely linked and depends very much on the ability to work together.”
During the celebration, a book and a compendium were released that highlighted various reform initiatives undertaken by Indian Customs towards trade facilitation.
One of the highlights of the evening was the award of the WCO Certificate of Merit to various officers and partner agencies for their exemplary service to the department and Nation.
Among the partner agencies, Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) and Central Drugs Standard Control Organisation (CDSCO) were awarded for their partnership and association with Customs department in significant improvement in cross-border cargo clearance time.
In his vote of thanks, Shri Samanjas Das, Chief Commissioner of Customs, Delhi, expressed gratitude to the officers and partner agencies for their continuous support that has helped in Indian Customs being at the forefront of the reforms and economic progress of the Country.