Pakistan Customs Completes Business Process Mapping

Pakistan Customs Completes Business Process Mapping – Pakistan Customs has successfully completed the business process mapping of its core functions within the first five months of a World Bank-funded project aimed at transforming customs operations.

This significant step marks a critical milestone in a project that was designed in April 2021 and has been in implementation since December 2023.

The transformation project involves collaboration with global leaders in customs administration reforms and logistics, such as KGH and Maersk. These technical experts are working through 16 specialized groups, each dedicated to a specific work stream of customs, as notified by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).

Since 2005, Pakistan Customs has been at the forefront of digitalizing its operations. The indigenously developed Web-Based One Customs (WeBOC) system has enabled the collection of over 45% of FBR’s annual revenue. It supports the implementation of national trade policy and manages imports, exports, and transit trade in a paperless environment. By leveraging WeBOC, Pakistan has advanced significantly in the simplification and digitalization of the entire ecosystem of trading across borders, surpassing even some developed countries through the Pakistan Single Window initiative.

Despite being one of the most digitalized entities within the government, Pakistan Customs is acutely aware of the challenges brought about by the globalization of cross-border trade, the geographic dispersion of manufacturing, and the adoption of disruptive technologies like blockchain, artificial intelligence (AI), and big data. The traditional role of customs, which primarily involved physical border checks, is evolving into a multi-functional strategic player in border controls, trade facilitation, regional connectivity, and economic growth.

In the next phase of this transformative project, all mapped processes will be benchmarked and redesigned according to international standards recommended by organizations such as the World Trade Organization (WTO), World Customs Organization (WCO), and the United Nations (UN). Best practices adopted by leading customs administrations worldwide will also be considered. This phase aims to achieve end-to-end digitalization of Pakistan Customs, realign its legal framework, organizational structure, and operational model.

The project includes the enhancement of risk management and post-clearance audit capabilities, increased use of advanced technologies, and the elimination of redundant tasks. These improvements will enable Pakistan Customs to redirect resources toward more critical functions.

Additionally, the transformation project will deploy state-of-the-art hyper-automation tools, empowering the Pakistan Single Window Company, the designated implementation partner, to swiftly develop a new Customs Digital Management System. This new system will replace the aging WeBOC, offering a more robust and comprehensive digital framework to improve compliance and ease of doing business in Pakistan.