A Global Conference on Cooperation in Enforcement matters which has in attendance top echelon of the Nigeria Customs Enforcement cadre is ongoing in India
More than 75 delegates whose countries are members of the World Customs Organisation (WCO) are taking part in the 3-day high powered session in New Delhi
Nigeria Customs Service led by DCG, E, I&I, Mohammed Abba- kura is leading the Nigeria Customsdelegation. Indefatigable Helmsmen of the Federal Operations Units, zones A Ikeja, Hussein Kehinde Ejibunu and the anti smuggling Czar at the FOU, Zone C, Owerri Kayode Rasheed Kolade are part of the World conference in New Delhi. Over 40 Custom Administrations/ Organisations are participating in the inaugural GCCEM.
The Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) under Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC), in consultation with World Customs Organisation (WCO), Brussels are hosting the global conference which holds from 30th October to 1st November 2023 with the theme ‘’It takes a Network to fight a Network’’. The aim of the international conference is to facilitate sharing of insights, best practices and to serve as a catalyst for enhancing collaboration with Indian Customs’ partner Administrations and for building new partnerships. The WCO also collaborated with Indian Customs to ensure wide participation by Member Administrations and international organisations, including WCO’s Regional Intelligence Liaison Offices (RILOs) and senior representations from the WCO Secretariat.
According to the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman who presided as Chief Guest of the inaugural session of the first ever three-day-long global conference, “the first Global Conference on Cooperation in Enforcement Matters (GCCEM) will benefit world economy through networking and collaborative effort by the law enforcement agencies”
He further acknowledged that the genesis of the GCCEM lay in the suggestion made in her last year address at the Inaugural function of DRI Foundation Day in 2022, emphasising on the importance of greater cooperation and collaboration among international enforcement agencies for timely intelligence sharing.
The Union Finance Minister observed that Customs has two important facets, to Facilitation and Enforcement, these should be the core functions of Customs and enforcement agencies. She suggested that officers must remain dedicated, make use of technology, share information and actionable intelligence with domestic and international agencies to create deterrence to illicit trade and Transnational Syndicates. The experience of agencies would show the direction and path to curb the evils in international trade.
Smt. Sitharaman also acknowledged the role of World Customs Organisation in anchoring the sharing of knowledge between Customs enforcement agencies across the world and emphasised brainstorming into the requirement of further legislative and procedural improvements in various countries for fighting the menace of illicit trade.
In his address on the occasion, Union Minister of State for Finance Shri Pankaj Chaudhary mentioned the challenges of the faster and newer developments in technology, including use of Artificial Intelligence. Shri Chaudhary emphasised that in the era of Artificial intelligence, the importance of intelligence sharing and increased collaboration amongst international agencies is more relevant.
Also on the occasion, Shri Sanjay Malhotra, Secretary, Department of Revenue, Government of India, stated the economic effects of smuggling as also its social and national security ramifications. Shri Malhotra mentioned that the fast-evolving modern digital world has blurred the boundaries of nation states and has created a daunting challenge for enforcement agencies across the world. Shri Malhotra laid stress on the requirement of maintaining a balance between enforcement and trade facilitation which are important for ease of trade, increasing competitiveness and reducing cost to customer.
While, Shri M.K. Singh, Principal Director General, DRI, gave vote of thanks to all the guests and delegates along with the team of officials and staff of CBIC for making the event possible.