International Customs Day 2022: Theme, History, and Significance

International Customs Day 2022: January 26 marks the celebration of International Customs Day (ICD) 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 World Customs Organization for International Customs Day is ‘Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem’

In this article, we have looked at the history, significance of International Customs Day (ICD) and its 2022 theme:

History of International Customs Day:

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.

Significance of International Customs Day:

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.

Speaking of customs, for the uninitiated, it is the agency in a country that is responsible for collecting tariffs, managing the flow of goods (including animals, hazardous materials, personal items) in and out of the country. In India, the Central Board of Excise & Customs manages all customs based on job roles and their duties.

It is on this day that the WCO takes this opportunity to exhibit their activities and efforts involved in customs. ICD’s significance lies in the fact that it contributes significantly towards bringing about a sustainable future as it aids in meeting the economic, social, and environmental needs of the planet. It is the customs that ensure that world trade management is safe and protected.

International Customs Day: Theme

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’.


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