Illegal trade reached one trillion dollarsStaff writer ▼ | May 21, 2013
International trade volumes and profitability would increase if the e-customs Single Window concept was popularised around the world. That would prevent a one trillion dollars global loss as a result of illegal trade.International trade volumes and profitability would increase if the e-customs Single Window concept was popularised around the world. That would prevent a one trillion dollars global loss as a result of illegal trade.
The focus of three-day conference in Dubai is sharing views, experiences and best practices between global border security agents and other government entities such as customs, environment ministries, municipalities, health authorities, and immigration.
The event has brought together more than 1,000 senior decision makers representing the World Customs Organization and customs departments of more than 100 countries, including specialists in customs, security and information technology.
In his keynote speech, Mark Hill from Digital Coding and Tracking Association (DCTA), said: "According to official statistics, the global loss as a result of illegal trade reached about one trillion dollars in 2012, losses resulting from piracy reached over than $250 billion, while losses resulted by cigarette smuggling topped $600 billion, and global tax revenues fell by $40 billion."
He adeed that this situation requires cooperation, solidarity, and coordination between countries to put an end to illegal trade: "We need to improve legislation, apply new laws, and adopt the latest technologies, e-government applications and tracking solutions."
Leading customs officials reflected upon the development of the customs sectors within their own countries and regions in a session "E-Government: An Added Value to Trade," at the Middle East debut of the 2013 WCO IT Conference and Exhibition held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai.
Highlighting the new trends in trade and customs, Nick Small, Director IT Solutions, Crown Agents, said that it is crucial for customs administrations to keep pace with the technical progress and to respond to the requirements of trade.
Implementation of single windows, particularly in developing countries, has proven a success story, said Tom Butterly, Deputy Director of the Trade and Sustainable Land Management Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE).
"A single window is a nationwide facility that allows parties involved in trade and transport to lodge standardised information and documents with a single entry point – which is one of the key objectives of deploying an e-government platform – to fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements," said Mr. Butterly.
"Benin can serve as a great example for successful implementation of the single window system. Since the implementation of the Port Single Window, we have registered a boost in states revenues and increased operational transparency. Most of all, it improved efficiency in the supply chain, while Cotonou port waiting time went down from eight days to 48 hours," said Elie Sawaya, Deputy Managing Director of Bureau Veritas, Congo. ■