UK Customs academy

The UK Customs academy has been developed at the request of H.M. Revenue and Customs. It’s aim, to support the development of robust and sustainable customs intermediaries.

Who is behind the academy

According to the UK Customs academy website the academy has been developed by

With funding from the UK Treaury and HMRC Investments

The aims of the academy

The aim of the academy is to encourage new entrants into the sector. Further enhancing and providing practical progression routes into the industry. The academy claims that at is core is

A world-first professional programme that caters for the full spectrum of knowledge and skill requirements – from school leavers through to experienced professionals

The only question you would ask would be, is there a requirement in the UK for such an academy.

The UK doesn’t employ separate customs brokers so why an academy

Certainly for those of us who have been in the industry for 30 years or more questions have been asked. Is the knowledge of freight forwarders what it once was. Does today’s freight forwarder understand all the CPC’s available.

With computers came the simplification of customs clearance and knowledge. With the centralisation of Customs does the freight forwarder get the support he once did. We already have several courses designed to assist the freight forwarder in the market place. How is this UK Customs academy course any different.

in the UK there is no qualification basis for a customs broker. Indeed customs brokerage is often seen as part of the role of a freight forwarder. Often the person arranging the shipping for the importer/exporter is the person handling your customs entry.

It is open to interpretation as to whether this is a good or a bad thing. It certainly helps to maintain lower customs clearance costs in the UK than elsewhere. For a lot of customers that works. For some with complicated products or complex supply chains savings are to be had by understanding the rules. The argument therefore is should the shippers/importers be the one’s demanding a separate customs brokerage division. Or should a customs clearance consultant be assisting shippers and providing CPC information so the shipper advises the freight forwarder on his goods.

Is the UK missing a trick in funding a UK Customs academy aimed at freight forwarding companies. The customs academy is here but would customs consultants for importers be better placed. Especially in a market place where often the cheapest forwarder wins the business. As a freight forwarder reading this when was the last time you won business based on the shipper asking about your training.

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