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Three new Senior Experts

We have the pleasure to announce that the following three top experts in illicit trade and maritime security have recently joined the CBRA’s Consulting Team, as Senior Consultants: Ms. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia, Mr. Michael Ellis and Mr. Lars W Lorenzen. We work closely with them in monitoring new calls and preparing project proposals – and, once new projects are funded, they play a key role in executing the actual research, consulting and training work. In the meanwhile, each one of them carries out other “non-CBRA professional activities”. In today’s CBRA Blog we introduce all the three of them, by sharing their short bios below. Please do not hesitate to contact us in case you see interesting joint project opportunities in the future! Have a great weekend everyone, Juha.

Ms. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia, Senior Consultant, Illicit Trade and Human Trafficking, Italy

Ms. Luda di Cortemiglia is a senior researcher and consultant with extensive experience on various criminal justice and supply chain security issues at international level. Experience specifically includes applied research and analysis as well as project management and training for professionals, in the field of illicit trafficking and supply chain security, including trafficking in persons, trafficking in counterfeit products, illicit trade in precious metals, illegal waste trade and eco-crimes, cybercrime and misuse of technologies. After graduating in Law at the University of Turin, Italy, 1999, Ms. Luda di Cortemiglia obtained a Master degree in International Relationships and Diplomacy at St. John’s University, New York, USA, in 2001, joining the United Nations in October 2001. Until September 2016 she has coordinated the programs and activities of the Emerging Crimes Unit at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI). She has acted as UNICRI Focal Point for the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Programme Network (PNI), and from 2009 until 2016 she represented UNICRI within the United Nations Inter-Agency Coordination Group against Human Trafficking (UN-ICAT).

Mr. Michael Ellis, Senior Consultant, Illicit Trade in Global Supply Chains, United Kingdom

Mr. Ellis has nearly 40 years of experience in law enforcement, coming from an operational policing background. He served with the London Metropolitan Police fighting against serious international and organised crime for 20 years, He was then engaged in the corporate security function in multinational firms, dealing with anti-counterfeit and illicit trade issues on a global basis for a further 16 years. Michael was with Universal Music, with IFPI, the music industry’s trade association, and with Beiersdorf. Most recently he was the Assistant Director of Police Services at INTERPOL and the Head of the INTERPOL Program on Traffic in Illicit Goods and Counterfeit. Michael was responsible for managing and coordinating INTERPOL’s global strategy to fight against this criminal activity, and he lead the police organisations international efforts in this area. Michael has a Master’s degree in Social Science, where he specifically researched the extensive links between organised crime and illicit trade and counterfeiting. Michael joined CBRAs consulting team on 1 October, 2016, as a Senior Consultant. He will be involved in various projects related to illicit trade and counterfeit goods in global supply chains.

Mr. Lars W Lorenzen, Senior Consultant, Maritime and Port Security, Denmark

Mr. Lorenzen has had a career with the Maersk Group spanning 37 years within a number of business units, notably within container transportation in the broadest sense. His particular knowledge and expertise covers the operational, equipment management, security, safety, standardization and regulatory sphere. He has been leading the Maersk Group work in obtaining and maintaining US C-TPAT and EU AEO-F supply chain security certifications and validations since the inception of both initiatives, while engaging with customers in shaping their profiles. As part of his security tasks, Lars has built and maintained a security response programme for the Maersk Line organisation, being also the focal point and first responder to security breaches. For a period, he was a member of the WCO PSCG (World Customs Organization Private Sector Consultative Group). During the past 20+ years he has been an appointed national expert in standardization work, mainly within ISO TC104 and TC204, including leadership of working groups - while heading the Danish delegation. Lars has served as a civil expert to NATO and other military initiatives by appointment of the Danish Government for the past 12 years, providing commercial views and factual information relating to logistics, and in the course of this participated in developing and conducting table top and other exercises.

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The first Annual SYNCHRO-NET meeting

The SYNCHRO-NET project had its first annual project meeting in Barcelona in early June. I had a pleasure to take part in the three-day event and enjoy the welcoming atmosphere and sunny weather of the Catalonian capital.

For those who are not yet familiar with the project, SYNCHRO-NET is a three-and-half-year demonstration project on advanced logistics optimization. The project seeks to advance and promote new concepts of synchro-modality and slow steaming for more cost-efficient, less congested and greener intermodal supply chains. The project includes three demonstrations that test slow-steaming and synchro-modal solutions in real international logistics networks. The first demonstrator involves shipping of goods from the Far-East to the ports of Valencia, Algeciras and Barcelona, and subsequent movement by rail inland and final short truck movement. The second demonstrator focuses on regional logistics movements through the Port of Cork. The third demonstrator will address multimodal container movements in major European routes. The project is funded by the European Commission under the Horizon 2020 Programme.

During the two first days of the meeting, the Partner Forum discussed the SYNCHRO-NET work ahead: standardization, development of a tool for logistics optimization, real-world demonstrations, and exploitation and dissemination of the project’s results. The discussion produced some interesting findings and conclusions. The Partner Forum observed that, given the large number and variety of factors, the optimization of shipping and logistics in terms of cost (including CAPEX, crew cost, fuel), duration, environmental impact, reliability and various types of risks is nothing but an easy task. For example, weather, tide and state of the sea affect maritime logistics, its speed, reliability and cost-efficiency. There was also a great deal of discussion about the dimensions of risk in the meeting. The International Organization of Standardization (ISO) defines risk as the “effect of uncertainty on objectives.” In this light, the concept of risk in the SYNCHRO-NET context covers at least damage to cargo, lead time variability, variability of cost, and possibility of theft and piracy. The Forum concluded that cost-efficiency and quality of international logistics depend largely on real-time awareness and visibility over logistics operations: “the sooner you know, the lower the cost will be to solve the problem.”

The three days of SYNCHRO-NET meetings culminated in the International Logistics and Material Handling (SIL) conference, the primary annual industry fair and networking event for logistics professionals in Spain. In the conference, Mr. Santiago Blasco (DHL) introduced SYNCHRO-NET at the “Consumer & Goods” working session for a large audience. Later that day, a group of leading logistics experts from Spain and the rest of Europe debated on pressing topics at three SYNCHRO-NET roundtables. The roundtable sessions focused on the general theme “How to build win-win solutions synchro-modal logistics stakeholders.” Here are brief summaries of the roundtable sessions:

  • “Smart Steaming – how to build a win-win solution for all stakeholders.” The members of the roundtable raised concerns about organizational, technical and business challenges of future slow steaming. There are obvious draw-back in slow steaming such as longer lead times and lower capacity utilization. However, the panel concluded that smart rather than slow steaming is here to stay: “While maintaining high service level, we can make logistics more cost-efficient.”
  • ”Effective management of synchro-modal logistics.” The panelists of the second session argued that the concept of synchro-modality is not yet very established in the logistics sector. Even so, the panel agreed that synchro-modality builds on real-time optimization, risk analysis and advanced, ITC-enabled logistics planning. Synchro-modality requires visibility over the supply chain, so that logistics planers react to contingencies and can make effective decisions in real time. The panel concluded that collaboration across supply chain operators – especially among shippers, carriers, freight forwarders – is the key to synchronized international logistics.
  • “Synchro-modal IT tools: innovation and value added to the logistics industry.” The third panel focused on the rather technical topic of leveraging cloud-based IT architecture for advanced logistics planning. The panelists saw a great potential in modern ICT solutions to enable synchro-modality, smart steaming and other ways for optimizing international freight transport. There still remain challenges for bridging a broad array of different computer systems for higher degree of logistics interconnectedness and interoperability.

The SYNCHRO-NET project has had a strong start, and the project progresses on the right track and at the full speed after one year of work. There is still much hard work to do over the next six months, for CBRA and other partners. In autumn, CBRA researchers will be focusing on reviewing policies, legislations, and standards that have an effect on synchro-modality and slow steaming. The CBRA team will also continue promoting the SYNCHRO-NET project and its findings at various events and publications. Stay with SYNCHRO-NET and visit the project website www.synchro-net.org.

CBRA Blog by Dr. Toni Männistö

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Figure 1 Santiago Bosco presenting SYNCHRO-NET at the the International Logistics and Material Handling (SIL) conference

New survey on European postal security

PostEurop and Cross-border Research Association have launched a new online survey on postal security management to promote further development and implementation of best security practices in the postal sector. The survey is part of the ongoing SAFEPOST project that the European Commission is co-funding under the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7). SAFEPOST project going to finish in the end of July after four years of work towards higher postal security in the European Union.

The survey studies the current state of postal security management among PostEurop members, 52 postal operators in 49 European countries. The goal is to collect responses mainly from security and safety managers of the PostEurop members, but also postal expert familiar with sorting and distribution processes are welcome to provide their inputs. The first part of the survey focuses on security implementation and security performance, and the second part studies postal managers’ expectations and concerns regarding the following six main SAFEPOST innovations:

Common Postal Security Space:

SAFEPOST has created an online platform for sharing security-related information between postal operators. This Common Postal Security Space provides a digital track record of security controls and related evidence (for example X-ray images) that a postal parcel has encountered over its journey, and facilitates an easy and controlled way to exchange information both with other operators as well as the authorities.

D-tube drug screening station:

SAFEPOST has demonstrated a new screening solution, D-tube, that can be fully integrated into the sorting process. The D-Tube’s prototype detects illegal substances, such as narcotics and explosives, at high accuracy.

Explosive detection system:

SAFEPOST has demonstrated a Raman spectroscopy screening device for detecting trace amounts of explosives and explosive precursors on the outside of postal items. The device is designed to be seamlessly integrated, at the same level as X-ray machines already used today, in the sorting process and detect the explosive threats at a high accuracy and at a low false alarm rate (≈ 1 %).

Image recognition system:

SAFEPOST has developed an Image Recognition solution that photographs five visible sides of a postal parcel at one or more locations in the postal network. The solution compares these images to detect signs of tampering or damage (≈ 92% detection rate). The current solution functions properly when the conveyor belt moves no faster than 0.5 m/s.

Radiological screening:

SAFEPOST has demonstrated detection of radiation in moving parcels, that can be fully integrated into the sorting process. The current version of the detector is able to detect any harmful level of radiation, and identify the radioactive isotope, and when possible to consider effects of possible attempts of hiding the radioactivity with lead or other shielding material by detecting neutron radiation.

Security standard and certificate:

SAFEPOST project is working towards a new European security standard for the postal operators that would give recommendations about use of security inspection technologies, exchange of security-related information, cyber security, and key security performance indicators. This standard would pave the road towards a voluntary security certification program that would help the postal operators to show their commitment to security.

This survey research is expected to produce interesting new insights about postal security activities and security performance among the PostEurop members. If the response rate is high, the survey findings will set a basis for pan-European benchmarking of security activities. The findings would also contribute to smart policy making, legislation, and standardisation in the field of postal security.

Finally, depending on the response rate, CBRA is going to publish an academic journal paper based on the results. Building on solid theory on supply chain security risk management, the journal paper would provide new empirical about how supply chain security implementation is associated operational and security performance. We expect that collaborative security measures improve both on-time delivery performance (a proxy for operational performance) and supply chain security performance simultaneously. Collaborative security measures include survey items such as “we coordinate security activities with our business customers” and “we exchange customs declaration information with customs authorities electronically [for example, ITMATT or CUSITM messages]”. Another hypothesis is that, on the one hand, non-collaborative security contributes to supply chain security performance but decrease on-time delivery performance on the other hand. Examples of such non-collaborative measures include “we use tamper-evident mail bags to transport high-value postal items” and “We perform security controls also on non-airmail items to detect explosives.” The figure below summarises the theory and hypotheses of the research paper.

