January 26 is celebrated as the International Customs Day (ICD). It is the day designated to honour the custom officials and agencies for their function in taking care of the flow of goods across the world borders.

In simpler words, it is the day to commemorate the vital role of customs officials in handling the entire flow of goods across international borders. They ensure that world trade management is safe and secured.

Customs  is the body in charge of tariffs collection in a country. The flow of goods (ranging from personal items, animals, precarious objects) in and out of the country is monitored by the customs. The aim of this agency is to safely bridge gaps while borders continue to demarcate. The agencies believe that by lending support and guidance to the customs administration process, they connect countries.

Customs management works towards creating a sustainable future by facilitating economic, social, environmental needs in the process.

Members of the World Customs Organization actively participate in observing this special day by exhibiting their efforts, endeavours and activities.

The day is celebrated by giving due importance to the customs employees; by organising appreciation events whereby officials are recognized for their contribution, exceptional service in the domain.

Through speeches, conducting workshops, educational seminars the occasion finds its proper culmination.

Some facts about International Customs Day:

  • It was on January 26, 1953 that the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC) had held its inaugural session in Brussels which was attended by representatives from 17 European countries.
  • International Customs Day was created by CCC in 1983.
  • In 1994, CCC was renamed as World Customs Organization (WCO).
  • WCO is the only international body looking after international customs and matters concerning border control.
  • WCO has head-quarter in Brussels, Belgium.
  • WCO currently has custom organizations from 182 countries as its members.
  • More than 98% of world trade is administered by WCO.

International Customs Day 2021: Theme

In 2020, the theme for the custom day celebration was “Customs fostering sustainability for people, prosperity, and the plant”. And “Smart borders for seamless trade, travel and transport” was 2019 theme.

2021 will witness the theme of “Customs bolstering recovery, renewal and resilience” which will focus on the endeavours of customs to emerge from the pandemic crisis and help people.