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The Key Missions of Customs: Guarantors of Security, Economy and International Trade

As part of the "Eye of OMSAC" section, today we are looking at one of the crucial institutions for security, the economy and international trade: customs. These agencies play an essential role in protecting borders, regulating trade and fighting various forms of crime. Let's discover in detail the 10 key missions that fall to customs, and their impact on the stability and development of nations.

1. Collection of Duties and Taxes: Customs is responsible for collecting customs duties, import and export taxes on goods. These fees are calculated based on the value, quantity and nature of the products imported or exported. They represent a significant source of revenue for the government, helping to finance various public services.

2. Border Control: Customs exercise rigorous border control to prevent the illegal entry of people, dangerous goods or counterfeit products. They also check travelers and goods for compliance with customs and immigration regulations, which includes inspection of passports and visas.

3. National Security: A key role of customs is to guarantee national security. They are responsible for detecting and preventing the illegal trafficking of weapons, drugs, dangerous chemicals and other illicit goods. They often work closely with other national security agencies to ensure the protection of the country.

4. Consumer Protection: Customs ensures that imported products meet the country's safety and quality standards. They carry out checks and inspections to ensure that imported goods do not present risks to the health or safety of consumers. Non-compliant products may be seized and removed from the market.

5. Environmental Protection: Customs play a role in protecting the environment by imposing restrictions on the importation of products that could harm nature. They control hazardous chemicals, hazardous waste and endangered animal and plant species, in accordance with international agreements and national regulations.

6. Collection of Statistical Data: Customs keeps detailed records of imported and exported goods. These data are essential for compiling trade statistics, analyzing economic trends and developing national trade policies. They also help governments make informed decisions regarding international trade.

7. Enforcement of International Trade Rules: Customs ensures that imports and exports comply with international trade rules, including bilateral trade agreements and rules established by the World Trade Organization (WTO). They ensure that goods are classified and valued correctly, and that they meet agreed standards.

8. Facilitation of International Trade: Customs play an essential role in facilitating international trade by simplifying and accelerating customs procedures. They are implementing electronic systems for customs clearance of goods, reducing delays and costs for businesses.

9. Fight against Counterfeiting: Customs frequently seize counterfeit or pirated products at borders. They thus protect the intellectual property rights of companies and prevent the circulation of counterfeit goods on the market.

10. Enforcement of International Sanctions: In the event of international economic sanctions, customs may be responsible for enforcing these sanctions by preventing the importation of goods from embargoed countries. They ensure that trade restrictions are respected.

In short, Customs performs a multifunctional role, ranging from revenue collection to protecting national security, the environment and human rights. Their mission is essential to maintaining order and regulation in international trade.

OMSAC is actively involved in promoting transparency, integrity and ethics in all sectors, including customs. Our organization recognizes the critical importance of customs to national security and prosperity, and we work closely with whistleblowers and civil society to raise awareness of issues related to cross-border corruption and criminal activity. We encourage effective cooperation between Customs and citizens involved in the fight against corruption, because together we can build a more transparent and secure future for all.

OMSAC Integrity & Investigations Department

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