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Figure 1 Theoretical framework of the SAFEPOST survey paper

The survey findings will be presented in the final SAFEPOST meeting in Madrid 5-6 July 2016. After the meeting, we hope that we can expand the scope of the survey to cover the rest of the world, as well. The next step would be to contact representatives of the Universal Postal Union (UPU) and coordinate distribution of the survey into the organisations’ 192 member countries.

 

First results from the WCO Cancun AEO benefit survey

In today’s CBRA Blog we provide a sneak preview of the outcomes of the AEO Benefit survey carried out by CBRA research team at the 3rd Global WCO AEO Conference, in Cancun, Mexico, 11-13 May 2016.

We keep today’s Blog very simple. First, we would like to introduce a new test-categorization of Customs granted AEO benefits, with the following five groups:

  1. More streamlined / simplified Customs (and related) procedures
  2. Less frequent interventions by the Customs administration
  3. Increased priority over non-AEO companies (“getting to the front of the queue”)
  4. Increased (positive) attention by the Customs administration
  5. Increased number of other privileges granted by the customs administration

And second, we list the AEO benefits from our survey (only question 2 in the survey form, which focuses explicitly on Customs granted benefits to the supply chain companies, and not benefits for Customs themselves, or any kind of “side benefits” for the companies) under each of the five categories. The order of the benefits per category is based on the survey outcomes, i.e. the first bullet point benefit was the most common one in the survey, followed by the second bullet and so forth. Please note that there are no ranking indications between the five groups, neither when it comes to the groups per se, nor to the individual benefits – these will be included in our academic publications, bit later this year…

Group 1. More streamlined / simplified Customs (and related) procedures

  • Enjoying increased paperless processing of import/export shipments
  • Enjoying an access to / pre-qualification with various simplified customs procedures
  • Enjoying having a reduced number of data elements in the (final) declaration
  • Enjoying having entry/exit summary declarations with reduced data sets
  • Enjoying easier access to other governmental certification in the supply chain (e.g. in aviation security)

Group 2. Less frequent interventions by the Customs administration

  • Enjoying minimum number of cargo security inspections
  • Enjoying the option of audit-based / account-based controls (versus only transaction-based controls)
  • Enjoying access to self-audit or reduced audit programs

Group 3. Increased priority over non-AEO companies (“getting to the front of the queue”)

  • Enjoying priority use of non-intrusive inspection techniques when examination is required
  • Enjoying a priority status in Customs processing during a period of elevated threat conditions
  • Enjoying priority response to requests for ruling from Customs
  • Enjoying expedited processes to resolve post-entry or post-clearance inquiries
  • Enjoying priority treatment of consignments if selected for control
  • Enjoying preferential treatment at border crossings in post-disaster/post-attack situations
  • Enjoying a priority status in exporting to affected countries after a security incident

Group 4. Increased (positive) attention by the Customs administration

  • Privilege to deal with designated Customs contact points / assistance by Customs supply chain security experts
  • Privilege to receive training provided by Customs experts
  • Privilege to be notified of the intention to release goods prior to their arrival (“pre-clearance”)
  • Enjoying special treatment in some non-criminal legal cases
  • Privilege to exploit “extended Customs office opening hours”, during high peak / congestion times

Group 5. Increased number of other privileges granted by the Customs administration

  • Enjoying from tax privileges, such as speedier tax refunds and compensation
  • Enjoying the option to manage clearance formalities, inspections etc. at the business site
  • Enjoying from financial guarantee waivers, reductions or rebates
  • Privilege to self-manage the bonded warehouses
  • Enjoying tangible benefits due to mutual recognition agreements / arrangements (MRAs) with 3rd countries
  • Privilege to choose the place of controls (if selected for control)
  • Enjoying reductions on some Customs fees or charges
  • Privilege to conduct self-assessments when Customs automated systems are not functioning

And that’s about it! Please be reminded again that this CBRA Blog is just a first scratch on the surface to start publishing results from the WCO Cancun 2016 AEO conference… And by the way, we are also working to publish the results from the WCO Madrid 2014 AEO conference, as we have been waiting to publish the full results of the both conferences in a parallel manner / in a same paper. In the meanwhile, please email us any feedback, ideas and/or criticism regarding this Blog!

In Lausanne, 8 June 2016, CBRA Blog Dr. Juha Hintsa

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PS. Our earlier Blog with all the WCO Cancun 2016 AEO survey questions can be read at: http://www.cross-border.org/2016/05/08/aeo-benefits-or-no-benefits-thats-the/

PPS. Related literature by the Cross-border Research Association team and key partners:

Most of these papers are available for download at ResearchGate, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Juha_Hintsa/publications . And all of them can be naturally requested by email ( cbra@cross-border.org )

Hintsa, J., Mohanty, S., Rudzitis, N., Fossen, C. and Heijmann, F. (2014), “The role and value of customs administrations in minimization of socio-economic negative impacts related to illicit import flows in freight logistics systems- three preliminary cases in Europe – FP7-CORE”, Proceedings of the 9th WCO PICARD Conference, September 17-19, 2014, Puebla.

Hintsa, J. (2013), AEO – MRA Study for RTC- Thailand Europe Cooperation TEC-II, PDSC: Implementation of international standards on Supply Chain Security leading to a secure Trade Environment and to increased Trade Facilitation (Activity Code : TRA 4), Final Report, Bangkok.

Urciuoli, L. and Ekwall, D. (2012), “Possible impacts of supply chain security certifications on efficiency - a survey study about the possible impacts of AEO security certifications on supply chain efficiency”, Proceedings of Nofoma Conference, June 6-8, 2012, Naantali.

Hintsa, J., Männistö, T., Hameri, A.P., Thibedeau, C., Sahlstedt, J., Tsikolenko, V., Finger, M. and Granqvist, M. (2011), Customs Risk Management (CRiM): A Survey of 24 WCO Member Administrations, Study for World Customs Organization (WCO), February 28, 2011, Lausanne

Hintsa, J., Hameri, A.P., Männistö, T., Lazarescu, M., Ahokas, J. and Holmström, J. (2010), ”Conceptual model for measuring benefits of security in global supply chains”, Proceedings of the the 3rd International Conference on Transportation and Logistics (T-LOG), September 6-8, 2010, Fukuoka City.

Hintsa, J., Ahokas, J., Männistö, T. and Sahlstedt, J. (2010), “CEN supply chain security (SCS) feasibility study”, CEN/TC 379 Supply Chain Security, Final report, January 15, 2010

Gutiérrez, X., Hintsa, J., Wieser, P. and Hameri, A.P. (2007), “Voluntary supply chain security program impacts: an empirical study with BASC member companies”, World Customs Journal, Vol. 1 No. 2, pp.31-48.

Gutierrez, X. and Hintsa, J. (2006), “Voluntary supply chain security programs: a systematic comparison”, Proceedings of the International Conference on Information Systems, Logistics and Supply Chain (ILS), May 15-17, 2006, Lyon.

AEO benefits, or, no benefits, that’s the?

“To be, or not be – that is the question”, was Prince Hamlet wondering already some 412 years ago. 400 years later, the CBRA research team started to raise the question of “AEO benefits, or no AEO benefits – that is the ?”…

 

Around year 2004, we first started to study the emerging AEO-types of programs in Europe and globally, working intensively with multinational companies (clothing, cigarettes, machinery etc.), and with multiple governments. Initially, we reviewed any data available from C-TPAT, StairSec, BASC and TAPA programs, and later we concentrated on EU AEO and all other AEO programs across the globe. After 12 years of research our intention is to publish an academic journal paper summarizing all the knowledge from the literature as well as from our own research on AEO benefits for Customs administrations and for supply chain companies – focusing on the tangible, realized benefits, instead of “paper tiger / lip service” types of benefit checklists.

As the last step of data collection, we are now launching the study: “Customs Supply Chain Security Programs (AEO, C-TPAT etc.) - Survey on Supply Chain and Government Benefits – WCO 3rd Global AEO Conference, Cancun, Mexico, 11-13 May 2016 - Research project by CBRA, ZLC, UCR, HEC UNIL and FP7-CORE”. This survey is a direct follow-up with the one CBRA did in the 2nd Global AEO Conference in Madrid two years ago. Ms. Susana Wong Chan from the University of Costa Rica and Cross-border Research Association is presenting the survey in Cancun next week, and collecting as many replies as possible, in person during the conference (and by email after).

We have three main questions in the Cancun AEO survey, each one with multiple sub-questions (all questions are presented with a five-point Likert scale, plus one option for “cannot say”):

  • Question for Customs administrations, supply chain companies, and all other experts in cross-border supply chains and Customs supply chain security programs: How often are the supply chain security program certified companies in your country benefiting from the following Customs granted incentives?
  • Question for Customs administrations only: What are the benefits for the Customs administration in your country arising from the supply chain security program?
  • Question for supply chain companies only: What are the additional benefits for the supply chain companies in your country, arising from the supply chain security program participations / certifications?

blog 08.05.20162The full list of questions and sub-questions is shared at the end of this blog. In addition, you can download the questionnaire in word-format, in English and in Spanish, at:  http://www.cross-border.org/downloads/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why don’t (near) perfect AEO benefit -papers exist yet in the literature? One would think that the topic attracts lots of academics to carry out such research, and to publish their exciting findings, rather sooner than later… Well, it is quite challenging topic to study: where is the objective, non-biased data located, and how do you get access to it? How to deal with all the politics linked to the topic, as maybe many countries would like to be perceived as “leading edge AEO program holders, with a set of fantastic, innovative benefits delivered to the trade and logistics…”? How to differentiate between all the AEO marketing materials and incentive promises from what is actually implemented on the ground, for the real benefit of supply chain companies; and so forth..? To expand on these thoughts, one could revisit our article on the WCO News No 74 of June 2014. The table on page 45 includes a row on challenges and peculiarities with different categories of possible AEO benefits, sharing following observations and notes:

  • As some of the Customs granted benefits existed in many countries before the AEO era, companies which have enjoyed “such pre-AEO benefits” may fear a potential reduction in existing trade facilitation measures - instead of the introduction of truly new benefits.
  • Due to the dynamics in the cross-border flow of goods, outcomes might vary considerably over time – ‘seeing is believing’; in particular, the benefits linked to ‘elevated threat’ and ‘post-incident recovery’, may appear quite theoretical until such situations actually emerge (and the benefits materialize – or, not).
  • Some could also consider that the AEO system may become a technical trade barrier – the ´become an AEO or die´ scenario.
  • Some might think that an AEO program deters crime, as criminals would rather choose an easy target (i.e. a non-AEO target), for example in the case of warehouse theft; and, alternatively, other might think that an AEO program attracts criminals, as they know there are likely to be fewer Customs interventions – the smuggling of narcotics, for example.

 

Blog_080520163Dear CBRA Blog reader: although this is very challenging research topic, and one should not dream of reaching “one ultimate truth out there” – we kindly ask that if you are in Cancun 11-13 May for the 3rd Global AEO Conference, please take 10 minutes to reply the questionnaire..! Next to the good vibrations gained from participation in this highly important study, you will join a lucky drawing of a nice Costa Rican souvenir! In Lausanne, 9 May 2016, Juha Hintsa.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PS. List of benefit survey questions, for the CBRA Blog readers:

Customs Supply Chain Security Programs (AEO, C-TPAT etc.) - Survey on Supply Chain and Government Benefits – WCO 3rd Global AEO Conference, Cancun, Mexico, 11-13 May 2016 - Research project by CBRA, ZLC, UCR, HEC UNIL and FP7-CORE

 

Question for Customs administrations, supply chain companies, and all other experts in cross-border supply chains and Customs supply chain security programs: How often are the supply chain security program (AEO, C-TPAT etc.) certified companies in your country benefiting from the following Customs granted incentives?

