Japan Customs applies modern technology to improve management efficiency

VCN – Motivated by the Smart Customs Initiative, Japan Customs will apply modern technology to improve management efficiency of the Customs agency, said by Ms. Sahoko Shiga, Counselor of International Cooperation Division, Customs Division & Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance on the sidelines of the 33rd ASEAN Directors-General of Customs Meeting.
Japan Customs applies modern technology to improve management efficiency
Vietnam Customs and Japan Customs exchanged experiences on modern customs management at a bilateral discussion within the framework of the 33rd ASEAN Directors-General of Customs Meeting. Photo: Tran Anh

The “SMART Customs Initiative” was announced by Japanese Customs in 2020, with a medium- to long-term vision for Customs administration. Currently, Japanese Customs realizes this initiative.

According to Ms. Sahoko Shiga, in recent times, Japan Customs has gained some major achievements in the Smart Customs initiative. In February 2023, Japanese Customs introduced a device called “smart glasses” to inspect suspicious items. The inspection staff wears the glasses and inspect an item and the examination staff in the office, which is 100 km away, can share the information in the real time and give advice to the inspection staff.

Japan Customs applies modern technology to improve management efficiency
Ms. Sahoko Shiga, Counselor of International Cooperation Division, Customs Division & Tariff Bureau, Ministry of Finance. Photo: Tran Anh

In June last year, Japan Customs started a full scale data exchange of e-C/O with certificate of origin with Indonesia Customs.

This shows that Japan Customs has have a great achievement in terms of AI adoption in customs operation.

However, the environment surrounding Customs has been dramatically changing since the announcement of the Initiative. Changes are brought by the undergoing dynamic structural transformation both domestically and internationally, such as the prolonged impact of COVID-19, changes in international commercial and logistical flows due to the rapid increase in imports resulting from the expansion of cross-border electronic commerce and the further development of economic partnership agreements, rapid progress in the digital transformation of the entire economy and society starting with the private sector, and the emergence of new needs including the expectation to address economic security threats.

Japan Customs has upgraded the measures set forth in the Initiative by incorporating new measures to respond to environmental changes and needs, and compiled the “Action Plan 2022 for the Realization of SMART Customs”. In addition, Japan Customs will continue to work toward the realization of SMART Customs by appropriately grasping environmental changes and needs, and by reviewing and revising measures in a timely manner.

Ms. Sahoko Shiga said that Japan Customs introduced AI inspection system for x ray images international small postal items which automatically analyze the x ray image of postal item and determine the risk. Japanese Customs will also focus on big data analysis with AI to select a suspicious company for on-site post clearance audit and suspicious airline passengers for inspection. Japan Customs also promotes digital transformation and strengthens dialogue with businesses and domestic and foreign experts to promote the effectiveness of customs operations.

In recent years, within the framework of bilateral cooperation, Japan Customs and Vietnam Customs have implemented many cooperation activities, exchanged and provided information for mutual assistance on customs such as exchanging information about Japanese legal regulations and modern customs management experience. The two sides actively cooperate in building capacity for Vietnam Customs officers.

Since 2000, Japan Customs has supported capacity building by sending experts, both long-term and short-term, under programs/projects of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) to Vietnam to teach and exchange experience in key technical operations such as risk management, post-clearance audit, Customs value, origin, customs procedures, goods clearance... Recently, the two sides have jointly held a workshop on goods origin in Vietnam in February 2024 and a workshop on intellectual property in Japan in April 2024.

By Hoang Loan

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