• Mclaughlin Hopper posted an update April 18, 2019 6:18 AM  · 

    Customs has traditionally been responsible for implementing a wide range of border management policies, often on behalf of other gov departments. For hundreds of years, the customs role may be one of ‘gatekeeper’, with customs authorities representing a barrier by which international trade must pass, in order to protect the interests of the united states. The essence of the role is reflected within the traditional customs symbol, the portcullis, the symbolic representation of an nation’s ports. This kind of role can often be manifested by regulatory intervention in commercial transactions exclusively for the sake of intervention. Customs gets the authority to do so, with no an example may be keen to question that authority. The function of Customs has, however, changed significantly these days, and what may represent core business for just one administration may fall outside of the sphere of responsibility of someone else. This is reflective with the changing environment in which customs authorities operate, and the corresponding changes in government priorities. In this point in time, however, social expectations will no longer accept the very idea of intervention for intervention’s sake. Rather, the actual catch-cry is ‘intervention by exception’, that is certainly, intervention if you have the best have to do so; intervention based on identified risk.

    The changing expectations with the international trading community are based on the commercial realities of their own operating environment. It can be looking for the easiest, quickest, cheapest and most reliable way to get goods into and out of the country. It seeks certainty, clarity, flexibility and timeliness in the dealings with government. Driven by commercial imperatives, it is usually looking for essentially the most cost- effective ways of working.

    This is the reason trade facilitation agenda is gaining increasing momentum, as outlined by World Customs Organization (WCO) Revised International Convention around the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures – the Revised Kyoto Convention, represents the international blueprint for prudent, innovative customs management, and is designed to take care of the relevance of customs procedures at the same time when technological developments is revolutionizing the concept of international trade by:

    1. Eliminating divergence involving the customs procedures and practices of contracting parties that could hamper international trade and also other international exchanges

    2. Meeting the demands of both international trade and customs authorities for facilitation, simplification and harmonization of customs procedures and practices

    3. Ensuring appropriate standards of customs control enabling customs authorities to respond to major adjustments to business and administrative methods and techniques

    4. Ensuring that the main principles for simplification and harmonization are created obligatory on contracting parties.

    5. Providing customs authorities with efficient procedures, backed up by appropriate and efficient control methods.

    Considering the sunlight of such new developments Brokers nowadays must have a look at modernizing and, perhaps, transforming their professional role in trade facilitation. The International Federation of Customs Brokers Association (IFCBA) has pinpointed various roles of a Modern Licensed Broker:

    1. Brokers along with their Clients

    (a) The help available from brokers on their industry is usually operating out of law (e.g. the power of attorney), and also on nationally recognized business practice and conventions.

    (b) Brokers perform the work they do with honesty, dedication, diligence, and impartiality.

    2. Customs Brokers in addition to their National Customs Administrations

    (a) Brokers generally are licensed to do their duties by their governments. They are thus uniquely placed to aid Customs administrations by working with government to deliver essential services to both clients and Customs.

    (b) Customs brokers take every opportunity to help their administrations achieve improvements in service provision to traders. Such improvements include efficiencies in putting on regulations, progression of programs that take advantage of technological advances, and adherence to new trade security standards.

    (c) Customs administrations conduct their relations with customs brokers fairly and without discrimination, offering all customs brokerage firms equal opportunity to serve their mutual clients.

    3. Customs Brokers and Professional Education

    (a) Brokers attempt to boost their knowledge and skills with a continuous basis.

    (b) Professional education can take place both formally (through activities undertaken in schools, colleges, web-based courses, seminars provided by national customs brokers associations etc.) and informally (on-the-job training; mentoring; in-house training). Both styles to train must be encouraged and recognized.

    4. Customs Brokers and Trade Security and Facilitation

    (a) Customs brokers are near the centre with the international trade fulcrum, and so come with an intrinsic interest in ensuring their clients’ interests are advanced by full participation in national and international trade security and facilitation programs, for example those advanced through the World Customs Organization.

    As Napoleon Bonaparte said "A Leader gets the to certainly be beaten, but never the ability to be blown away." Let us all take a look at our profession as Leaders of Trade Facilitation- starting right now. It is going to mean an even more professional, responsible, self sufficient Customs Brokers if we are to thrive our profession we had better be able to evolve and revolutionize ourselves.

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