Use the following scale: Very frequently – Frequently – Occasionally – Rarely - Never / Not applicable in our country (or, this is nothing specific for certified companies) - Cannot say

  • Are companies submitting entry/exit summary declarations with reduced data sets?
  • Are companies benefiting from reduced number of data elements in their final declaration?
  • Are companies benefiting from increased paperless processing of import/export shipments?
  • Are companies offered the option of audit-based / account-based controls (versus only transaction-based controls)?
  • Are companies having access to / pre-qualification with various simplified customs procedures?
  • Are companies self-managing their bonded warehouses?
  • Are companies benefiting from tax privileges, such as speedier tax refunds and compensation?
  • Are companies benefiting from financial guarantee waivers, reductions or rebates?
  • Are companies benefiting from reduction of any Customs fees or charges?
  • Are companies benefiting from access to self-audit or reduced audit programs?
  • Are companies allowed to conduct self-assessments when Customs automated systems are not functioning?
  • Are companies benefiting from designated Customs contact points / assistance by Customs supply chain security experts?
  • Are companies benefiting from training provided by Customs experts?
  • Are companies enjoying easier access to other governmental certification in the supply chain, e.g. in aviation security?
  • Are companies benefiting from the option to manage clearance formalities, inspections etc. at the business site?
  • Are companies benefiting from a minimum number of cargo security inspections?
  • Are companies being notified of the intention to release goods prior to their arrival? (“pre-clearance”)
  • Are companies benefiting from “extended Customs office opening hours”, during high peak / congestion times?
  • Are companies benefiting from choice of place of controls, if selected for control?
  • Are companies benefiting from priority treatment of consignments if selected for control?
  • Are companies benefiting from priority use of non-intrusive inspection techniques when examination is required?
  • Are companies guaranteed a priority Customs processing during a period of elevated threat conditions?
  • Are companies guaranteed preferential treatment at border crossings in post-disaster/post-attack situations?
  • Are companies guaranteed a priority in exporting to affected countries after a security incident?
  • Are companies benefiting from expedited processes to resolve post-entry or post-clearance inquiries?
  • Are companies benefiting from priority response to requests for ruling from Customs?
  • Are companies benefiting from privileges in any kind of non-criminal legal cases?
  • Are companies enjoying tangible benefits due to mutual recognition agreements / arrangements (MRAs) with 3rd countries?

blog 08.05.20164

 

Question for Customs administrations only: What are the benefits for the Customs administration in your country arising from the supply chain security program (AEO, C-TPAT etc.)?

Use the following scale: Strongly Agree – Agree - Neither Agree nor Disagree – Disagree - Strongly Disagree - Cannot say

  • Better overall allocation of governmental resources
  • Improved indirect tax revenue collection
  • Improved prevention of trafficking and illicit trade
  • Improved detection and/or seizures in trafficking and illicit trade
  • Improved prosecution to judgements -ratio (= higher percentage of successful prosecutions)
  • Increased confiscations of criminal assets and/or proceeds of crime
  • Improved collaboration with supply chain companies
  • Improved collaboration with other national government agencies
  • Improved international collaboration with Customs administrations in other countries

 

Question for supply chain companies only: What are the additional benefits for the supply chain companies in your country, arising from the supply chain security program participations / certifications (AEO, C-TPAT etc.)?

Use the following scale: Strongly Agree – Agree - Neither Agree nor Disagree – Disagree - Strongly Disagree - Cannot say

  • Improved customer service
  • Improved customs loyalty
  • Increased market share/ gaining more new customers
  • Improved security commitment of employees
  • Improved company image and credibility
  • Reduced overall vulnerability of the supply chain
  • Improved supply chain resiliency
  • Reduced cargo theft incidents
  • Reduced tax fraud incidents
  • Reduced illicit trade / trafficking incidents
  • Reduced insurance fees
  • Improved inventory management
  • Fewer delayed cross-border shipments
  • Reduced lead time variability in the cross-border supply chain

blog 08.05.20165

 

PPS. Related literature by the Cross-border Research Association team and key partners:

Most of these papers are available for download at ResearchGate, https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Juha_Hintsa/publications . And all of them can be naturally requested by email ( cbra@cross-border.org )

Hintsa, J., Mohanty, S., Rudzitis, N., Fossen, C. and Heijmann, F. (2014), “The role and value of customs administrations in minimization of socio-economic negative impacts related to illicit import flows in freight logistics systems- three preliminary cases in Europe – FP7-CORE”, Proceedings of the 9th WCO PICARD Conference, September 17-19, 2014, Puebla.

Hintsa, J. (2013), AEO – MRA Study for RTC- Thailand Europe Cooperation TEC-II, PDSC: Implementation of international standards on Supply Chain Security leading to a secure Trade Environment and to increased Trade Facilitation (Activity Code : TRA 4), Final Report, Bangkok.

Urciuoli, L. and Ekwall, D. (2012), “Possible impacts of supply chain security certifications on efficiency - a survey study about the possible impacts of AEO security certifications on supply chain efficiency”, Proceedings of Nofoma Conference, June 6-8, 2012, Naantali.

Hintsa, J., Männistö, T., Hameri, A.P., Thibedeau, C., Sahlstedt, J., Tsikolenko, V., Finger, M. and Granqvist, M. (2011), Customs Risk Management (CRiM): A Survey of 24 WCO Member Administrations, Study for World Customs Organization (WCO), February 28, 2011, Lausanne

Hintsa, J., Hameri, A.P., Männistö, T., Lazarescu, M., Ahokas, J. and Holmström, J. (2010), ”Conceptual model for measuring benefits of security in global supply chains”, Proceedings of the the 3rd International Conference on Transportation and Logistics (T-LOG), September 6-8, 2010, Fukuoka City.

Hintsa, J., Ahokas, J., Männistö, T. and Sahlstedt, J. (2010), “CEN supply chain security (SCS) feasibility study”, CEN/TC 379 Supply Chain Security, Final report, January 15, 2010

Hold on, before blaming it on the OGAs!

It is common since many years already that the global customs community is pointing their “blaming finger” to other government agencies – OGAs – when it comes to identifying root causes behind too long cargo release times at sea ports and other border crossing points, high costs for importers and exporters to conduct international trade, and so forth. Now, without denying this as a plausible scenario, the CBRA research team proposes to take one step backwards, by first building a solid framework for analyzing and deeply understanding what is actually happening at the borders with Customs and all the other agencies, before rushing to conclusions on “who is to be blamed for poor / expensive cross-border performance…”. Therefore - for both educational purposes (FP7-CORE, work package 19.1) and for analytical purposes (Border Agency Cooperation study with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, OIC), we have produced the following “universal border control task list” - naturally understanding that a perfect single universal list cannot exist. The list is first exploited during April-May 2016 in the OIC Embassy survey (here in Switzerland), to explore who is responsible for specific cross-border controls in various OIC member countries, and to what extent customs is performing tasks on behalf of other (border) agencies. Later, we plan to use the this as a “de-facto border agency control check-list” in our future studies, across the globe.

Again, the first step before analyzing which agencies to blame, is all about understanding what are the typical cross-border control tasks all about, considering all three task categories:

  • Border control tasks which typically cover all commodities;
  • Border control tasks which typically focus on specific commodities; and
  • Other border agency control areas.

 

Now, lets go through all three of them, starting with the first one, and followed by the other two:

Border control tasks which typically cover all commodities:

  • Calculation and collection of indirect border taxes:
    • customs duties
    • sales / value added taxes
    • excise taxes
  • Calculation and collection of other import/ transit/ export fees and taxes (e.g. environmental fee at export)
  • Compilation of trade statistics

Border control tasks which typically focus on specific commodities:

  • Control of import quota restricted products
  • Calculation and granting of export subsidies
  • Control of product safety / conformity of goods / trading standards (please separate agencies per product category, if necessary)
  • Control of food, drinks, cigarettes, pharmaceuticals (including for general health and safety purposes)
  • Control of energy related materials / products (e.g. oil and coal, could be for export taxation purposes etc.)
  • Enforcement of intellectual property rights / fight against copyright infringements / anti-counterfeit
  • Control of plant diseases, pests and extraneous species (i.e., phytosanitary controls)
  • Animal quarantine and controls (i.e. veterinary controls, including pet controls)
  • Control of any biohazards (including deliberate ones)
  • Control of CITES protected species (i.e. endangered fauna and flora)
  • Control of natural resources under license requirements, harvesting quotas etc. (including specific fish, wood, minerals, diamonds etc.)
  • Control of cultural artifacts (stolen / looted, and/or illicitly traded)
  • Control of any stolen goods (including vehicles, machinery, cargo etc.)
  • Fight against drugs / illicit narcotics trafficking (including pre-cursors)
  • Control of waste flows (including those in the Basel Convention on transboundary movements)
  • Control of dual use / strategic goods
  • Control of dangerous goods / hazardous materials
  • Control of explosives and weapons:
    • explosives (including pre-cursors)
    • small arms and light weapons
    • defense / war materials
  • Control of nuclear and radioactive materials

Other border agency control areas:

  • Conveyance / cargo transport security and safety controls:
    • for maritime, including sea ports
    • for aviation, including airports
    • other modes: road, rail, inland waterways etc.
  • Traveler, crew and immigration controls:
    • visa and passport controls
    • trafficking of human beings and people smuggling
    • asylum seekers
    • passenger cars and vehicles in terms of temporary admission
  • Control of weight of cargo (including for road safety purposes)
  • Cash controls (cash smuggling and counterfeit currency)
  • Cyber security (customs and supply chain IT systems, critical infrastructure IT etc.)

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Dear CBRA Blog and CBRA Monthly readers: we kindly invite your inputs to make the list more comprehensive / better in the future, so please send us an email with your ideas, to cbra@cross-border.org . And thanks already now to the multiple experts from national Customs administrations and international organizations for your valuable help so far– it has been great working with you on all these studies, keeping them as pragmatic as possible… (detailed acknowledgements will be published later). And it goes without saying that soon we will start looking on the next-step aspects on customs versus other government agencies, in the context cross-border supply chain costs and delays – please stay tuned for more!

Three calls for journal and conference papers

This CBRA Blog advertises three important calls for papers in 2016: Special Issue for Journal of Transportation Security (to be published in 2017); the 11th WCO Customs-Academia PICARD Conference (Sep.2016); and the 7th European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference (Aug.2016).

 

1. Journal of Transportation Security, Special Issue: Enhancing supply chain security through government-to-government and government-to-business partnerships and collaboration

Journal of Transportation Security (JTRS): The 9/11 terrorist attacks and the subsequent events have compelled stakeholders to understand transport security as more than a single element of the global networks that move people and goods. Once a routine component of modern transportation, security now represents a vital necessity and an urgent national priority. The Journal of Transportation Security probes the relevant aspects of many critical areas of study, including supply chain and logistics; information technology; public policy; international business; political science; engineering; transportation; economics; and counterterrorism, among others. This journal is the first to take a global, apolitical, and in-depth multidisciplinary look at the field. The mission of the journal is to disseminate new research, thought, and analysis for teachers, researchers, policy makers and practitioners around the world who view transportation security as a critical element in the post 9/11 world.

