Generally, Customs have always sought a balance between trade facilitation and control. In the new and emerging international trading landscape, this balance has taken a new dimension with, on the one hand, the entry into force of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement (TFA) that will be implemented with special and differential treatment to support developing and least developed countries, and on the other hand, the increasing global security concerns with the emergence of violent transnational terrorist activities that are increasingly drawing the attention of governments to enhance border and supply chain security.

In the current dispensation marked by globalization, economic operators and other stakeholders often perceive Customs as an administration that slows down the free movement of goods.

Confronted with this reality and new developments at the global level, the deployment of new approaches to ensure greater balance between trade facilitation and control is indispensable (for the security of the international logistics chain and the fight against trans-border crimes and other forms of trafficking). Among others, we should take advantage of IT advancements to effectively meet new challenges of digital economy.

In line with this last reality, the World Customs Organization (WCO) placed the year 2016 under the theme “Digital Customs”, underpinned by data analysis (which is the theme for the year 2017) to ensure greater efficiency of our interventions at the borders. The maturity model developed by the WCO will allow for the provision of responses tailored to the needs of Customs Administrations. My profile and experience give me the necessary competence to advise the Secretary General and Members on these issues and associated six priority areas identified by the WCO: Trade facilitation; E-Commerce; Security; Customs-Tax cooperation; illicit financial flows (IFFs); and Performance measurement

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