24th October 2019, Skopje – Applying new technologies facilitates fast movement of people, goods and means of transport, contributing to more efficient risk control, costs reduction and simplification of customs procedures. We live in a digital universe in which no country has time to waste. We are to learn fast, to prepare for fast response to changes, because there is no other way to advance. We have a decade ahead of us in which the authorities, the businesses, the academic community and all of us should prove that we are to cope with constant changes. To be able to use the power and the potential of the digitalization, we are to prepare the administration therefore. We should urgently commence building our capacities because, if we stop, we go backwards, Minister of Finance, Nina Angelovska, said at the closing ceremony of the 14th Partnership in Customs Academic Research and Development Conference – PICARD, held in Skopje this year, covering the theme “SMART Borders for Seamless TradeTravel and Transport”.

-New technologies provide greater opportunities for economic growth, inclusion and further investments.  Efficient use of data in conditions of digitalization is key to adopting policies that can improve the lives of all, in an equitable and measurable manner. And yes, the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data, but if unrefined it cannot be really used. It has to be broken down and analyzed to create value. Progress in the field of data science enables us to reveal the hidden patterns, the connections and the cause-effect relationship behind a certain business behavior.  Achieving this requires constant upgrading of the customs systems all to the end of improving and rationalizing customs management, starting with the documentation, through monitoring and analyzing the movement of goods, Minister Angelovska said.

She thanked the Korea Customs Service for the Project, to be also supported by the World Bank, amounting to more than half a million euros, which will provide for capacity building in the area of control of expedite shipments, detection of illicit financial flows, as well as risk analysis in e-commerce. The Customs Administration will receive pre-arrival information on express consignments in the Post Office and it can import such data in the data analysis system. If a person receives certain goods through the global suppliers each week, it will be clear to the Customs Administration that it is matter of a business, rather than personal use.

— Customs Administration has commenced the digitalization process. Electronic submission of declarations and excise documents, which was launched in the middle of this year, is one of the most significant achievements of the Customs Administration in the recent years, which provides for paperless environment and reduction of the administrative burden for the participants in the procedure. But, this is the first step. What is yet to come is converting all data in the e-invoices in easy readable format. It will provide for applying Data Analytics, and the Customs Administration will thus be able to receive, store and process such heterogeneous data, which can be merged for analytical purpose later on. This process will allow the customs officer to obtain the data necessary for a certain import, export or transit by just pressing several buttons on the keyboard. Further digitalization of the Customs Administration will enable the Ministry of Finance to create better tax and customs policies, the Minister pointed out.

According to Angelovska, terms such as Data Science, Machine Learning, Blockchain Technology and Big Data, which were often heard at the Conference, show that the future has already begun and digitalization is the key for entry of the small economies in the modernized commercial flows. 


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