Partnerships and collaboration play a crucial role in the fight against crime in the global supply chains. Investments in traditional security areas such as physical security, personnel security, and IT security no longer suffice. Both government and business actors should extend their security efforts beyond their organizational boundaries, by fostering relationships with each other. Further government-to-government and government-to-business collaboration has a great potential to improve security of the supply chain and regulatory compliance of the trading community, while facilitating trade and logistics for the legitimate, security aware companies. The scope of collaboration covers a broad range of activities, including sharing of information and data; investing in common resource pools and sharing resources; and agreeing on optimum protocols for conducting inspections and audits in the supply chains. Enhancing the information exchange, for example, would help governments and companies to prevent and detect security breaches in supply chains and to recover faster once the breaches happen. In principle, both government and business actors share a common goal of mitigating crime in the global supply chains. Priorities and procedures, however, differ markedly between various business actors (e.g., shippers, carriers, freight forwarders) and government agencies (e.g., customs, police and transport security authorities).

Call for abstracts for the JTRS Special issue is open until 30 September 2016, please visit: www.springer.com ...   

(CBRA / Dr. Juha Hintsa is the lead guest editor for this special issue; and abstract review panel consists of multiple experts in FP7-CORE project).

 

 

2. The 11th Annual WCO Picard Conference - Manila, Philippines - 27-29 September 2016

The World Customs Organization and the Philippine Bureau of Customs are pleased to announce the 11th annual WCO Picard Conference. You are invited to submit your research for presentation at the conference. Papers should focus on Customs or, more globally, the regulation, dynamics, and practices of international trade. Although not required, writers could consider submitting research on the following topics: Digital Customs; security; taxation and other revenue matters; and illicit trade.

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Call for papers is open until 15 June 2016, please visit: www.wcoomd.org...

(CBRA / Dr. Juha Hintsa is part of the Scientific Board for the conference; and he also belongs to the PICARD Advisory Group).

 

 

 

3. The 7th European Intelligence and Security Informatics Conference (EISIC) - Uppsala, Sweden – 17-19 August 2016

Intelligence and Security Informatics (ISI) research is an interdisciplinary field of research that focuses on the development, use, and evaluation of advanced information technologies, including methodologies, models and algorithms, systems, and tools, for local, national and international security related applications. Over the past decade, the ISI research community has matured and delivered an impressive array of research results that are both technically innovative and practically relevant. The 2016 European ISI Conference is the seventh ISI conference to be organized by the European ISI community. The conference was first held in 2008 and has been organized annually since 2011.

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Call for papers is open until 18 May 2016, please visit: http://www.eisic.eu/call.aspx

(CBRA / Dr. Toni Männistö delivers a keynote presentation on FP7-CORE, focusing on Supply chain security education and training (CORE WP19.1) ).

FP7-CORE Education – Two new diagrams

Today’s CBRA Blog presents two new diagrams which have been recently designed and developed in the context of FP7-CORE Education and training work (Work package 19.1). The information visualized in the diagram is based on CBRA’s supply chain security research work since year 2001, particularly from the past 5-6 years.

Some background information on the first diagram of crime types in global supply chains has been presented before for example in CBRA’s Blog of 13 October 2014 – Crime taxonomies from Athens. In the center of this diagram we list the crime types - including document fraud and cybercrime - which in the supply chain criminal context are performed in order to succeed with the actual economic or ideological crime, e.g. cargo theft or terrorism.

The left area of the circle lists four examples of crime types, which typically are of primary concern for supply chain companies: cargo theft, sabotage, parallel trade and product specification fraud. With such crime types it is commonly up to the companies to prevent, to detect and to react – of course, law enforcement agencies can be called for any time there is reasonable suspicion of such activities (and naturally in certain cases the government agencies may even be the first ones to detect and react, e.g. in case of armed robberies and truck hijackings).

The right area of the circle deals with supply chain incidents where the authorities typically focus on prevention, detection and reaction: fraud in indirect border taxes; trafficking / violations in cross-border restrictions and prohibitions; human trafficking; and exploitation of illicit labor. From supply chain perspective one can characterize them as “a priori non-disruptive illegal activities – only if / after authorities detect the violations, the supply chain is disrupted and the involved supply chain companies can get in trouble”.

Lastly, on the bottom area of the circle, we list four supply chain crime areas where the prevention typically is in strong interest of both supply chain companies and governmental agencies – and, the detection and (instant) reaction varies on case-by-case basis: counterfeiting, sales channel violations, sea piracy and terrorism. Counterfeiting hits revenues on both sides of the equation, and, with many products can also be health damaging or even lethal. Not having proper sales licenses, and/or selling to unauthorized buyers – for example cigarettes and alcohol, dual use and strategic goods etc. – can again harm both the involved companies and the society as a whole. And of course, sea pirates hijacking cargo ships; bombs exploding and bringing planes down; and terrorists attacking critical supply chain infrastructures, all are in the best interest of both companies and government agencies to prevent, to detect, and to react – in the fastest and most effective possible manner.

blog10.03.161

The second new educational diagram below depicts the negative socio-economic impact areas – six in total – caused by twelve typical smuggling and trafficking activities. The data behind it has been presented before e.g. in CBRA’s Blog of 14 January 2015 – Socio-economic damages. Inside the square we present the six societal impact areas – the larger the area, the more links there are between the trafficking activities and the negative impacts. As an example of a “big area”, seven different types of trafficking typically lead into increasing market place distortions and/or unfair competition. In the other extreme, only trafficking in stolen cultural products leads to losses in cultural heritage.

blog10.03.162

That’s all for the CBRA Blog today – please let us know if you see this type of visualization as beneficial when teaching and learning about the big picture of supply chain security!  Thanks, Juha Hintsa ( email: cbra@cross-border.org )

Revisiting the Yemen bomb plot of 2010

blog_070316This CBRA blog revisits the Yemen bomb plot from 2010, the most decisive turning point in modern air cargo security. More than five years after the events, this blog discusses the plot’s implications to the contemporary air cargo security and outlines CBRA’s recommendations for future security work. Parts of this blog text have already been published in the doctoral thesis of CBRA researcher Toni Männistö.

Two explosive devices aboard passenger planes: The series of events, that we call the Yemen bomb plot, took place on 29 October in 2010. On that day, al-Qaeda terrorists almost destroyed two passenger airplanes with a pair of express courier parcels, each enclosing plastic explosives hidden inside a printer toner cartridge. The explosive parcels where sent to Chicago from the capital of Yemen, Sana'a, via two different express courier operators.

Both parcel bombs were eventually intercepted and defused, without fatalities or injuries. But before the interception, the bombs had already travelled onboard multiple air freighters and passenger planes. Many people flew that day with a fully functional explosive device under their seat! Though the parcels were addressed to Chicago, officials think that terrorists wanted to detonate the bombs mid-air, just before landing using cell phone timer alarms.

A Lockerbie-style mayhem was slightly avoided, largely thanks to a timely piece of intelligence. The bomb plot started to uncover when a suspected double agent tipped Saudi-Arabian intelligence that al-Qaeda terrorists had shipped two parcel bombs from Yemen to the US via the express courier service. The Saudi intelligence forwarded the tracking numbers of the suspected explosive devices to their US and German colleagues and told them to look for printer toner cartridges.

The first parcel was intercepted in Dubai, and the second one at the East Midlands airport, nearly 200 km to the northwest from London. In the UK, a bomb squad did not first recognize anything suspicious when they screened the suspected parcel. “It looked like a printer cartridge – there were no wires or anything,” one of CBRA’s contacts at World Customs Organization (WCO) recounts. “But of course, what the cartridge did contain was explosive that current technologies couldn’t detect.” Later laboratory tests revealed that each parcel contained 300 to 400 grams of PETN, military grade plastic explosive, wirings, and a detonator hidden inside a printer’s toner cartridge. The bombs were so meticulously concealed that they had not only passed the standard air cargo and safety screening but also the special screening of the bomb squad.

Aftermaths: The Yemen incident was rude reminder of the vulnerability of the air cargo logistics to terrorism. Sure, the day was saved by old-school, field intelligence work and prompt government response. But before interception, the first parcel travelled aboard three different flights: Sana’a - Dubai, Dubai – Cologne, and Cologne - East Midlands Airport. The second explosive parcel flew first from Sana’a to Doha and then to Dubai where it was intercepted.

In the immediate aftermaths of the events, aviation security authorities in the US and many European countries stopped accepting freight shipments from Yemen. Germany also cancelled all passenger flights from Yemen for more than two weeks. “As often happens in these situations,” the WCO’s air cargo specialist remarks, “the first reaction was stopping anything coming from this part of the world – any plane for any reason.” The new security rules changed the air cargo operations virtually overnight, seriously disrupting the air cargo and mail service. Delays were widespread and lengthy, but the worst aspect of the disruption was that no one knew when the new apparently transient security regime was to be revoked.

Eventually, once the precautionary stoppage was ended, new unprecedentedly stringent security requirements entered into force, disrupting the air cargo and mail service further. The US Transportation Security Administration, TSA, introduced the most stringent rules: any mail originating or transiting through Somalia or Yemen was banned, as well as printers or printer toner cartridges from high-risk locations. Moreover, parcels originating from any business partners had to be screened up to high-risk screening standards, piece by piece, if such shipment did not accompany a tendering statement, a document assuring that cargo comes from a known and trusted shipper. The new regime disrupted seriously international air cargo logistics, causing air cargo shippers worldwide to accumulate huge backlogs of US-bound shipments. Annoyed and surprised about the turn of events, the air cargo industry reacted to the US rules with a barrage of criticism, calling the measures superfluous and impractical. Over the following weeks, the reactive security rules were gradually relaxed to enable clearing of the backlog of US-bound air cargo.

In the long term, the Yemen events put air cargo security into a spotlight, securing political commitment and spurring further reforms for years to come. The International Civil Aviation Organization, ICAO, for example, included advanced security, concepts such as the “secure supply chain” principle, the concept of high-risk cargo and mail, and the consignment security declaration, CSD, into the new edition of the Annex 17 of the Chicago Convention. Also the European Union expanded the EU air cargo regime to cover airlines operating into the EU aviation security area - EU-28 plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland - from third country airports. The amendment also specified criteria for identifying and screening high-risk cargo and mail, known as HRCM.

CBRA considerations for future air cargo security: The modern air cargo security has taken major leaps since the Yemen incident, but the work towards higher air cargo security still continues. The CBRA research team considers that, like in any other area of supply chains, it is crucial both to facilitate cross-border logistics and to ensure adequate security. This classic dilemma of striking the balance between trade facilitation and supply chain security is not easy to solve, but we believe that there are some promising ways to promote logistics-friendly air cargo security.

Governments should normally consult the air cargo industry before introducing new security rules. New security rules should avoid reducing speed, on-time reliability, or cost-efficiency of the air cargo service. There are often ways to integrate new security requirements seamlessly into the sequence of day-to-day logistics activities, but this requires close government-business coordination.

One promising way forward is to improve capabilities of pre-loading risk assessment, so that the riskiest air cargo shipments can be identified early on and subjected to a more stringent screening. Many projects on this matter are under way, most notably the Air Cargo Advance Screening (ACAS) in the US and Pre-loading Consignment Information for Secure Entry
 (PRECISE) in the European Union. The CBRA team applauds these efforts of advancing risk assessment and reminds of the importance of proactive updating of risk-scoring algorithms.

EU’s decision of forcing flights from third countries into EU to comply with EU’s air cargo security regime makes also good sense. It is reasonable to secure air cargo up to an adequate standard sooner rather than later, preferably before the first flight. More global capacity building – especially training and funds for modern screening equipment – are needed in developing countries. Also, auditing activities in third countries would benefit from further resources.

Harmonization and mutual recognition is another key theme for years to come. In the EU, civil aviation and customs authorities might find some synergies if they harmonized their respective Known Consignor (KC) and Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programs. Air cargo companies would also benefit if types and performance requirements of screening methods would be uniform across the members of the European Union.

