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World Customs Organization

With imports and exports subject to duties, Customs plays an important role in the trade and transportation industry. But the role of customs goes beyond simply collector of those taxes. Often referred to as an “administrator of trade”, customs can find itself involved in the preparation of foreign trade statistics, ensuring trade compliance, driving improved supply chain security, all the while assisting with the protection of society, the environment and cultural heritage.

As the only intergovernmental organisation that concentrates on customs, the World Customs Organization (WCO) has worked tirelessly over the years to develop global customs standards, simplify and harmonise customs procedures and improve security throughout the trade supply chain. It has sought to turnaround inefficient and out-of-date customs procedures and has helped to make it easier to take action against illicit cross-border activities.

One of its notable achievements has been the development of a Harmonized Commodity Description and Coding System which offers a common basis for the classification of goods and the collection of customs duties. It has also pioneered a number of conventions and codes which aim to improve global custom procedures. Meanwhile, the WCO has developed its SAFE Framework of Standards to secure the movement of goods throughout the supply chain.