Customs professionals have a role to play in ‘fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet’

international customs day 2020

International Customs Day is an annual celebration of the role Customs plays in facilitating global trade and therefore the global economy. Falling on January 26th this year, the 2020 slogan chosen by the World Customs Organisation to mark the celebration is ‘Customs fostering Sustainability for People, Prosperity and the Planet’.

With the Climate Emergency rising on the international agenda, sustainable trade practices are an essential element of humanity’s efforts to protect the planet’s short-term and long-term suitability for our existence as we know it. Customs rules and procedures will have a key role to play in this, as evidenced in the EU’s ‘Green Deal’.

What impact will the EU’s ‘Green Deal’ have?

The ‘Green Deal’ will affect much of the EU’s trade policy going forwards, including its future trade agreements. A ‘carbon border adjustment mechanism’ has already been signalled by the Commission.

Arne Mieklen, the Vice President of the Institute of Export & International Trade and a regular blogger on all things Customs, recently summarised how this will work:

“Should differences in levels of ambition worldwide persist, as the EU increases its climate ambition, the Commission will propose a carbon border adjustment mechanism, for selected sectors, to reduce the risk of carbon leakage.

“This would ensure that the price of imports reflect more accurately their carbon content. This measure will be designed to comply with World Trade Organization rules and the other international obligations that the EU has.

“It would be an alternative to the measures that currently address risks of carbon leakage in the EU’s Emissions Trading System and has been announced for implementation in 2021.”

The UK’s own future Customs procedures and regulations could well follow the lead that the EU is taking with the ‘Green Deal’, though we won’t know to what extent this will happen until we know more about the direction of the Brexit negotiations.

Customs professionals have a key role to play

What is clear is that Customs managers will have a role to play in ensuring their businesses comply with future regulations around sustainability. More than this, Customs managers will have the opportunity to ensure their businesses take a lead in enacting sustainable trade practices.

The UK Customs Academy will of course be monitoring the effects of the ‘Green Deal’ and other regulatory requirements for UK businesses to trade compliantly and sustainably in the years ahead.

Customs professionals will need to ensure they have up-to-date knowledge around these rules and procedures – something the online training provided by the Academy enables them to have.

Continual learning is essential

Through continually learning and upskilling with the Customs Academy, Customs Professionals will be able to ensure their businesses can prosper sustainably in a way that protects the planet.

To find out more about training opportunities with the UK Customs Academy, please do have a look at our world class suite of online qualifications. Ranging from Level 2 to Level 7, we have something for everyone, from beginners to seasoned professionals.

You can also find out more about the Academy in our brochure. If you have any questions, please feel free to get in touch at [email protected].

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