Bibliography:

BBC, Q&A: Air freight bomb plot, 2 November 2010

European Commission, Regulation 173/2012, amending 185/2010

International Civil Aviation Organization, Chicago convention, Annex 17, 9th edition

Koolloos M.F.J., Männistö T., van der Jagt O.C., Jezierska M.M., Hintsa J., Kähäri P. and Tsikolenko V. (2015), Security Screening for the Air Express Cargo Industry, Final Report, Brussels, Belgium.

Männistö, T., 2015. Mitigating Crime and Security Risks in the International Logistics Network: the Case of Swiss Post. Doctoral thesis, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL).

CBRA Blog by Dr. Toni Männistö

COSO. Enterprise Risk Management — Integrated Framework – Executive Summary. Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission. September 2004. (CORE1106)

Summary: The Committee of Sponsoring Organizations of the Treadway Commission, COSO, defines Enterprise Risk Management, ERM, as a process, effected by an entity’s board of directors, management and other personnel, applied in strategy setting and across the enterprise, designed to identify potential events that may affect the entity, and manage risk to be within its risk appetite, to provide reasonable assurance regarding the achievement of entity objectives. The entity objectives are set forth in following four categories: (i) Strategic – high-level goals, aligned with and supporting its mission; (ii) Operations – effective and efficient use of its resources; (iii) Reporting – reliability of reporting; and (iv) Compliance – compliance with applicable laws and regulations. According to COSO, ERM enables management to effectively deal with uncertainty and associated risk and opportunity, enhancing the capacity to build value. Within the context of FP7-CORE project – and, supply chain security management in general – ERM can be seen as a useful approach particularly when it comes to aligning security risk appetite and strategy; to enhancing security risk response decisions; and to reducing security related operational surprises and losses. Some other ERM aspects such as seizing opportunities (“positive risks”) may not apply in supply chain security management context. One more interesting note, which could also be applied for supply chain security: everyone in an entity has some responsibility for ERM. This executive summary document is available for download at: http://www.coso.org/documents/coso_erm_executivesummary.pdf

CORE-Observatory

Using business complexity to handle supply chain risk: Dealing with borders of cargo liability (CORE1209)

Summary: The dominant part of the academic literature on supply chain management assumes that decisions are based on objectivity, determinism and rational choices. They consider seldom complexity of the networks and casting defects that are due to deviating organizational structures and information systems. In order to manage complex risks companies may be willing to make decisions that reduce their own risks at the expense of other supply chain partners. That is an old maid game. The paper presents two cases, where logistics actors confine one-sided own liabilities instead of reducing risks in the whole network. The paper can be viewed here: http://www.intechopen.com.

Managing the Unexpected – Sustained Performance in a Complex World (CORE1208)

Summary: The book highlights characteristics of organizations that are capable to improve efficiency and manage their risk in challenging operative environments. According to the writers these high reliable organizations pay especially attention to small failures, real-time operations, alternative pathways to keep going and mobilization of expertise. The book presents how quality and continuous improvement philosophy eroded in manufacturing company causing a recall of 10 million vehicles and how they recovered from the crisis. The book can be purchased here www.wiley.com.

Towards Trusted Trade-lanes (CORE1207)

Summary: The paper explores the concept of trusted trade-lane. In trusted trade-lanes operators implement an internal control system that makes possible to detect, handle and report dubious events in a way that meet requirements of customs agencies. Writers identify three essential characteristics of trusted trade-lanes: single partners are considered reliable and trustworthy, collaboration is based on long-term partnerships powered by viable business opportunities and managed by a clear decision-making mechanism, and control systems ensures integrity of traded goods and transferred data. In addition, the paper presents three alternative scenarios how the trusted partnerships can be designed in cross-border trade. The paper can be viewed here: https://pure.uvt.nl.

Integrating carrier selection with supplier selection decisions to improve supply chain security (CORE1206)

Summary: The paper describes a collaborative decision making process that makes possible to select optimal combination of suppliers and carriers that meet both business operational and security requirements. Security information is quantified in order to create a pool of qualified suppliers and logistics providers. Quantification enables to incorporate security with other business criteria such as price, delivery and quality into an optimization model. Logistics and purchasing managers can use the model to analyze the tradeoff between these criteria. The paper can be viewed here: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com.

Assessing the drivers of change for cross-border supply chains (CORE1205)

Summary: This paper explores the main global change drivers and how they impact on international supply chain management in the next two decades. The Delhi method is adapted to structure communication, to produce well-grounded opinions and counter-arguments, and to find consensus among selected experts. The results highlight efficient networking and business-to-business and business-to-government collaboration as core supply chain management competences. The paper can be viewed here: http://www.emeraldinsight.com.

Analytical method to identify the number of containers to inspect at U.S. ports to deter terrorist attacks (CORE1204)

Summary: The requirement for 100% container scanning has been a burning topic, since U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued the initiative in order to prevent terrorists from smuggling weapons of mass destructions into the U.S. The paper explores how much it is reasonable to come down from the 100% inspection rate, if deterrence and cost of retaliation are considered in the model. Deterrence means the power to dissuade an attacker from attempting to smuggle weapons as opposite to use coerce or compel.  Retaliation cost describes the cost incurred by an attacker e.g. due to dismantling the attacker’s network. It is assumed the defender discloses in advance how many containers are inspected. The paper can be viewed here: https://www.researchgate.net.

Progress in combating cigarette smuggling: controlling the supply chain (CORE1203)

Summary: The paper presents cases how government agencies have reduced illicit tobacco trade by making the industry liable for controlling their supply chains. Tobacco companies were required to monitor the movement of lawfully manufactured tobacco products in their supply chains, and even retrospectively track the route taken when products were seized due to suspected excise fraud. According the paper illicit trade was substantially reduced, if manufacturers stopped delivering lawfully manufactured tobacco products in amounts that exceeded the tobacco market in the countries with lower excise duties. The criminal market dried out due to unavailability of illicit tobacco products that had been smuggled to the countries of higher excise duties by organized criminal groups. The document can be viewed at: http://tobaccocontrol.bmj.com.

Conflict resolution in supply chain security, 2009 (CORE1202)

Summary: The paper presents a mathematical tool for conflict resolution based on conflict modeling theories. Decision and policy making on supply chain security is sensitive to technical, political, environmental, ethical and economical aspects. What aspects are emphasized depends on whom we ask. Consequently, broadly endorsed decisions and policies require balancing between these dimensions.  The presented conflict resolution approach identifies involved decision makers, their individual and collective goals and gives options how to agree on security interventions. A case study on trade facilitation and security enforcement illuminates the approach. The article can be purchased at: http://www.inderscienceonline.com.

The effect of supply chain security management on security performance in container shipping operations, 2012 (CORE1201)

Summary: The study creates a supply chain security framework that can be adapted on assessing how security management measures affect on safety and customs clearance performance in container shipping firms. Security management interventions are clustered in four categories: facility and cargo management, accident prevention and processing, information management, and partner relationship management. Findings indicated that container shipping firms that mainly focus on facility and cargo management and less on partner relationship management are generally more dissatisfied with their company’s customs clearance performance than companies that prioritize partnerships with governmental and commercial companies. The governmental agencies and commercial actors can employ supply chain security management framework, its attributes and dimensions in order to assess the supply chain security performance of container shipping firms.  The reviewed document is available at: http://dx.doi.org.

Supply chain security culture: measure development and validation, 2009 (CORE1200)

Summary: Supply chain security culture (SCSC) is as an overall organizational philosophy embracing norms and values that keep employees vigilant when performing supply chain security practices. The article presents a scale that makes possible to gauge supply chain security culture and its correlation to organization’s ability to respond to unexpected disruptions. Employees are asked to assess two topics: security strategy of the company and impacts of significant supply chain breech to business operations. According the study improved supply chain security culture makes company more resilient against major disruptions. This research helps executives to justify their expenditures on security efforts. The reviewed document can be purchased here: http://dx.doi.org.

Interviews

Interview with Mr. Boley, SC Johnson, Switzerland

17.11.2016: Today’s CBRA Interview with Mr. Bill Boley focuses on supply chain security management at SC Johnson

Hi Bill, and thanks for joining CBRA Interview, here at the TAPA EMEA Conference in Noordwijk, the Netherlands.

Good afternoon Juha, first I want to thank you and the CBRA team for all the great work you have done for the Supply Chain Security Community over the years. It seems that every time I attend an event CBRA is there…

We first met in 2008, and worked together on the World Bank Supply chain security guidebook, good ol’ times…. In your current job, which supply chain security standards and guidebooks your company follows?

Here at SC Johnson we actually first strive to meet the guidelines laid out in the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards. This is important for us as a global player, global citizen and manufacturer with many supply chains, to do our part in assisting Customs and Law Enforcement Agencies making the Global Supply Chain more safe and secure. At the same time, safe and secure supply chains support the overall optimisation and predictability, helping us to meet the customer and consumer demands. This is why we pursue the various AEO schemes already in place around the world, be it C-TPAT, EU AEO, or Kenyan AEO – in other words, we strive to certify so Customs can focus on the unknowns…  At the warehouse level we have adapted the TAPA FSR standard as the "SCJ standard". As a global company with many different nationalities, languages and moving parts both upstream and downstream a universal standard written for the practitioners is a key for us. It is also a requirement for our service providers and the transporters moving our product. Soon we will start to give preferential consideration to those service providers who have the TAPA TSR certification, as part of the contract award process.

What about information on actual threats and risks with your global supply chain - which sources you use for that? 

As you are well aware, we are facing many threats around the world: stowaways, weapons and drug smuggling, hijackings, cyber threats particularly with the Internet of Things, and counterfeiting, just to name a few...  At SC Johnson we are fortunate to have a buy-in from our C-Suite on the importance of Supply Chain Security programmes and tools we have been implementing. We have established a Global Security Operations Centre at our World Headquarters and, our Product Supply, Logistics, and Procurement Leaders around the world are very proactive on the topic of supply chain security.  SCJ has actually built an own network of information providers such as BSI, IJet, OSAC, and of course Law Enforcement Agencies, as well as select Customs regimes. The TAPA IIS system, FreightWatch International, and yes, even CBRA, also feed into our information portal. Getting involved at every level to develop a community of interest on supply chain security is a key. As they say, it takes a network to defeat a network.

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Can you share any stories on how these supply chain security standards and risk information have helped you to do your job as a SC Johnson supply chain security manager better?

Yes absolutely, most recently we fell victim to two separate events. One was facility related while the other was on transport. We conducted an analysis on how our mitigation measures failed, and it became evident that we lacked timely, accurate and relevant information to change our measure to adapt to the latest Modus Operandi of the criminal networks. Delivery times to our facilities, pick-ups, chain of custody, liaison with local Law Enforcement and audits of our service providers have been instrumental. In fact, just last week local Law Enforcement in Nigeria was able to interdict and recover a high value shipment, thanks to our close communication and cooperation with the Government of Nigeria.

Yesterday I briefed you about our on-going TAPA study titled “Total Cost of Cargo Theft (TCCT)”... Would your company be interested to join the study?

SC Johnson would be very receptive to taking part of this study. First, as we have suffered Supply chain losses there is a misunderstanding on what is covered by insurance or not. And, second, if we can then place a more precise value or declaration on what those stolen finished goods will cost outside of the retail value, that would be great. Loss of customers or at least their confidence in a non-delivery, recovering our full costs of production, investigative costs, etc. are just some of the cascading effects and costs we encounter.

Great news, thanks a lot Bill, for both the interview and for agreeing to join the TCCT-study! Juha.

