Customs clearance trends in 2019: check them out!

  • 08/10/2019
  • 9 minutes

So, what are the main customs clearance trends? Will innovative technologies affect even deeper changes? Is there anything that might completely change the course of business?

With those and other questions of the utmost importance for the sector in mind, we prepared this special article. By reading it, you’ll find relevant information for the current state of the activity as well as perspectives for the future.

Follow the content to the end to not miss any details!

What is customs clearance and what is its importance today?

Since this is a subject which requires deep experience, we talked to Julien Fauquenoy, who is the CEO of Costa Porto, an organization which has been acting with excellence in the fields of foreign commerce and international trade since 1920. Nowadays, the company deals with demands from other industries, such as agribusiness and oil & gas, besides offering a vast portfolio of services that includes Integrated Management — Supply Chain Management, EPC Projects, and Trading.

According to the specialist, “customs clearance has gone through profound acting changes over the years, as much as in its operability as in relation to the work performed by its professionals”.

It’s worth reminding that the activity is a mandatory process, required by the Brazilian Federal Revenue Department when exporting or importing any kind of product or good. Thus, it configures as one of the key points of foreign trade, because it fulfills the role of inspecting and checking the items, which results in a standardized goods clearance at the exits and entrances of different countries.

If we take only the current times into consideration, “in relation to operability, the practice hasn’t lost its importance, but gained some facilitators capable of debureaucratizing procedures and operations for the dispatcher and for the importer/exporter”, points out Fauquenoy.

However, customs clearance remains fundamental for the perfect compliance with the necessary steps, obeying the requirements of the process itself and even contributing to the growth of importer and exporter companies in Brazil.

What are the most noticeable changes in customs clearance?

Fauquenoy highlights the evolution traced by the professionals who work with customs clearance, because they are no longer strictly about clearance. “Today, it’s necessary to gather knowledge referring to the clients’ service chain as a whole — from the initial proceedings (registrations) to the specific needs of cargo delivery and storage, for example”, explains he.

Therefore, in practice, those who work in the area went from being a customs logistics consultant with technical and solid knowledge about the operations that will be performed. Broadly speaking, it’s one of the techniques that says a lot about the future of the activity.

“All these changes, it’s important to point out, occurred because of the movements that happen in the market itself, because the companies that import and/or export are inserted in a market where their competition is worldwide”, affirms Julien.

Besides, the customs legislation itself, responsible for the disposal of obligations and respective fiscalization, establishes a series of accessory, legal, and operational obligations which require a lot from that professional, who needs to become more and more consultive and analytical.

Process informatization and automation, on the other hand, promoted true revolutions in this sense by connecting all those involved and bringing them even closer. The advances brought about by electronic documentation, for example, facilitated several steps and eliminated significant obstacles, such as the repetitive filling out of the same data for a single procedure, and the goal behind those resources is only one: expediting clearance completion.

What are the sector’s current main demands?

“Currently, the sector demands the improvement of activities tied to customs clearance, so as the professionals and companies of the area may keep up with information debureaucratization and centralization”, points out Fauquenoy. Such implementations are consistent with the technological development of the control and analysis systems of the consenting organizations, which have taken place in the last few years.

Consequently, the focus on clearance is leaving the idea of ​​penalties and information-filing, being instead directed to economy and speed in Brazilian foreign trade operations — the goal is to gain competitiveness in the international scenario.

The United States, for example, managed to employ their language, their currency, and their way of operating in commercial relations around the world, becoming a reference in the market. For that to leave the theoretical field and start manifesting in practice, good foreign commerce tools are needed: they must be efficient and simplified.

What are the major customs clearance trends in 2019?

According to Fauquenoy, we must pay attention to 4 remarkable trends, which will be dominant not only in 2019, but also in the next few years. The trends are:

  • new technologies;
  • more productivity;
  • entry of new companies in the sector;
  • less complexity when doing business.

It’s worth pointing out that producing more in less time is a gain associated with the use of new technology, while the entry of new companies tends to increase the amount of businesses being closed. Investing in data intelligence and analysis will be decisive going forward.

With digitization, for example, a series of processes becomes much faster, considering that the archiving and the handling of this type of documentation are done quickly. By uniting the automation and artificial intelligence systems, the professionals of the area will probably spend less working hours with operational demands — which aligns with what Fauquenoy mentioned in the previous topics.

The integration of public agencies and sector regulators in the “Single Foreign Trade Portal” (Portal Único de Comércio Exterior — Siscomex) is a sign of information centralization and digitization so as to avoid duplicates and other mistakes. The tool has the mission of making searching for details more friendly to users, with that, tracking efficiency is significantly amplified.

It’s a fact that the future will also bring along with it several challenges. However, by analyzing the customs clearance trends, it’s undeniable that opportunities will be great and will make the sector even stronger.

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