ICT technologies to balance customs control functions with trade facilitation

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Information and communication technologies (ICT technologies) enable Customs to increase the quality of their control activities while, at the same time, enhancing their level of trade facilitation.

The World Customs Organisation (WCO) Revised Kyoto Convention includes a series of Standards and Recommended Practices describing how ICT technologies can streamline customs operations, and outlining the potential advantages to Customs resulting from the use of ICT technologies to enhance their program and service delivery.

The WCO has also developed Guidelines on the application of ICT technologies, to guide Customs on how to exploit ICT technologies for improving their processes and achieving better results.

The WCO ICT Guidelines identify the main areas of customs activity where the application of ICT technologies may be viable. They also suggest possible trading partner interfaces, outlining the various obstacles that customs administrations can encounter when implementing such technologies.