Technology helps streamline customs procedures and businesses comply with trade regulations

VCN - Before the WCO Technology Conference and Exhibition taking place on October 10-12, Mr. Khalid Hasan Ali Al Marzooqi, Director of Strategic Planning Division and Projects Management Office, Abu Dhabi Customs shared valuable information with the Customs Magazine about technology applications in customs operations of the Abu Dhabi Customs to bring the highest value.
2023 WCO Technology and Exhibition officially opened 2023 WCO Technology and Exhibition officially opened
Deputy PM Tran Luu Quang receives WCO Secretary General Deputy PM Tran Luu Quang receives WCO Secretary General
Customs sector needs to pioneer in leveraging technology and digital transformation: Deputy PM Tran Luu Quang Customs sector needs to pioneer in leveraging technology and digital transformation: Deputy PM Tran Luu Quang
Technology helps streamline customs procedures and businesses comply with trade regulations
Mr. Khalid Hasan Ali Al Marzooqi, Director of Strategic Planning Division and Projects Management Office, Abu Dhabi Customs. Photo: Thai Binh

What do you think about the issue of advanced technology creating data and Customs officers relying on the data to perform their tasks?

I think there are two different views to answer this question, on the one hand, advanced technology can help Customs officers to perform their tasks more efficiently and effectively. For example, Customs officers can use data to identify high-risk passengers or shipments (Data analysis in Cargo scanners and Passenger screening) which can help them focus their resources on the areas where they are most needed.

On the other hand, there are also some potential downsides to Customs officers relying on data. I think that our concern today is that Customs may face when using big data and artificial intelligence technology, for example, biased data which could lead to unfair targeting of passengers or shipments, so Customs officers need to be careful not to over-rely on data, as this could lead to mistakes and missed opportunities.

Abu Dhabi has a vision based on a Technology-driven strategy, to cope with the new virtual environment, and has already invested in adopting the new technologies towards an “invisible customs platform that includes 100% digital services”. I think that the use of advanced technology and data by Customs officers should be positive. However, it is important to be aware of the potential downsides and to take steps to mitigate them.

For the data to be practical, what should Customs consider to ensure sustainability and good governance in the technology deployment process?

There are many different elements that Customs should consider, mainly the data quality, which is crucial for sustainability, the data must be accurate, reliable, and complete, this means that it should be collected from credible sources, and it should be properly cleaned and processed. Also, the data security, we are invited by the WCO Technology Conference 2023 to share Abu Dhabi Customs' experience in Cyber security and business continuity. In addition, Data governance is fundamental, Customs must have a clear and well-defined data governance framework in place, in this context, Abu Dhabi Customs is developing its own Data Management framework, to outline the roles and responsibilities for data management, as well as the policies and procedures for data collection, use, storage, disposal, to meet its current and future needs.

Which areas does the Customs Administration focus on applying technology to bring the highest value?

Trade facilitation is the main area to optimize the value chain based on a Customer- Centric approach, by providing a seamless digital experience. Technology that can be used to streamline customs procedures and make it easier for businesses to comply with trade regulations. This can lead to a reduction in the time and cost of trade, which can ultimately boost trade and economic growth. With the same importance, we should also use technology for risk management and security to develop and implement risk management systems, built with new solutions like the Blockchain and Artificial intelligence (AI), that help Customs to identify and target high-risk shipments and passengers, and improve border security and make our communities safer and more secure.

With the technology support, do you think that Customs reform on human resource management will create attractiveness and attract more of the new generation to the Customs profession?

Yes, I believe so, the new generation is looking for employers who offer competitive benefits, and better opportunities for professional development and growth. Abu Dhabi Customs is certified as a great place to work and is creating a positive and supportive work environment to attract more talented people to the Customs profession.

Thank you so much!

By Huyen Trang

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