I feel honored to be part of the international Customs community. It is not very long ago that I joined this esteemed fraternity, but the more time I spendwith the organization the more I feel impressed with the immense knowledge and specialization that is required to become a good Customs professional. The mission of the Afghan Customs Department is to be “A well-integrated, efficient organization collecting optimum Customs duties and revenues with a focus on trade facilitation.” And, although this evolving organization is just a few years old; I have no option but to appreciate them.
Customs personnel speak the same language the world over and that is precisely why their communication and international cooperation is well recognized and is the backbone of their ability to develop better revenue implementation processes. If one looks at the legislation and functioning styles of various countries, they are so similar that it would not be an overstatement to say that they are in fact an international service. Afghanistan, as a member of the World Customs Organization, believes in international Customs cooperation to effectively combat commercial fraud, counterfeiting, piracy and smuggling. Keeping in mind the provisions of the Revised Koyoto Convention we request the strong support of the WCO in order to reduce trade barriers, promote investment and facilitate trade.
Today, the Afghan Customs Department is the major revenue generator for the national economy and its role cannot be underestimated. The organization has met great success in strengthening its material resources and capacity development, but there is still a long way to go. Manpower shortages and infrastructure deficiencies create hurdles in the smooth functioning of this expanding organization, especially in today’s environment where trading lanes form the basis for the presence of allied services like Customs. Realizing the present and ongoing need for new border stations and personnel to effectively man them, I believe this organization requires special attention and support.
The Afghan Customs Department’s clientele includes all nationals and internationals living in or visiting the country. Its public dealings are greater than that of any other organization and this makes the task formidable. Organizational ownership and image building are necessary for good teamwork and today is a day to plan to ensure the achievement of our organizational goals.