By Lakshmi Kothaneth — MUSCAT: Jan. 29 - World Customs Organisation (WCO) Secretary-General Dr Kunio Mikuriya has lauded Oman Customs of Royal Oman Police (ROP) for achieving the ‘business- friendly status’. A total of 180 countries celebrate World Customs Day on January 26. This year, the WCO chose to celebrate in Oman. “Customs’ motto is, ‘Borders Divide and Customs Connect’,” said Dr Kunio while addressing an event presided over by Dr Ali bin Masoud al Sunaidy, Minister of Commerce and Industry, at Oman Customs. “We ensure connectivity at the borders.”
Dr Kunio said it is well established that the trade is the source of economic development and added, “Who is facilitating trade and maintaining the infrastructure for the trade? It is the Customs.”
He said: “We are now operating in a global economy. One of the Customs’ main duties is to protect society from illicit trade such as narcotic drugs — which Royal Oman Police Customs has seized quite often — but also crimes related to wildlife and smuggling of cultural heritage at the borders, where we can effectively control the movement of hazardous goods.’
Dr Kunio said the way to address priorities is through modern technology and risk management.
Customs has been in the forefront of implementing information technology, said the WCO Secretary-General, referring to ROP’s Bayan System. “It is connected to other ministries and agencies. So the Customs provides the platform to conduct trade between other countries and Oman. It’s an impressive and important development made in the last few years.”
In terms of risk management, the partnership between the Customs and the business community is very important because if customers can identify trustworthy trade, there can be more facilitation, he said.
“Together with the business community, we can implement more security measures while the Customs can focus on high risk areas to provide more security at the borders.”
Every year, WCO identifies the theme of the year. This year’s theme is ‘Data Analysis for Effective Border Management’.
Risk management requires quality data in a timely manner, according to the WCO Secretary General, “Customs can get data from business well in advance of the cargo. They can evaluate risks and Customs can determine what kind of intervention is needed. This partnership is a prerequisite for modern Customs operations.”
Dr Kunio also highlighted the latest development of Oman’s Customs, Authorised Economic Operator Programme, the logo of which was launched on Sunday. “This is a modern way of doing business and an important historical step for Omani Customs.”