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Interview with Mr. Thorsten Neumann on TAPA EMEA

21.6.2016: Today’s CBRA Interview is with Mr. Thorsten Neumann, from TAPA EMEA and Microsoft.

Hey Thorsten, can you first tell a bit about yourself and what you do?

Hey Juha, thanks for the opportunity to give an interview for the CBRA. First of all, my name is Thorsten Neumann, and I’m the chair of the Transport Assets Protection Association TAPA Europe, Middle East and Africa. I’m leading the board of directors in EMEA and I am the representative in the TAPA Worldwide Council. Furthermore, I’m the director for channel security management at Microsoft within the ANTIPIRACY services department, and I’m leading all our risk management-related Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) and Volume Licensing (VL) efforts inside our company. I’m in charge of business resilience, as well.

Can you tell more on TAPA EMEA: What are your main activities in the field of supply chain security?

Since TAPA was founded in 1997 in the US by four major global manufacturing companies, the organization has transformed into a completely new business model. And what we mainly do is, that we connect the dots within the end-to-end supply chain security world. In TAPA EMEA, we have people who are experts in various technologies, industries and countries. If you take a look what we’ve achieved in the last ten to twenty years, you can see that our security certification model has been very successful. It is today one of the most important pillars within the TAPA organization globally. The certification program covers mainly the Freight Security Requirements (FSR) and the Truck Security Requirements (TSR). We are now also working on new Parking Security Requirements (PSR). We also offer a lot of other services and systems, like the Incident Information Service (IIS) that provide tremendous benefits to our members. TAPA is involved in regulatory affairs, as well: we are interacting with the European Commission, the United Nations, the World Customs Organization and other great institutions – they all see us as the leading industry association fighting cargo theft in the global supply chain.

How would you describe both the benefits and challenges of conducting industry-academia research in the field of supply chain security?

Considering the ongoing TAPA-CBRA work, I think increased transparency and the opportunity to identify and fix the weakest security links in the supply chain are the main benefits. I do strongly believe in proactive partnerships with research experts who are capable of identifying and analysing return on investment linked to the great work we are doing as an association. I trust on CBRA’s professional skills and their outstanding network. I’m convinced that, with inputs from TAPA members, CBRA will build the most robust model possible for estimating the total cost of cargo theft. From the study point of view, I’m looking forward to work with you guys.

Can you elaborate a bit on the “Total Cost of Cargo Theft” study background and the expected outcomes of it?

In the first kick-off phase, we try to estimate the total cost of cargo theft in all three TAPA regions - EMEA, Americas and APAC. This study gives us a unique, global overview on the total cost of cargo theft and estimates on various cost components that account for the total cost. I’m proud to work together with CBRA, the Borås University in Sweden and Texas A&M in the US. The plan is also to engage the Singapore Institute for Materials Management (SIMM) in the study.

The background and motive of this study is the following: we are operating in a very competitive business environment, and therefore security managers need to justify and explain budget that they spend on cargo security. With this study, we could underline how dramatic impact cargo theft has not only on company profits but also on the entire economy of a country. If you take a look on what is happening right now for example in Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France, but also in South Africa, Brazil, Malaysia and so forth, you realize the seriousness of modern cargo crime. The study would give us the analytical background and results we need to sell what we do also to the government, to our own companies, to the CEO, CFO, but also of course the WCO, as one of the driving factors of fight against criminals within the supply chain.

Thanks a lot for this interview, Thorsten! By the way, HEC University of Lausanne Executive MBA students learn every spring about the latest & greatest in supply chain security management, including from “TAPA activists” like our buddy Gilad…. Maybe next year you could also join as a guest lecturer at the UNIL eMBA class?

I would be really happy and proud to be a guest lecturer at your university. This fits quite nicely my current activities as I’m already running lectures at the University in Bremen. Count me in and see you in the class room next year. Thanks!

Interview with Mr. Warwick on global security profession

20.5.2016: CBRA had the pleasure to interview Mr. Roger Warwick, who has over 40 years of hands on experience in the European and global security industry.

Hi Roger, and thanks for joining a CBRA interview. Can you first tell a bit about yourself, and your professional background?

I have been active in corporate security for over forty years with a background in both fraud investigations and security consulting.  I studied economic crime investigative techniques at Jesus College, Cambridge annual workshops from 1990 to 1995 and certified CPP - protecting people, property and information - in 1999. I am British but for most of my career I have been based in Italy providing services to international corporations with business interests in Italy and Italian organisations operating in other countries.   I am a frequent speaker at international security conferences on security and investigations topics.

We first met around 2005 in a CEN, European Committee for Standardization, supply chain security expert group - under CEN/BT/WG161, Protection and Security of the Citizen. I think you joined as the representative of UNI, the Italian Organization for Standardization - do you recall the good old days?

I certainly do. We were discussing a European response to the US C-TPAT and similar supply chain security programs in an attempt to find a unifying, user friendly system, for the secure international flow of goods – beyond the Customs driven EU AEO program.  Following that I did more work regarding standards and qualified with RabQsa, now trading as Exemplar Global, as a Lead Auditor for security management systems, including ISO28000 and then as a certified Skill Examiner. By the way I audited, for ISO 28000, the DP World port in Peru. In 2013, on behalf of the Italian Government I developed a Critical Infrastructure Organisational Resilience standard that was later published by UNI.

You are also active in international security organizations and associations, including ASIS International. Can you tell bit more about them?

ASIS is a worldwide association of security professionals, first launched in the US in 1955. It has today over 38,000 members around the globe of which 3,000 in Europe.  I put in a lot of work with the ASIS to get the association on the quality management standards track. I am a member of the Standards and Guidelines Commission which has already developed a number of security and organisational resilience standards, which are ISO compliant, including PSC1, Management System for Quality of Private Security Company Operations, which has been adopted by ICoCA, the International Code of Conduct Association for private security operations. We will soon begin to work on a Security Awareness -standard. My role in ASIS in Europe, is to the Chair of the EC Liaison Sub Committee, our aim being the promotion and consolidation of the voice of the security profession and security professionals within the EU.

Your main day job is with Pyramid International and with the TEMI Group, is that correct? Can you tell more about these companies, and the services you offer to your clients?

I am the CEO of Pyramid International ( www.pyramid.it ) which has been based in Italy for over 30 years. It is a corporate security and investigations organisation, which caters mainly for multinational corporations. We have grown to become the security point of reference for corporations trading in southern Europe. In 2008 I formed, together with long term colleagues and friends, each operating in their own jurisdiction around the world, Temi Group ( www.temigroup.com ), which has grown to be what we call the World’s furthest reaching security partnership.  Recently we set up TGI, the Temi Group International Verein in Geneva, of which I am proud to be the Chairman.  Our individual companies are each members of TGI and each is specialised in various security sectors and geographical areas.  Pyramid International, together with Temi Group partners, is the coordinator of our Travel Risk Management services which are now active across the world, in particular Africa and Asia.  We provide both management assistance and protective services.  Our motto is “Safety for staff abroad means peace of mind for management at home.” We are founder members of ICoCA and have rapidly become a market leader for European companies; our customers are amongst Europe’s largest engineering corporations.  They are well aware of the importance of duty of care and operating with organisations, such as ours, that not only are experienced and competent but are also certified and appropriately insured.

Well, good catching up with you Roger, and thanks a lot for the interview. Maybe we could start looking for opportunities regarding joint projects in the future, what do you think?

Thank you Juha very much for the opportunity.  That would be great.  Although we have moved on from protecting goods in the supply chain to the protection of people travelling and working abroad there are many affinities and I am sure that there are many projects we could work on together, in our usual productive manner!

 

Web resources:

CPP: https://www.asisonline.org

Exemplar Global: www.exemplarglobal.org

UNI Critical Infrastructure Organisational Resilience standard: http://catalogo.uni.com

ICoCA, the International Code of Conduct Association for private security operations: http://icoca.ch/

Pyramid International: www.pyramid.it

Temi Group: www.temigroup.com

Interview with Mr. Bautista on PICARD2016

10.5.2016: CBRA Interview with Mr. Samuel Bautista from the Philippines

Hi Sam, and thanks for joining CBRA interview - and stopping by here in Geneva. Can you please first tell a bit of you and what you do in the Philippines?

First of all, let me thank you for inviting me for this interview with CBRA today. I am a customs broker in the Philippines, focusing my work mostly in the academia, teaching in the university and managing the Academy of Developmental Logistics that offers training for customs and logistics professionals. In October 2015, I was asked to join the technical team of the Customs Commissioner to help in the modernization and reform programs, as well as in the preparation for the Philippines’ hosting of the WCO PICARD 2016 Conference in Manila.

We know each other since many years from the WCO PICARD – customs-academia partnership program – conferences. Would you recall in which conference we met the first time?

I learned about the WCO PICARD conferences through my academic associations, although I registered but missed the 2010 Conference in Abu Dhabi. Luckily, my paper on customs-academia partnership was selected for presentation during the 2011 PICARD in Geneva, where I first met you and the CBRA team. Since then - except for the 2012 Conference in Morocco - I have been regularly attending the annual conference. I also remember that it was in Geneva when we first expressed our invitation for the participants to come to the Philippines.

That’s correct, you did mention in Geneva about your interest to organize the PICARD conference one day – and now, five years later, you are in the organizing team of the 11th PICARD conference, to be held in Manilla, the Philippines, September this year - congratulations on that! Where do you stand with the conference organizations at the moment?

Thank you for supporting our bid to host the conference. We are putting everything in place and took preliminary steps for the preparation. For this reason, we visited the WCO in Brussels few weeks ago and met with the team of Mr. Robert Ireland to discuss and firm up important details for the Conference. We also had the opportunity to sit down briefly with the Secretary General Kunio Mikuriya for some key points he stressed about the Conference.  I know that it would be a great challenge for us but we are also reviewing and following the best practices taken in the past PICARD conferences. With the guidance of the WCO Research team, the Scientific Committee for WCO and the PICARD Advisory Group, we are confident about the steps we are taking.

Yes, I know from the experience that incredible number of details must be properly managed, starting from 12 months before the conference, all the way to the opening day – and, beyond… But, you think you will manage to take all steps on time?

As I personally experienced in 2011, despite the limited number of CBRA staff you had, I believe that you did a great job then!  Every year is an exciting experience for all of us – PICARD attendees, and we would like to pick up from there. We are following a very strict timeline in coordination with Mr. Ireland of WCO and our team in the Philippine Customs. We also tapped the support and expertise of our colleagues in the academia and the business community and we believe that working together could help us deliver our commitment in hosting the PICARD conference.

Great! And what are your main expectations regarding the outcomes of the 11th PICARD conference?

When we first expressed our intention to host the conference, we would like to show to the global customs community not just the rich history of our culture and heritage, but also the progress that the academia, the business community and customs have initiated and put together in moving forward to a modern and efficient customs management. It is also very important to note that the Philippine legislature recently passed the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act and we are expecting the President to sign this into law very soon.

Excellent! Please let me and my colleagues know if we can be of any further help… And looking forward to seeing you again – by the way, this will be my first time in the Philippines! Thanks again Sam for the interview!  Juha.

I feel excited seeing all of you in the Philippines and for first-time visitors like you Juha, we would make sure that you will surely be afforded the Filipino hospitality we are known of! Let me thank you again for the warm welcome you gave in 2011 and today. Mabuhay!

Mr. Tom Butterly on trade facilitation projects

CBRA Interview with Mr. Tom Butterly on global trade facilitation initiatives and projects

Hi Tom, and great that you could join a CBRA Interview. Can you please tell me a bit about yourself and your background?

