Sri Lanka Customs celebrated the International Customs Day (ICD) 2019 on 28t)1 January 2019 gracefully under the theme of "SMART Borders for Seamless Trade, Travel and Transport" with the participation of officials of Customs, other governmental agencies and private sector. In line with the theme, many events were taken place, especially to appreciate the dedicated contribution extended by the Customs, other government officials and private sector, towards implementing best border practices, supply chain security ,social protection as well as the strengthening of public-private partnership.
Hon. Eran Wickramarathne, State Minister of Finance and Mass Media was the Chief Guest, while Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri of Post Graduate Institute of Management were the major invitees for the International Customs Day celebration of Sri Lanka Customs which was hosted by Ms. P S M Charles, Director General of Sri Lanka Customs.
Among the various agenda items, following could be highlighted since those items have added an elegance to the event.
- International Customs Day 2019 was a red-letter day for Sri Lanka Customs since the report of the second Time Release Study conducted by Sri Lanka Customs in 2018 was published. Mr. Sunil Jayarathne, Director of Customs (Policy, Planning and Research) also the National Coordinator of the TRS, stated in his speech the objectives of TRS and how the outcome of the study will affect all stakeholders, for the betterment of the legitimate trade. It was followed by an analytical briefing of the time release study by Mr. Achala Chandrasekara, Deputy Director of Customs (Policy, Planning and Research)
- Publishing the "Sri Lanka Customs Outlook 2019", a journal which reflects on the performance and achievements of the Customs for the past years.
- Speech delivered by Hon. Eran Wickramarathna, State Minister of Finance and Mass Media.
- Analysis on the state of the economy in Sri Lanka, by Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy, the Governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka.
- Speech delivered by a special representative from United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in line with the 25th anniversary of the Information and Communication Directorate of Sri Lanka Customs.
- Awarding a scholarship to Mr. Niluka Nilnuwan, a student of Anuradhapura Central College for his excellent performance at Advanced Level examination in Physical Science stream despite financial difficulties.
- The keynote speech on the theme "SMART Borders for Seamless Trade, Travel and Transport" delivered by Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri, Director and the Chairman of the Board of Management of Post Graduate Institute of Management.
- The introduction of the post graduate degree programme, 'Master of Customs Administration' is a significant milestone in the history of Sri Lanka Customs. The programme is conducted jointly by the Post Graduate Institute of Management affiliated to the University of Sri Jayawardenepura and the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies affiliated to the University of Canberra. In the first graduation ceremony held for the 60 customs officers who completed the Master of Customs Administration degree programme, Dr. Kunio Mikuriya, the Secretary General of the World Customs Organization, drew attention to the prominence of the event stating," I believe that you have learnt the value of knowledge, innovation and honesty in this institution. I am confident that you will be able to join the global effort to move towards a better world." On the International Customs Day Celebrations 2019, Sri Lanka Customs conveyed its gratitude towards Prof. Ajantha Dharmasiri and Prof. Stephen Muller for their patronage in initiating the Master of Customs Administration degree programme.
- In recognition of the excellent service towards best border practices, 29 officers were awarded with WCO Merit certificates by Ms. P S M Charles, the Director General of Customs (DGC) and also 40 Customs officers were commended on their dedication towards the Department by the DGC.
- The event was also memorable as the Information Communication and Technology Directorate of Sri Lanka Customs celebrated its 25th anniversary in line with the 1CD celebrations in this year. Mr. Ajantha Dias, former Additional Director General of Customs delivered the pioneer ICT speech. Tokens of appreciation were also presented to the initial officers of the ICT Directorate during the program.
The event concluded in a highly successful manner by adding a remarkable reminiscence.