International Customs Day 2023

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Oct 27, 2022, 8:15

Every year on 26th January, International Customs Day is celebrated around the world to recognize the role and contribution of customs agencies and officials. The day aims to bring light to the challenges and working conditions of customs officers. The primary objective of observing International Customs Day is to recall their significant role in customs administration around the globe.

International Customs Day is observed annually by customs organizations in different countries. They host appreciation events, workshops, speeches, and seminars on this occasion. Find out more about the history and significance of this day here.

International Customs Day 2023

International Customs Day (ICD) is celebrated to commemorate the inauguration of the Customs Cooperation Council (now World Customs Organization) that took place on 26th January 1953. This day is about recognizing the challenges of customs workers and appreciating their contribution to managing goods inflow and outflow. World Customs Day is observed around the world annually.

Customs Day is also about extending a helping hand to customs workers and agencies to help resolve their challenges. Find some more information about this day below:

Event Name

International Customs Day

Celebrated On

26th January

Established By

World Customs Organization


To spread awareness about the importance of customs agencies.

International Customs Day Theme 2023

The theme for World Customs Day 2023 has not been announced yet. For the celebration of this day, a new and unique theme is announced every year. In 2022, “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation” was the International Customs Day theme. The theme chosen for the day emphasized the need to adopt a data-friendly culture and creating an ecosystem of data in the customs industry.

Here are some of the previous year’s theme for Customs Day:


World Customs Day Theme


Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation


Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal and Resilience


Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet

What is WCO?

World Customs Organization, or WCO, was established in 1953 as Customs Cooperation Council. It works with the mission of providing guidance and support to customs agencies and officials. The organization believes customs help meet the social, economic, and environmental needs of the globe, contributing to developing a sustainable future.

Due to the significance of this organizations and its operations, the day of its establishment, i.e., 26th January is celebrated annually as International Customs Day. Here are some of the roles of this organization:

  • Custom reinforcement
  • Supply chain security
  • Taking measures to boost the expansion of lawful commerce on a global scale.
  • Combating counterfeiting of Intellectual Property Rights, illegal drug enforcement, etc.

Facts About WCO

  • Since its establishment, WCO has remained the only international body solely dedicated to customs administration and border control.
  • It has its headquarters in Brussels in, Belgium.
  • WCO has 182 members from across the world, 75% of which come from developing nations.
  • WCO helps improve the efficiency of custom processes. It works on the belief that ‘Where borders divide, customs connect.’

History of World Customs Day

On 26th January 1953, the Customs Cooperation Council (now known as the World Customs Organization) was established. This organization works on matters related to custom reinforcement, facilitation of international trade, security of supply chain, etc. To celebrate the establishment of this organization, International Customs Day is celebrated on the day of its conception.

Customs Day was first celebrated in 1983 by the CCC to celebrate 30 years of its first session. The CCC was renamed as WCO (World Customs Organization) in 1994, and every year, a celebration takes place on 26th January to commemorate the WCO.

Customs Day Significance

International Customs Day represents a great way to recognize this often unseen facet of trade, the people that work in them, their lifestyles, challenges, and more. Here are some reasons why Customs Day is significant:

  • Customs agencies are responsible for streamlining the flow of goods between countries.
  • Customs entities play a crucial role in global commerce development.
  • International Customs Day is the perfect occasion to realize the importance of customs officials and agencies in the smooth management of world trade.
  • It also lets the members of the WCO showcase their efforts and achievements.
  • With customs agencies playing an increasingly critical role in global trade, especially at times like the present, with massive supply-chain disruptions owing to the pandemic.

Important Current Affairs Topics

National Womens DayOldest Tree In India
National Youth DayChildrens Day
Niti Aayog Vice ChairmanWorld Sports Journalist Day
Global Handwashing DayAfrican Swine Fever Virus
United Nations DayAfrican Union

FAQs On International Customs Day

Q1. When is International Customs Day celebrated?

International Customs Day is celebrated on 26th January each year. This day marks the establishment of the World Customs Organization (which was previously known as Customs Cooperation Council) on 26th January 1953.

Q2. What is the International Customs Day 2022 theme?

International Customs Day theme 2022 is “Scaling up Customs Digital Transformation.” This theme indicates the need to progress on the digital front and bring digital advancements to the customs industry for maximized efficiency.

Q3. Why do we celebrate International Customs Day?

The world celebrates International Customs Day to mark the anniversary of the first session of the WCO (World Customs Organization), which was held in 1953. Customs Day is observed to spread awareness about the role of customs authorities in smooth goods movement across borders.

Q4. What was the theme of International Customs Day in 2021?

International Customs Day theme 20221 was “Customs bolstering Recovery, Renewal & Resilience.” Each year, a new theme is picked for the celebration of Customs Day. In 2020, the theme was “Customs fostering sustainability for people, prosperity, and the plant.”

Q5. What is WCO?

WCO stands for World Customs Organization which was formed as the Customs Cooperation Council in 1953 to make customs administration more efficient and effective across the world. To celebrate its establishment, International Customs Day is celebrated every year on 26th January.