International Customs Day 2022 message from WCO ESA Vice Chair (Zimbabwe)


Message of Goodwill Mr. Adrian P. Swarres WCO ESA Regional Vice Chair (Zimbabwe).

  • Dear ESA Customs & Tax Family, our esteemed stakeholders and the entire global family at large; thank you for continuing to support the work of Customs and ensuring delivery of your mandate even while working under strenuous and adverse conditions occasioned by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
  • It is yet another year, and we are honoured to, yet again, join the world in commemorating the International Customs Day. As you may be aware, the WCO is dedicating 2022 to: Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation by Embracing a Data Culture and Building a Data Ecosystem.
  • The importance of digital customs and data analytics cannot be over emphasized as we have all witnessed in the past 2 years working to ensure business continuity while at the same time adhering to the health guidelines set to protect us from the ravaging effects of the Corona virus. I urge all our Administrations to continue working towards enhancing their digital transformation as well as embracing data analytics going forward.
  • Thanks to the strategic foresight of the WCO and the region’s Governing Council, we have integrated digitization and data management, it its entire spectrum, into our strategic focus. Our new Strategic Plan is going to work towards delivering this theme through its four strategic pillars: Trade Facilitation & Integration; Efficient Revenue Mobilization & Customs Modernization; Security, Enforcement & Compliance; and Professionalism &Partnerships. Our regional entities – the Regional Office for Capacity Building (ROCB); Regional Intelligence Liaison Office (RILO) and our four Regional Training Centers (RTCs) will remain key enablers towards the implementation of the Strategy. We are also aligning this strategy to the WCO Strategy to ease the delivery of capacity building initiatives. We aim to continue enhancing our partnerships with the private sector, the Regional Economic Communities (RECs); development partners and all stakeholders in delivering our mandate, especially in light of the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) and the immense benefits it promises.
  • Even as we work towards effecting a return to normalcy in the region and globally, I encourage all of us to stay safe and exercise due diligence in the delivery of our mandate while keeping in mind the important role played by Customs in the protection of society, trade facilitation and generating revenue for the sustainable development of our respective economies among others.
  • I wish you all good health, Happy International Customs day and indeed it is not too late to wish you all a Happy New Year 2022!!

Thank you.

Adrian P. Swarres, WCO ESA Regional Vice Chair & Ag. Commissioner for Customs (Zimbabwe)

26th January 2022.