International Customs Day is celebrated on January 26 each year all across the world with the United Nations as the host. It is an annual event that is meant to acknowledge and appreciate the role that customs officials and agencies play in ensuring the smooth flow of goods across the world borders.
The endeavour is to emphasise the working conditions and challenges that customs officers face in their jobs.
This year, the theme chosen by WCO for ICD is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’. In 2021, the theme was ‘Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience’.
The International Customs Day’s objective is to boost leadership, guidance, and support to customs administrations as WCO strongly opines that while borders divide, it is the ‘customs’ that establish a connection between countries.
The inception of the ICD dates back to 1953. The Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) formally announced the observance of ICD on January 26 that year in an inaugural session held in Brussels, Belgium.
It was attended by representatives from 17 European countries. CCC was renamed World Customs Organization (WCO) in 1994. Now WCO comprises 182 member states from all parts of the world.