Thank you Juha. Yes, I consider myself very fortunate to have had a long and rewarding career in trade facilitation and development. I am very passionate about this work. I firmly believe in the potential of trade, if approached in a just and equitable way, to create meaningful employment, reduce poverty and enhance the living conditions for citizens in a country. It is very satisfying to be involved in projects that aspire to this.

My background in trade facilitation goes back a long way. I started work in Ireland in a large telecommunications company exporting globally and then moved to Canada where I worked with the government of Nova Scotia Canada to promote international trade. From there I spent several years in Africa and then globally working in international trade development and facilitation. I believe I have actually worked in over 70 countries at this stage!

During the past 15 years I was the Deputy Director for Trade and Economic Cooperation at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE, where I played a strong role in developing many key global trade facilitation recommendations and standards and supported the implementation of trade facilitation reform in many UN Member States. This was a great experience for me.

My most recent activity as of January this year was the establishment of Trade Development and Facilitation, TDAF Consulting ( www.tdafconsulting.com ), and I am very excited about this new venture.

You mentioned your long career in trade facilitation at UNECE – that’s where we two actually met first time, around 2003, I believe. Could you share a brief success story on UNECE’s work in this area?

Well, as I mentioned, working in the United Nations was a most fulfilling experience. It was a real lesson in the power of what can be achieved when people get together for a common cause – and I also learnt about the challenges involved in achieving global consensus!

As you know, UNECE is a major player in trade facilitation and has developed many of the global standards in this area through its UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business (UN/CEFACT). My most rewarding work at UNECE was related to the development of the suite of Single Widow Recommendations - UNECE Recommendations 33, 34 and 35 - and the associated work in helping countries around the world to implement Single Window facilities. You were involved in this work and I think you will agree that Single Window has emerged as a very powerful trade facilitation instrument which, if implemented properly, can result in a dramatic improvement in trade competitiveness through the associated simplification, harmonization and integration of trade process. I always emphasise that this work should not focus on the IT solution – rather, it is all about government and business working together as partners to simplify the trade processes for the benefit of everyone - and then use IT to help achieve this!

There are many other projects I was involved with that are worthy of note but I will mention just one – the UN Trade Facilitation Implementation Guide, TFIG. Again, you participated in this project and TFIG has become the most complete on line guide to trade facilitation - available in five languages and supported by all the key UN Agencies involved in trade facilitation (see tfig.unece.org ).

Now you have your own consulting company, TDAF Consulting. How do you help your customers and what kind of customers are you best able to help?

Establishing TDAF Consulting has been a great adventure. In TDAF Consulting we are taking our long experience in this work directly to countries and organizations that want to make real progress in trade facilitation. The business has gotten off to a great start and I am currently undertaking work for several UN agencies, the OECD, and large Single Window projects in Africa. It is very encouraging to see the level of demand for this type of work and also the level of ambition that countries have in moving forward to enhance their competitiveness.

TDAF is a network of leading experts in trade facilitation and we can cover all aspects of trade facilitation, including all elements in the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement. This broad level of practical experience in implementing trade facilitation on the ground, combined with our deep policy and strategic view of trade facilitation, is what gives TDAF its strength and unique position in the market. We are a very small operation so we are very selective in the projects that we undertake but this means that we really enjoy what we do and I believe we deliver a good quality product. We are just launched and I am very excited about the potential of the business.

In which trade facilitation areas – in particular WTO TFA articles – you foresee the biggest potential to produce tangible improvements in cross-border supply chains across the globe?

I think the WTO TFA marks a major step forward in implementing trade facilitation worldwide, primarily due to the enhanced political will associated with the Agreement. I have observed through my work that many developing countries are taking this Agreement very seriously and they see it as a major opportunity to launch broad initiatives to radically enhance their trade competitiveness. So it’s not about just ticking the TFA box. The Agreement is actually a baseline for deeper reform in some countries and this is very encouraging.

Interview-130416-2

Clearly, the Agreement has many measures that greatly benefit trade facilitation. I tend to focus on issues related to the removal of regulatory and procedural barriers to trade and particularly border agency and cross border cooperation. You will not be surprised when I say that Single Window - Article 10.4 - is probably one of the most effective measures in this area as its implementation also encompasses many of the other elements of Article 10. I also think major advances can be made through implementation of Article 8 on Border Agency Cooperation and again, I see countries using these measures just as a baseline for where they want to go and what they want to achieve. From my direct experience in the field I can also say that Advance Rulings - Article 3 - is also a powerful measure from a trader’s perspective. Similarly, I think Article 5.3 has really opened up debate on the important role of test procedures and, consequently, the need for a quality infrastructure and mutual recognition thereof. It is tremendous that such debates are happening now at the political and policy level rather than just at the technical level.

The whole area of trade facilitation support structures - Article 23 - also has great potential to establish long term support for trade facilitation initiatives in developing countries and this must be strongly supported. Again I stress that I hope National Trade Facilitation Bodies see the WTO TFA as just the start of the journey that can lead to much greater participation of developing countries in the global markets.

These are very exciting times for trade facilitation!

Thank you Tom for this interview – and hopefully we can explore joint areas of interest for TDAF Consulting and CBRA, already during spring and summer 2016! See you again Friday this week in Geneva. Thanks, Juha.

Tom Butterly can be reached at tom@tdafconsulting.com

Mr. Chris Thibedeau and the Barbados ESW

CBRA Interview with Mr. Chris Thibedeau, on the Barbados Single Window

Hi Chris, and thanks for agreeing to join CBRA Interview. Can you first tell a bit about yourself, your background, where you work and so forth?

Sure thing.  For those that don’t know me, I’m an ex Customs official and a mediocre hockey player from Canada.  I worked at Canada Customs for about 17 years.  In 2006, I joined a firm called GreenLine Systems as a Vice President and went to work on contract as a resident subject matter expert for US Customs and Border Protection in their Office of Anti-Terrorism. In Canada I was awarded a Government of Canada Technology Award gold medal and the Canadian Public Service Award of Excellence for leading the design and development teams responsible for the TITAN automated risk assessment system.

I am a co-author – along with you, Juha, and other colleagues - of the World Customs Organization’s Customs Risk Management Study, the Inter-American Development Bank’s Knowledge and Capacity Product on Risk Management of Cargo and Passengers, and the WCO’s "Global Container Security and Identification of High Risk Indicators" that served as a core input to the General High Risk Indicator document.

GreenLine was acquired by A-TS in 2013 and then PAE in 2015. Over the last 10 years, I’ve been responsible for leading the development and providing guidance to internal and external clients and stakeholders for solutions that provide a customized risk management solution to support screening and facilitation of cargo, passengers, and conveyances. I also just completed my Master’s degree in International Customs Administration from the Charles Sturt University in Australia.

It’s great to be here Juha and nice to see you again!

Thanks Chris for the comprehensive background notes, and great to see you too again, since quite some while! In 2015, the Barbados Government initiated an Electronic Single Window project sponsored and funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank. Can you provide an overview of this project?

The Barbados Government recently initiated a major project to modernize Barbados with an Electronic Single Window, or, ESW.  Sponsored and funded by the InterAmerican Development Bank, the ESW initiative intends to optimize the management of trade facilitation and border security through the use of new border management technologies to be developed by my firm, A-T Solutions and its partner, a Canadian-based commodity classification specialist, 3CE Technologies. The ESW intends to provide a Single interface for the exchange of trade-related documents between the trading community, customs, and other government agencies with a stake hold in border processing.  The ESW will also provide a public one stop user-friendly repository for comprehensive tariff and regulatory trade information, government advisories, and training materials.

Ultimately, the ESW project intends to reduce business costs involved in the movement of goods for export and import, international trade, particularly to maximize the efficiency of Customs and trading processes and improve integration with related agencies that involve legal and business partners in the trading community.

Our ESW seeks to establish an integrated solution for commercial trade processing that addresses both the needs of the Barbados Customs mandate and those of 30 other government agencies, OGAs.  It is believed that this initiative will expand the number of OGA programs that interact with Customs commercial processing and deliver a more advanced electronic approach to the collection, consolidation and dissemination of commercial trade data for both the trade community and regulating programs.

Which other government agencies, OGAs – next to Customs – will benefit from the ESW?

At this stage we are working directly with 30 OGAs, including, but not limited to, the following ones: Ministry of Agriculture - Animal Health, Food Safety, Plant Health; Barbados Defense Force; Barbados Drug Service; Barbados Licensing Authority; Barbados Investment and Development Corporation; Barbados Police Service; Barbados Port Incorporated; Barbados Postal Service; Barbados Revenue Authority; Department of Commerce And Consumer Affairs; Department of Corporate Affairs and Intellectual Property Office; Ministry of Finance; Data Processing Department; Department of Economic Affairs - Research and Planning Unit; Immigration Department; Ministry of Health; Port Authority; and, Statistical Service.

We ‘ve learned that some OGA mandates add an additional layer of operational complexity for risk based border management methodologies.  In one example, the Ministry of Health in Barbados, MoH, requires a 100% visual or physical inspection for all their regulated commodities. The MoH does not have access to the ASYCUDA – the system developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, or, UNCTAD, used to record declarations - and therefore the Ministry doesn’t have visibility for what will be arriving until they receive a notification from the consignee or importer, usually done by fax. They also lack access to a historical repository of enforcement data in order to analyze and develop recurring profiles that could be used as a risk management resource. In this sense, the ESW project can help the MoH by giving them access to earlier and updated information of the cargo data when initially reported to begin the decision making process under their protection mandate. interview 07.04.2016

In many cases, our ESW is providing visibility into border processing that the OGAs never had in the past.  The ESW does not intend to replicate information that is already collected by the ASYCUDA. However, ESW can monitor controlled goods that enter and leave the country for permit and control purposes.

The ESW can also give an OGA a regular count of “License, Permit, Certificate, Other document”, LPCOs, by commodity or goods within identified periods of time.  We essentially are providing the core OGA/LPCO management capability where ASYCUDA does not – in other words, we are closing this gap.  However, this is not a knock at ASYCUDA.  ASYCUDA is a great system for declaration processing and accounting, but it was never designed to do all things.  ESW functions are really not part of its true capability.  This project is a great example of how ASYCUDA can work hand in hand with a parallel and complimentary system. Here’s an analogy to consider:  I see ASYCUDA as an iPhone.  We are a vendor building apps for that iPhone where the app adds large value for developing and modernizing nations.  I believe this is a framework for modernization that should be fostered internationally and replicated.  I would like to see UNCTAD agree and endorse this type of approach and methodology.  It’s time for all of us to collaborate and offer larger value.

Interesting! What do you consider as the most important lessons learned from the Barbados ESW-case, so far?

Well, there are a few I might highlight that I personally think are important:

First, in principle, information visibility for Customs and OGAs is important in order to efficiently apply risk management techniques, reduce release times, and improve physical inspections. OGAs should have access to the declarations made through ASYCUDA in order to find specific threats and create Risk Assessment modules according to the protection mandate of an institution.

Second, there should be greater coherence between different IT systems. ASYCUDA, the ESW and other IT systems of Barbados should work together without any task redundancy.  This is where the time savings are found associated with the release of goods. I can’t underestimate how important change management and business transformation is on a project of this nature.  I still struggle with this in my own company trying to convince others how important this is.  We’ve made sure to include Change Management and Business Transformation Architects on our delivery team in this instance and it has paid off in dividends.  Our Barbadian clients praise this approach.

