2014 IFCBA World Conference

The International Federation of Customs Brokers Associations held its bi-annual world conference "Celebrating 25 Years of Trade Facilitation through Expertise and Innovation" in Seoul, Korea from May 13-17, 2014. Please click here for the press release and for the new IFCBA executive team. 

About the IFCBA

The IFCBA has been representing the interests of the worlds' customs brokers and their clients since 1990. Many of our member asoociations have been involved in similar activities within their own countries for nearly a century. » more

Recent News

Turkey plans to standardize procedures at customs gates to speed up border transactions and unclog long truck lines, according to the Hürriyet Daily News.

Customs and Trade Minister Nurettin Canikli has ordered ministry officials to prepare a project to renew all 17 of Turkey’s customs gates as of next year, and renovate customs gate buildings and technology, according to a source close to the matter, Hürriyet Daily News reported.

The customs procedures of Turkey, which borders eight countries, have been criticized recently because of long lines caused by bureaucratic procedures and smuggling allegations, particularly after escalated violence in Syria, with which Turkey shares its longest border, Hürriyet Daily News said. For example, at a Turkish checkpoint in Kapikule, Bulgaria, the biggest border crossing from Turkey to Bulgaria and other European Union countries, truck lines Sunday stretched for 7.5 kilometers (about 4.7 miles), according to Turkish customs, the Bulgarian publication bTV reported.

The biggest change will be in the handling of passage transactions, according to Hürriyet Daily News. There are currently six different transaction points when a vehicle enters and exits the country, but now vehicles will be handled instead at single points.

Turkey’s burden of customs procedures was ranked No. 83 out of 144 global economies, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2014-2015. The country’s economy grew at a slower pace than expected in the second quarter of 2014, following months of political uncertainty and violence in Iraq and Syria, FT.com reported. Its gross domestic product growth slowed to 2.1 percent in the second quarter, below most forecasts and down from a revised 4.7 percent year-over-year gain in the first quarter, according to the publication.
 
This is from the 13 October 2014 edition of Journal of Commerce and is available at:
http://www.joc.com/regulation-policy/customs-regulations/international-customs-regulations/turkey-standardize-customs-procedures-expedite-processing_20141013.html

The Bureau of Industry and Security has issued an interim final rule imposing foreign policy controls (i.e., license requirements) on exports of certain integrated circuits, helicopter landing system radars, seismic detection systems, and technology for infrared up-conversion devices.

- Read-out integrated circuits (classified under new ECCN 6A990) and related software (added to existing ECCN 6D991) and technology (new ECCN 6E990) to all destinations except Canada are controlled for regional stability column 1 reasons and anti-terrorism column 1 reasons. These goods are used only in cameras to provide images for collision avoidance and navigation support for civilian vehicles at distances up to 150 meters and have potential military application because of the infrared detectors, which can be used to enable military personnel to detect images in the dark. License exception LVS is not available.
 
This has been excerpted from the 13 October 2014 edition of Sandler, Travis & Rosenberg Trade Report and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.strtrade.com/news-publications-export-controls-radar-seismic-detection-up-conversion-101314.html

The following is excerpted from a notice issued by the ANLCA on 29 September 2014.  It provides an interesting overview of the significant issues faced by our customs broker colleagues and their association in Nigeria.  All member associations are encouraged to share news of their activities with the IFCBA Secretariat.

A joint meeting of the National Executive Committee (NECOM) and the Board of Trustees (BOT) of ANLCA was held on Tuesday, 23rd of September 2014 at the Dr. Taiwo Afolabi Conference Hall of Dikko Inde House, ANLCA National Secretariat.

The joint meeting was at the instance of the BOT. The Chairman of BOT- Chief Henry Njoku, tabled the following issues for discussion: Operational challenges in the Ports and the continuing intimidation of licensed Customs Agents by Custom officers; Annual financial returns and accounts to be resuscitated and completed for auditor’s report’s conclusion; welfare of member/licensed agents; welfare packages for workers/appointees at the National secretariat; resuscitation, funding and subsequent independence of the Customs Agent Magazine; sources of steady income, to sustain administration/activities of the National Secretariat; commissioning of the Dikko Inde house Permanent Secretariat of ANLCA and seeming exclusion at the final stages, of the BOT and non-recognition of the project committee members.

Other issues brought up for discussion are: the 35% automotive policy of the Federal Government of Nigeria needs reappraisal, as its effect on members will be heavy; the constitutionally provided 10% of income into ANLCA coffers, should be remitted as at when due, to BOT; the two versions of ANLCA supreme constitution should be harmonized into one; and the Forthcoming Eastern Zone chapters’ elections, calls for an audit committee to look into the financial transactions of those Chapters, as demanded by the constitution.

Responding on behalf of NECOM- the National President- Prince Olayiwola Shittu, with some contributions from members in attendance, reported, to the admiration of attendees, that a structure is evolving currently, designed to handle the multitude of problems in the Ports. This will involve the issuance of passwords tied to approved, operating licensed Customs Agencies and the commencement of sustained training of agents, alongside customs officers, which is scheduled to commence in November 2014.

The National Vice President- Kingsley Emenike Nwokeoji advised members to tread softly on their criticism of PAAR, as the document cannot be a final document for clearing purposes. The reason been that PAAR is prepared and issued based on documents, by the importer. The integrity of the documents can only be sustained, if on examination, contents of the cargo tallies completely, with the documents initially presented. It was advised that importers should be honest in their declarations/imports and raise their integrity level in trade compliance. Other noticeable challenges involving PAAR and trade facilitation will continuously be addressed with the customs high command, until PAAR becomes a onetime cargo clearance document, as Nigeria inches towards e-transaction in cargo clearance.

Commendations flowed ceaselessly to the National President, from members at the meeting, for the achievement of the Permanent National Secretariat. Prince Shittu promptly reminded members that it was a collective achievement, because every member/agency contributed at least N50,000.00 to acquire the edifice. He in turn congratulated members for the achievement too.

The World Bank Group and the World Trade Organization (WTO) have agreed to enhance their co-operation in assisting developing and least-developed countries to better utilize trade facilitation programs which can help countries reduce trade costs and more fully engage in the global economy.

Trade facilitation aims to reduce barriers developing countries now face moving goods quickly and cost effectively by increasing port efficiency, improving customs and regulatory environments, and upgrading infrastructure to increase trade exports.

This has been excerpted from a 10 October 2014 news release by the World Trade Organization and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.wto.org/english/news_e/pres14_e/pr725_e.htm

In June of 2004, Australian House of Representatives introduced The Customs Tariff Amendment (Textile, Clothing and Footwear Post-2005 Arrangements) Bill 2004.

The scheduled reductions resulted in the general rate of customs duty applicable to all Textiles, Clothing, and Footwear (TCF) goods (with the exception of clothing and finished textiles) being lowered to 5 per cent on 1 January 2010. The clothing and finished textiles were only reduced to 10 percent from 17.5 at the time.

On 1 January 2015, the general rate for clothing and finished textiles will be lowered to 5 percent as well.

This has been excerpted from the 6 October 2014 issue of CustomsInfo and is available in its entirety at:
http://www.customsinfo.com/Industry-Blog/bid/202163/Australian-General-Duty-Rate-for-Clothing-to-be-Reduced