Hong Kong Customs celebrates 2012 International Customs Day (with photos)

17 Jan 2012

The Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development, Mr Gregory So, and the Commissioner of Customs and Excise, Mr Clement Cheung, officiated at a cocktail reception today (January 17) to celebrate the 2012 International Customs Day.

The theme chosen for this year is "Borders divide, Customs connects", which is aimed at promoting connectivity of personal, institutional and informational linkages that help to ensure smooth and lawful flow of cargo/ passenger traffic as well as fighting all types of illicit activities which affect society and its economy.

Echoing this theme, Mr So stressed in his speech the importance of "connectivity" which had prompted Customs administrations around the globe to increase collaboration.

He also highlighted the strenuous efforts made by Hong Kong Customs in pursuing "information connectivity", citing implementation of the Road Cargo System and revamping of the Air Cargo Clearance System as examples.

"The connectivity approach has provided the framework of business-to-Customs sharing of advance cargo information, thereby improving the overall Customs clearance efficiency and facilitating trade," Mr So said.

Also speaking at the reception, Mr Cheung noted that a rapid pace of globalisation in recent years had reshaped market landscape and called for not only strengthened dialogue between jurisdictions, but also nurturing of a sustainable partnership with the business community.

"In order for individual economies to remain competitive, a proper balance must be struck between the historical responsibility of Customs in deterring illicit activities, protecting public revenue and ensuring border security with the need for trade facilitation." he said.

Mr So presented the World Customs Organization Certificate of Merit to nine officers of Hong Kong Customs and a representative of the Hong Kong Brands Protection Alliance in recognition of their contribution towards projects and initiatives related to connectivity.

About 380 guests were present at the reception, including President and Members of the Legislative Council, government officials, Consul-Generals, Customs attachés, senior representatives from Macao Customs as well as stakeholders in the business sector.

The cocktail was the 24th event of its kind hosted by Hong Kong Customs since it became a member of the World Customs Organization in 1987.

Ends/Tuesday, January 17, 2012

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