26 January 2018 is World Customs Day and this year the theme of the annual celebration is creating ‘A secure business environment for economic development’.
We spoke to three customs experts about what a ‘secure business environment’ looks like, what we as international traders can do to contribute to it, and the challenges we face in creating it.
Anna Jersewska PhD, Global Trade Specialist
A secure business environment is one where firms of all sizes are able to participate in global trade and expand their activities to other markets. As such, it needs to offer certainty: firms need to have a clear guidance on how to operate within the global trade framework, how to comply with customs requirements, and what conditions they need to fulfil to be able to claim customs reliefs.
European firms have recently gone through a period of increased uncertainty resulting from the introduction of the new customs legislation in May 2016. While most firms have now completed the process of necessary adjustments, many provisions of the new Code remain unclear. There is a need for further clarification from the EU Commission and continuous implementation guidance.
In the UK, Brexit represents a new challenge for many, if not all, firms. Apart from the most likely increase in the overall costs of traded goods and additional paperwork it represents, Brexit is first and foremost uncertainty. As such, it is becoming crucial for UK firms to understand their customs footprint as well as the impact Brexit could have on their entire supply chain. Building internal customs competency might just be the best way to prepare for the upcoming changes.
Customs professionals can also play a vital role in creating a secure business environment by supporting firms as well as other stakeholders in understanding the global trade framework and customs legislation.
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