We are delighted to welcome Gordon Matson to the team at LS Customs as our new Customs Manager. Gordon discusses his career progression, upcoming projects, and the priorities for LS Customs over the coming years.

How has your career progressed to where you are now?

I started my career in logistics with Kuehne + Nagel in 2004 after graduating from university. I worked with the company for 16 years where I held a variety of roles from customs entries to chartering aircraft and vessels. In 2014, I took on the role of National Oil and Energy Manager, looking after a large team based across several office and warehouse sites in the UK. In that time, I gained a lot of experience in all aspects of the international supply chain with a specific focus on oil and energy.

In 2021, I joined Peterson at Torry Marine Base as the Service Delivery Manager for one of our biggest clients. This allowed me to develop a deep understanding of quayside logistics before moving into my current role with LS Customs.

What is your area of expertise?

My various roles have allowed me to develop a good all-round knowledge of logistics, shipping and customs. More recently, I have spent a lot of time working with clients on customs challenges, especially with regards to Brexit and the impact this has had on businesses who had a close relationship with Europe.

Are there any projects you are particularly looking forward to working on?

The customs aspect of the UK Continental Shelf and how goods are tracked to offshore installations is about to change after a few years of debate. The team at LS Customs has been at the heart of talks with the industry and HMRC during these discussions and when the final solution is agreed and implemented, we’ll be in a great position to guide our clients through the changes and what these mean to them.

What are the priorities for LS Customs?

The introduction of the new Customs Declaration System (beginning in October for imports and March 2023 for exports) will result in changes for how businesses deal with their clearance agents. Ensuring our clients are prepared and compliant will be our biggest focus over the next few months.

Do you have any goals you would like to achieve for LS Customs over the coming years?

I am eager to raise our profile and increase awareness of what we can offer. We have a fantastic team here and our service offering helps to make a Supply Chain Manager’s life much simpler. With that in mind, I am looking to grow the team, expand our training offering and explore other areas where we can assist, such as trade compliance.

We are delighted to welcome Sylwia Kozowicz who joins the team at LS Customs as a Business Administrator. Sylwia discusses her career path, areas of specialism and the highlight of her career so far.

How has your career progressed to where you are now?

I moved to Scotland from Poland nine years ago and started to learn English from the basics. My background is mainly in hospitality, however I have always had an interest in the energy industry and was eager to find out more about the movement of goods. I like to challenge myself and moving to the UK has pushed me to learn and progress at a fast pace.

What is your area of expertise?

My area of expertise lies in customer service – I always like to meet new people and interact with them. I try to help people whenever I can and I always do my best to understand the different circumstances people are in and offer good advice. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

The highlight of my career has been beginning my role within LS Customs. Joining the team has given me the opportunity to try something different and develop new skills whilst utilising my existing skills in communication and customer service from the hospitality industry.

Andrew, Emma, Robin and Donna from the team at LS Customs took part in the Race for Life last weekend (Sunday 26th September 2021).

We are delighted to share that they were successful in raising a total of £570 for Cancer Research UK. This is a cause that is close to all of us and we are proud to have the opportunity to give back and support the amazing work that Cancer Research do.

The money will help to fund life saving research at a time which has been particularly challenging due to the impact of the pandemic. Thank you so much to everyone for your support, we are delighted to make a difference to such a worthy cause.

We are excited to share our involvement in the Pawprint Pioneer Programme as part of the wider Peterson Group.

Pawprint is a tool which allows users to measure and understand their carbon footprint and make small lifestyle changes to reduce emissions.

Our Customs Manager, Emma Ledingham, explains how she hopes Pawprint will help her and others across the business to play their part in contributing to a more sustainable future:

“The fight against climate change is a pretty daunting task and I have wondered if I, as one person, can make a difference – now I know I definitely can.

“Pawprint gives us the tools and tailored information to allow us to make small changes in our lifestyles to contribute to the bigger picture.”

