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Customs is the official department of the government that administers and collects the tariffs and duties, as well as controlling the flow of goods that come in and out of countries.

International Customs Day acknowledges and celebrates the people who work hard to keep the goods flowing as imports and exports between countries all across the world!

History of International Customs Day

When it was originally created in 1953, what is now called the World Customs Organization was then referred to as the Customs Co-operation Council (CCC). It got its start because the Committee for European Economic Cooperation formed a study group that was working to improve the efficiency of customs processes and administration all over the world.

Established in 1983 by the World Customs Organization, International Customs Day was founded in celebration of the 30th birthday of the organization. International Customs Day was founded to celebrate the customs agencies and officials who ensure the most effective possible management of world trade.

While many people might be concerned that global trade is bad for local economies, the truth is that global trade helps boost the prosperity of countries and fight global poverty at the same time.

Now, the World Customs Organization benefits large and small countries to provide safe, fair and careful movement of goods with clear and precise standards.

And International Customs Day is here to raise a glass to all of these benefits!

How to Celebrate International Customs Day

International Customs Day can be honored and observed in a few different ways, with ideas such as these:

Say Thank You to a Customs Official

For those people who actually know a person who works for an international customs organization, now is the time to say thanks! Let them know how much they are appreciated by writing them a note, posting them a card or sending an email to say thank you. Those who don’t know a customs official personally might still want to write a generic thank you note and send it to the local customs office.

Learn Some Trivia About International Customs Day

Getting involved with International Customs Day might mean learning a bit more about the various aspects of customs as well as the World Customs Organization. Here are some fun facts about the group that has literally changed the way the world trades:

  • When it was created as the Customs Cooperation Council (CCC), there were only 17 countries in Europe that participated in the organization.

  • Today, the World Customs Organization is the representative for more than 180 customs administrations all over the world.

  • The dozens of the agencies represented by the World Customs Organization equal approximately 98% of the trade that takes place in the world.

  • 90% of goods that are traded internationally are shipped by ocean freight, due to its efficiency as well as cost effectiveness. This means that customs officials typically operate at international sea ports to manage this type of trading of goods.

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