News - INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMS DAY 2014

International Customs Day was celebrated on the 27th of January 2013 by Custom House, Cochin, in association with Commissionerate of Customs ( Preventive ), Kerala. International Customs Day is celebrated all over the world under the aegis of World Customs Organisation ( WCO ) with its head quarter at Brussels, to commemorate the first session of this international body formed for the co-operation and standardization of Customs practices among its member countries. Today, the WCO represents 179 Customs administrations across the globe that collectively process approximately 98% of world trade. As the global centre of Customs expertise, the WCO is the only international organization with competence in Customs matters and can rightly call itself the voice of the international Customs community. This year, the WCO has dedicated International Customs Day with the theme- ‘Communication: Sharing information for better co-operation’. Customs work in Cochin Port has been in existence for over one and a half centuries. Over a period of 150 years, the centre of activity gradually shifted from Fort Cochin to Willingdon Island to Vallarpadom. Cochin is just 11 nautical miles from the main sea route connecting east with west and is thus a key location on the International maritime map. Cochin is a regular Port of Call for many-a Luxury Cruise. As far as international passenger traffic is concerned, Cochin International Airport is fourth in volume in the country . The Chief Guest of the occasion, Sri. P K Hormis Tharakan, IPS ( Retd.), Former Secretary, Cabinet Secretariat, GOI, emphasized the significance of coordination between different agencies and sharing information among them. He gave the briefing about origin of ports in Kerala and India. He also projected the importance of Customs in coastal security and prominent role it plays in the security of the Nation. Dr. K N Raghavan, IRS, Commissioner of Customs welcomed the gathering and Sri. S Subramanian, IRS, Chief Commmissioner of Customs, Central Excise & Service tax, Kerala Zone delivered the Presidential Address and Sri. P.R.Ravikumar, IRS, D.G. of Income Tax, Kochi, Sri. G. Krishnakumar, Dy. Chairman, Cochin Port Trust, Sri. Prasad K. Panicker, Executive Director, Bharat Petrolem Corporation Ltd, Kochi also spoke on the occasion. The highlight of the function was honoring the Importers / Exporters, Steamer agents and Customs Brokers . For the first time the cargo handling Airlines were also honored by the Department. Smt. Elsi Thomas, IRS, Additional Commissioner delivered the vote of thanks. The official function was followed by an orchestra led by eminent play back singer Shri.Madhu Balakrishnan.