Detailed below is a (non-exhaustive) checklist of what we would expect to see from a best of breed organisation in relation to the management of the customs trade process/systems function, covering both compliance and planning.
- Duty planning systems should be comprehensively integrated into the purchasing decision systems;
- Full control should be evident over the system producing the transaction value purchase invoice (used for customs clearance) for valuation planning purposes;
- Centralised methodical duty-minimisation oriented classification systems should be shared across divisions;
- Stock tracking systems should hold all customs-relevant information for each consignment to provide a full audit trail;
- An intranet site with full, up to date details of contacts, processes and procedures for customs control purposes;
- An intranet-based “early warning” and knowledge sharing procedure to help control and manage official audits and log correspondence and activity etc., with internet access to/from advisers where appropriate;
- Fully integrated paperless customs clearance procedures including simplified procedures;
- Monthly analysis and trend spotting for duty and VAT paid against various metrics including SKU; and
- Full use of automated systems-based duty planning (avoidance and delay) procedures post-importation where appropriate for customs warehousing, duty relief regimes, etc.