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  • Writer's pictureTom Mueller

World Customs Organization Tech Conference 2023, Day 2

The World Customs Organization Tech Conference 2023 in Ha Noi, Vietnam, continued on Day 2 (October 11th) with further engaging conversations about the future of customs innovation, highlighting the importance of public-private partnerships in advancing customs technology, efficiency and esprit de corps.

The day began with a series of “Tech Talks,” 10-minute expositions of key themes by a number of companies. These included:

- “The electronic cargo data system” by Jointech,

- “When science creates impact in X-ray scanning” by SGS,

- “Xylorix Rapid Automated Wood Identification Tool” by Xylorix, and

- “How Blockchain and AI will transform customs processing” by AEB

Next we went into a series of plenary sessions. See the day’s full agenda for details, but some of the most impactful sessions included the following:

- “Breaking Boundaries in Detection Technology: Leveraging Innovation to Enhance Customs Control Efficiency,” featuring Darren Hart of UK Border Force; Dr. Mark Procter of Rapiscan AS&E; Kevin Davies of Smiths Detection; and Nicolas Mauricio Pedroza Contreras of the Agencia Nacional de Aduanas de México (Mexican Customs)[1]

- “Technology in Support of Trade Facilitation in the Digital Age: Showcasing Success Stories,” featuring Ram Ben Tzion of Publican Trade Solutions; Solomon Raj Joseph of Crimson Logic PTE Ltd; Pham Duyen Phuong of Viet Nam Customs; and Peter Antobre Ofori of the Ghana Revenue Authority.[2]

- “Embracing the Digital Age: Supporting Growth Opportunities for All Through Safe and Sustainable E-Commerce,” featuring Yoshiro Baba of Japan Customs; Philippe Duponteil, Director at the EU Directorate General Taxation and Customs Union; Siva Gunesparan of GUUD International Pte Ltd; and Alexander de Voet of Accenture Border Services.

Nine breakout sessions followed, which were held in three separate venues. This made for tough choices for participants, because for every session we attended, we were missing the other two! My PEN-CP and CBRA colleagues and I bounced around from session to session, and found these particularly compelling:

- “Tackling Training Challenges in the Customs Profession,” with Sara Bracceschi of the Center for Adaptive Security Research and Applications (CASRA); Christian Calle of S2 Global; Harumi Chikada of Japan Customs; and Yazeed Alhadlaq of ZATCA (Saudi Arabia customs).

- “Breaking Barriers: Achieving Gender Equality in Customs through Technology and Innovation,” featuring Omoniyi O. Bukola of the Nigeria Customs Service; Sophie-Charlotte Wolf of the German Central Customs Authority; and David Radovanovich of New Zealand Customs Service.

- “Leveraging Technology for Enhanced Regulatory Compliance,” with Kian Chuan Chang of GEODIS; and Abdullah Almadani and Arwa Alamoudi, both from ZATCA (Saudi Arabia customs); and Tyrone Harris from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US National Nuclear Security Administration.

Also on offer were insightful keynote speeches by Prasanna Ellanti, Global Lead for Accenture Border Services Industry at Accentur; and by Valentina Ion, Public Finance, Customs and Public Transportation Global Lead at Microsoft.

As usual, there were loads of opportunities for interaction with other participants, both during the active Q&A sessions and between talks over a cup of coffee. As every conference-goer knows, these backchannel conversations can sometimes be the most valuable part of any such gathering.

Needless to say, more culinary and cultural adventures awaited us, during another spectacular dinner hosted once more by Vietnam Customs at the Hanoi Museum, courtesy of S2.

Full details of sessions and participants are here

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