On January 26, the World Customs Organization inaugurated the International Customs Day on the theme of “accelerating digital transformation”. So, what is the place of digital in today’s customs, and what will be its place in tomorrow’s customs?
Despite its greying image, customs is increasingly equipped with powerful digital tools, including in the public sector. Indeed, digital technologies now accelerate the globalization and make themselves necessary by simplifying what they have made more complex. Thus, measures are numerous and evolving, trade agreements are made, unmade and modified regularly, and customs had no choice but to use digital technology to keep up.
In concrete terms, new technologies offer customs simplified access to and an efficient listing of all the legal measures put in place around the world daily, but not only!
The Information and Communication Technologies also allow fighting efficiently against fraud and in general work for the security of the customs, itself protecting the States. Digital technologies also are the bureaucrat’s friend.
Nowadays, multiple systems make it possible to lighten the administrative burden and above all to automate it to save precious time which was previously spent on tedious and repetitive procedures.
Finally, and most obviously, the digital transformation allows customs services to communicate efficiently and cost-effectively around the world. Nevertheless, Customs has the potential to embrace even more innovation. Now, its primary mission is to deepen the digital solutions already used. Customs protection must constantly evolve to remain effective as well as data collection solutions.
Digital technologies are also destined to be combined with artificial intelligence, a prerequisite for a perfectly optimized administration, the aim being to systematize controls through automation, something that humans cannot technically do without Artificial Intelligence.
In short, customs, as a crucial and strategic sector in the States’ missions, must make the most of digital technology, and it has already started to do so.