I recently had a very interesting conversation with the Managing Director of one of the worldwide largest offshore companies about customs knowledge inside the company and the logistics service provider with which the company has been doing business for years. He asked me what kind of issues I had experienced in my practice in regard of customs knowledge of certain (logistic) companies.
I told him, that although there is so much information available on the internet through training courses, workshops and information meetings about customs matters, knowledge is superficially present but as soon as the content becomes more complex it stops right there. And we are talking about companies who have already the AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) status.
Therefore, the question is: how is this possible, while we are bombarded with information about the Brexit, Permits, Dual-Use and Strategic Goods information, Tariff Preferences etc.
Several causes can be identified for this. For the smaller companies are the customs brokers (mostly also certified), but more often employees who have been serving clients for years and working in relation to the company but:
Is this something for which great improvements can be made? Yes, this is possible, and this even MUST be done if you want your company to be compliant and abide by all laws and regulations in the area of customs issues.
A while ago I was invited by the University of Liverpool i.c.w. Deloitte in London for a 2-day Customs & Compliance Conference. Not only some of the largest British companies participated but also some of big US companies attended. It was very clear to me that these two countries play a pioneering role in this area.
Obviously, we still have many challenges in the EU (think of the BREXIT) and that’s why it is of the utmost importance to provide the people who must carry out the work with all possible customs information by workshops, in-house training or VIP days in which needs in the customs field within the company concerned are clearly coordinated.
Because of 'issues of the day', pressure on work, family, sport and other things plus the abundance of information received throughout the day this information must be channeled to keep it manageable and don’t get overwhelmed.
That’s exactly why they say: 'You can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make it drink'.
Practice shows that just only providing the information to read really does not linger. Explained directly from practice by an expert gives people so much more ‘on-hands’ information with immediately improvement of results and it strengthen and support those who must get the job done.
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