You can find out more about the program here – https://www.pawprint.eco/

For the final post in our Brexit guidance series, we share some of the key learnings we have observed during the first quarter of 2021. Below are some of our tips on how to ease issues and reduce delays in customs processes following the new customs formalities:

1. Communication – Communication is crucial within the wider supply chain to avoid delays. It is vital that pre-alerts are sent to ensure the receiving party can prepare for arrival.

2. Incoterms – With increased customs formalities, it is important to focus on Incoterms. Make sure you know who is responsible for export customs clearance and subsequent import customs clearance to ensure a smooth transaction process. 

3. Union transit procedures – An understanding of Union Transit procedures is key. The UK are a member of the Common Transit Convention (CTC) and can benefit from transit procedures to reduce the need for multiple customs clearances.

Check out the previous posts in our series for further Brexit advice.

Part four of our Brexit guidance series explores the UK legislation that is in place to manage the ongoing trade conflicts with the US on steel, aluminium and aircraft tariffs as detailed in the Customs (Import Duty Variation) (EU Exit) Regulations 2020.

The legislation results in numerous tariff codes having a retaliatory additional duty applied for goods of US origin, regardless of where they are shipped from. The duties range from 7% – 25% depending on the tariff code.

Our advice is to regularly review tariff codes for upcoming shipments with goods of US origin to identify any goods affected by these retaliatory measures. Get in touch at info@lscustoms.com and we can help to guide you through the process.

In this week’s Brexit Guidance Series, we explore customs special procedures. These allow businesses to benefit from import duty relief or suspension if goods are going to be stored, temporarily used, processed or repaired.

To obtain full authorisation, an application needs to be made to HMRC for approval and the trader’s customs compliance practices will be tested prior to authorisation. A full authorisation needs to be compliantly managed with all conditions laid down by HMRC strictly adhered to.

Authorisation by declaration allows traders to utilise the special procedures for a limited number of times to allow them to benefit where a full authorisation is not required.

Goods held in special procedures remain under customs control until such time as they are discharged or removed from the authorisation. As such, strong record-keeping and a robust audit trail are essential to operate.

There are 5 special procedures available to apply for as listed below:

– Inward Processing
– Outward Processing
– Authorised Use
– Customs Warehouse
– Temporary Admission

LS Customs can assist your business in identifying the procedure that would be most beneficial for your operations and support you through the application process.

When importing and exporting goods, it is vital to keep accurate and robust customs records. Whether they be electronic or manual, your records are the basis of the audit trail of goods required by HMRC. All records should be retained for a minimum of 4 years, or in line with the time period advised by HMRC for your business.

Some key documents and information to retain within your records include:

– Customs Details of Goods
– Tracking References – Internal and External
– Pertinent Documentation

Please note this list is not exhaustive and the requirements for building your customs records need to be tailored to your business and the customs processes and procedures you have in place.

LS Customs can assist with assessing your current customs records to ensure a full and compliant audit trail. Or if you are new to importing and exporting, let’s start from the beginning!

Contact us on info@lscustoms.com

Following your feedback from our poll on LinkedIn and in line with recent client demand, we are pleased to share the first instalment of a five-part Brexit Guidance Series to help address your Brexit concerns.

In recent weeks, delays have been announced to the originally proposed timeline for introducing full UK border controls on imports from the European Union.

The delays will see the Stage 2 border controls, originally planned for April 2021, delayed until October 2021 and the Stage 3 border controls, originally planned for July 2021, delayed until January 2022. This comes as a result of the ongoing impact of Covid-19 on businesses and pressure from industries advocating for more time to prepare.

We have seen delayed declarations being used at ports incorrectly to keep the port traffic flowing, meaning businesses are seeing shipments arrive at their warehouses without prior knowledge and no customs declaration having been completed. A retrospective customs declaration should be made for these shipments to ensure they are declared compliantly.

For further guidance in this area, get in touch at info@lscustoms.com