ISLAMABAD    -    In order to curb the menace of smuggling, Pakistan Customs has launched a specialized Risk Management System (RMS) for passenger profiling at all major international airports in Pakistan.

This exercise is part of the Customs Border Management Initiative (BMI) recently approved by the Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Passenger Profiling System, “Global Travelers Assessment System” (GTAS) is now operational at seven major airports of the country for which Customs staff has been adequately trained. Moreover, World Customs Organization (WCO) and US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) have provided Technical assistance for deployment and implementation of the project.

The system is capable of carrying out passenger profiling and targeting through Advance Passenger Information (API) and Passenger Name Record Information (PNR) for interdiction of suspected travelers, drug smugglers and money-launders etc. while adhering to the requirements of FATF action plan.  It will also help in creating profiles of passengers travelling to and from Pakistan and generate risk indicators in advance using a proactive methodology for effective border management.

According to FBR Chairman Syed Shabbar Zaidi, the GTAS will also enable Customs to achieve the “Invisible Customs approach”with least presence at airports while facilitating the genuine passengers. The Chairman has also directed Member Customs Operations to ensure adequate training sessions for customs officers while initiating data sharing with border agencies which will serve as a targeting portal for all law enforcement agencies at Pakistan Customs National Targeting Centre.

Meanwhile, Pakistan Customs and the World Bank implemented a technical assistance program for October 2017 to May 2019. The main objective of the program was to support Pakistan Customs to promote voluntary compliance and facilitate trade. Within the program two analytical papers: i) a trader’s perception survey ii) customs data analytics were prepared and presented to officers of Pakistan Customs today in a Workshop held in World Bank Office, Islamabad.

The Surveys’ main objective is to understand better the perceptions of the trading community on the services provided by Pakistan Customs. The Data Analytics objective is to measure the valuation price gaps using a standard methodology comparing trade data from COMTRADE and WeBOC.

Dr. Jawwad Uwais Agha, Member Customs (Operations), in his opening remarks, appreciated the World Bank’s efforts and considered the reports to be very informative and useful for future improvements in Customs procedures and working.