Scaling up for efficiencies in trade facilitation, safety and security

VCN – In recent years, the application of modern technology and digital transformation has been one of the top priorities of all countries and fields. In particular, the Customs industry is always at the forefront of applying technology and digital transformation to exploit the power of technology to facilitate trade as well as solve challenges to safety and security in Customs operations.
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Toàn cảnh phiên toàn thể 9 của Hội nghị và Triển lãm công nghệ năm 2023 của WCO. Ảnh: Huyền Trang

Overview of panel session 9 of the 2023 Technology Conference and Exhibition in Hanoi, Vietnam. Photo: Hoang Loan

At the session 9 of the 2023 Technology Conference and Exhibition of the World Customs Organization (WCO) held in Hanoi on October 12, 2023, speakers discussed on the topic “Scaling up for efficiencies in trade facilitation, safety and security”.

The session provided a platform for start-ups, thank-tanks and even research institutes to share their solutions for Customs or supply chain in general, thus inspire and empower the next generation of innovators to develop new solutions for the challenges facing global trade and Customs.

The session aimed to focus on solutions that are in a proof-of-concept phase or implemented in one country, but which are likely to be successful in any Customs administrations or country.

Participating in the panel session, speakers from technology and cyber security businesses shared a lot of useful information related to the challenges the Customs industry is facing today and technology solutions deal with those challenges.

The two main tasks of the Customs sector are customs control and facilitation. Accordingly, when the Customs sector implements policies on trade facilitation, increasing throughput, priority mechanisms for businesses, post-customs clearance inspection; quality, quarantine, food hygiene and safety standards… Along with those policies, there will be potential risks of smuggling, illegal transportation, risk management, laws on taxes and other revenues.

In addition, in the context of today's economic development, the development of e-commerce is increasing, aiming to the development of digital commerce, together with deploying National Single Window, ASEAN Single Window, increasing cross-border e-commerce, developing digital supply chains and global connection also pose requirements for leadership mindset, Ministry organization, mechanisms, technical issues, business issues, security issues and digital skills…

To solve the above challenges, digital transformation is a must. In order for the digital transformation successful, we often mention three factors: governance system, people and information technology system. At this session, the speaker pointed out a key factor that is often missing in digital transformation projects: Enterprise Architecture (EA). EA is considered a solution for system. EA is a strategic framework that optimizes organization by aligning their business goals and technology infrastructure. It provides a structured approach to design, manage, and document an organization’s structure, processes, data and technology. EA enhances efficiency, agility and innovation while reducing risks and ensuring long-term sustainability.

In addition, during the panel session, the speakers mentioned the issue of cybersecurity. Today, as cross-border trade is increasing, cyber-attacks have been occurring very seriously on a global scale. Cyber-attacks occur in all areas from the private sector, regulatory agencies, and Customs. Cybercrime activities become increasingly complex as technology develops. The success of cybercriminals is due to vulnerabilities in the system. Any system can have information threats including internal threats that happen in the company, employees leaking information... and external threats which are the main forms of attacks by today's criminals such as hacking, malware, phishing social engineering, and supply chain attacks.

To address the information threats to prevent cyber-attacks, we need to consider security as a culture throughout the development and operation of a software, a technology, and technology is at the core of the security operation process.

Accordingly, the 2023 WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition provides a platform that will bring key partners from Customs authorities and technology providers together to share technology-related experiences, knowledge, solutions as well as understand the requirements of the customs to develop innovative solutions meeting the requirements of the customs industry.

By Huyen Trang

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