Third, I’d certainly recommend that OGAs use a common risk assessment decision support system.  This will guide OGAs through a data exploitation framework using risk-based principles tailored to their mandate and mission.  In Barbados, Customs actually has access to an Automated Risk Management System.  I seriously think they should consider sharing access with the OGAs.  By distributing access to the other OGAs, each agency would have full visibility into all declaration filings, and an ability to scan this information and seek out inspections that could be in violation of their controls or mandate.  If this access can be provided, I see this as the greatest single step forward to having OGAs endorse and adopt risk based decisions at the border.  This would help lead to interoperability with Customs.  Until that happens, we will continue to see conflicting mandates where one agency endorses risk management and the other endorses risk aversion.  That’s a real problem.

And fourth, I’d also recommend that when two or more inspections must be done, the inspections should be executed at the same time and location with both Customs and OGAs present. This will reduce redundancy and unnecessary cost for the trade community.

Thanks Chris for sharing these insights! Any final comment or greetings you would like to send to CBRA Interview readers?

Yes, one important thing to take away.  There have been many time release studies that have taken place over the years in this region and in Barbados.  Current release times sit at approximately eight days for import and export.  Now think about that: eight days to import your goods into the country!  I believe this timeline is unacceptable in any modern nation or a country that seeks to endorse trade facilitation. Our ESW solution will ideally eliminate many of the redundant tasks that exist today and improve on the time release of import and export shipments significantly and extensively.

Here is an example: Today, an importer or their broker has to file an electronic declaration in ASYCUDA.  If the goods are controlled, commonly done for example with meat products, then the importer or the broker has to travel across Bridgetown to the Department of Agriculture and Veterinary Services to apply and pay for a paper permit.  Once approved and obtained, they then have to travel back to Customs, and submit the paper permit along with a paper copy of their declaration as a release package.  Once duties and taxes are paid, the customs officer stamps up the release and re-releases the shipment in ASYCUDA.  A paper delivery authority is provided.  The importer makes arrangements to pull their container or shipment out of the terminal or sufferance warehouse and provides the delivery authority to the terminal operator or warehouse keeper.  Only then can the goods enter the economy.
interview 07.04.2016

If you can appreciate how long that might take – that is currently eight days on average - think about what happens when you have other controlled goods in your shipment, requiring additional visits to OGAS, and possible offload inspections at the port or inland.  It’s no wonder the release time sits at around eight days!  I have a strong belief this is where all the time savings are.  We are automating much of this process in the ESW and will reduce the redundancy of tasks and visits to Customs and OGAs.

The solution to an ESW is in the workflow and approval process.  It’s not about scanning paper permits to attach to a declaration.  The solution is about interoperability.  I’m excited about this.  Just think about reducing a release time from eight days to a number of hours.  That will be quite the story to tell!

Great! Let’s be soon in touch about writing a joint journal paper on this highly topical project. Thanks Chris for the interview, Juha.

We should!  It’s an important topic for the community of WCO and WTO members, donor agencies etc.  Talk soon.

 

Interview with Dr. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia

CBRA Interview with Dr. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia, Program Coordinator with the Emerging Crimes Unit at the United Nations Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute, UNICRI, Torino, Italy.

Hi Vittoria, and thanks for joining a CBRA Interview – can you first tell a bit who are you and what you do?

I am the Programme Coordinator of the UNICRI Emerging Crimes Unit. Since joined the U.N. in 2001, I have been in charge of the coordination of a number of applied-research programmes in the field of illicit trafficking and emerging crimes, including environmental crimes, cybercrimes, counterfeiting, and organized crime in general.  I am UNICRI Focal Point for Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management, SAICM, as well as UNICRI Focal Point within the UN Inter-Agency Coordination Group on Human Trafficking, ICAT.

Can you explain us bit more about UNICRI, including the governance model and the research areas?

UNICRI is a United Nations entity created by the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, ECOSOC, in 1967 to assist Intergovernmental, Governmental and Non-Governmental Organizations in formulating and implementing improved policies in the field of criminal justice. The Institute is part of the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program, which report annually through the UN Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice, CCPCJ, to the ECOSOC.

UNICRI is involved in research projects and capacity building activities in a broad number of areas, ranging from environmental crimes; human trafficking; trafficking in goods and products – including precious metals, pesticides, counterfeiting as well as chemicals, biological, radiological and nuclear risks; terrorism and foreign fighters; hate crimes and hate speech; cyber-security; urban security; violence against women; and, maritime piracy.

UNICRI, CBRA and other partners have just finished a 2-year FP7-project called CWIT, focusing on identifying and quantifying criminal and non-compliance problems and proposing solutions against illicit trade and logistics in electronic waste materials. What was the biggest thing you learned during the project, and which of our recommendations you find as most important when moving to the future?

The CWIT project has been a great experience from a personal as well as professional point of view, as gave me the possibility to work side by side with a number of wonderful professionals from the WEEE industry, enforcement agencies, international organisations, lawyers, academia and consultants specialised in supply chain security.

The objectives of the project were quite ambitious, as CWIT aimed at identifying the policy, regulatory, procedural and technical gaps as observed in today’s business environment, and at suggesting tangible improvements. The CWIT team produced set of recommendations to support the European Commission, law enforcement authorities and industry practitioners in countering the illegal trade of WEEE in and from Europe.

With regards to the recommendations which I consider particularly important are the ones related to the necessity of establishing robust and uniform legal framework and relevant implementation. As mentioned in the final CWIT report, without a clear and comprehensive legislative base, enforcers and prosecutors are powerless to address illegal WEEE flows. At the very minimum, a clear and global definition of what constitutes WEEE is the basis for improving detection, inspection, and enforcement and sentencing rates related to illegal WEEE trade.

In parallel, harmonisation and enhancement of penalty system is needed to increase the effectiveness of the existing legal framework.  In fact, penalties for the illegal trade in e-waste vary greatly in terms of monetary fines and prison durations. Today, the participation in WEEE illegal activities does not appear risky to offenders due to the low probability of being prosecuted and sentenced. Even when successfully prosecuted, penalties foreseen in legislation and penalties applied in court decisions are typically very low. For these reasons, it is important to also enhance prosecuting and sentencing, so that WEEE trade and environmental crimes in general are not considered a low- priority/low sentenced area.

UNICRI kindly invited CBRA to Torino last October to join a 2-day workshop on “Illicit Pesticides, Organized Crime and Supply Chain Integrity”. Can you elaborate on this emerging supply chain crime area, including about the estimated size and the negative socio-economic consequences of the problem?

Illicit pesticides cover a wide variety of products, including obsolete pesticides, unauthorized imports, counterfeit or fake pesticides; re- or up-labelled pesticides and refilled containers. Estimates of the illicit pesticides penetration of the legal market range from 10 to 25% - both in the EU and at international level-, representing several billion annually (USD 6-10 billion at global level and USD 1.1 billion at European level).

Besides the evident risks for human safety and health and environmental risks, illicit pesticides also pose serious threats to the economies and security. The agricultural market is extremely important for a large number of countries and companies and might be jeopardize by the introduction of illicit pesticides which can deeply affect the local and national economies. The economic losses have multiple sources and victims and long-term consequences, in particular possible loss of harvest/crop, soil and water contamination affecting the cultivable lands, decrease in innovation, reputation challenges with a decrease of exports, etc. The penetration of the pesticides market by criminal actors, including organised crime groups attracted by high profits and low risk of detection, prosecution and sentencing is another worrying trend.

Do you foresee opportunities for future research projects in the field of illicit pesticides?

Many national and international actors are becoming more and more aware of the threats posed by illicit pesticides to the legal supply chain. The attention and awareness of the problem is increasing at international level. In particular, the World Customs Organisation and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development are becoming increasingly active in the field and it would be interesting to establish joint actions so as to raise awareness, capacities and response to secure the legal supply chain of such products. Indeed, through this research, we realised that the issue of illicit pesticide is neither well acknowledged nor well-documented. Our study is one of the first detailing the mechanisms and trends in the trafficking of illicit pesticides, the involvement of criminal actors, networks and organised crime groups and related criminal activities, as well as identifying the risks for the supply chain and pesticide markets.

UNICRI is very interested in continue working with partners, including CBRA, on this issue. The report details a number of initiatives which UNICRI stands ready to launch supporting countries in addressing the challenges of illicit pesticides, in particular research, raising stakeholders’ awareness, training and technical assistance programmes, supporting in capacity building activities and reinforcing national and international cooperation.

Thanks Vittoria for this interview – and we are of course more than willing to join a project-team on this highly important illicit pesticides trade and supply chains -topic

MoU between HEC UNIL and CBRA

This CBRA Interview is with Professor Ari-Pekka Hameri from HEC University of Lausanne.

Hi Ari-Pekka, and thanks for joining a CBRA interview. Can you please first tell a bit about yourself, and what you do here in Switzerland?

Since 2001 I have been full professor in operations and supply chain management at the Faculty of Business and Economics at University of Lausanne. I have been doing numerous research projects with local and international industry on reducing inventories and speeding up value adding processes.

The two of us first met around 1993-94 at Helsinki University Technology, Finland, where you were lecturing in production management (and I was (still) an innocent M.Sc. student of industrial management and artificial intelligence). And then we met again in 2002 at HEC University of Lausanne, where you kindly accepted me as a doctoral assistant. “Post 2001 supply chain security and it´s impacts on the private sector” turned out to be quite challenging topic for a doctoral thesis, I must admit. Do you recall challenging moments between 2003-2010 on putting the thesis together?

Little did I know where that thesis work would lead! Turning a consultant into a researcher is always challenging, especially with you. It took a while for you to understand that it does not matter what you think - it’s the data, methodology and results that count. The numerous surveys, field studies and consulting type problem solving projects did delay your thesis project, yet they built already the network for the CBRA's future. Eventually, I think what we did together was something that was ahead of time in supply chain management, with the special focus on security. Boy, do I remember our SCSM2008 Conference at Interlaken...

HEC University of Lau1234sanne and CBRA started practical cooperation in supply chain security and trade facilitation research and education fields in December 2005, right when CBRA was registered in Canton Vaud Registry of Commerce… How would you characterize all the joint work – and, the outcomes – from the past 10 years?

This has been single most productive practical research initiative with huge diversity in a focused area that I have been involved with. It has produced numerous academic papers, master theses, doctoral dissertations, plenary reports, conferences, and under graduate and MBA lectures - not to mention the numerous organizations and companies that have been involved. Also the work has had a global dimension and not only focusing Europe.

Just recently, in February 2016, HEC UNIL and CBRA also signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing the collaborative work for the coming years. Would you have any comments on the MoU?

This is something we should have done earlier. The speed has been too fast to concentrate on formalities.

I fully agree to that! Thanks Ari-Pekka for the interview – and see you next on 19 March, 8.30am, at the annual HEC UNIL Executive MBA lecture (btw, too early lecturing hour, on a Saturday morning...)!  Juha  J

Mr. Mike Ellis, INTERPOL, on illicit trade and counterfeiting

Today’s CBRA Interview is with Mr. Mike Ellis who is the Assistant Director of Illicit Trade and Anti-counterfeit Sub-crime Directorate at INTERPOL, Lyon, France.

Hi Mike, can you first tell a bit who are you and what you do?

I am the Assistant Director for Police Services at INTERPOL, based in Lyon France.  INTERPOL is the world’s largest international police organization. Our role is to assist law enforcement agencies in our 190 member countries to combat all forms of transnational crime. We work to help police across the world meet the growing challenges of crime in the 21st century by providing a high-tech infrastructure of technical and operational support. Our services include targeted training, expert investigative support, specialized databases and secure police communications channels. I am responsible for the coordination of all activities related to illicit trade, smuggling of illicit goods and counterfeiting for the organization and police forces within our 190 member countries.  I lead a team of expert officers who are engaged in training, capacity building, and operational support who operate along with my analytical support who manage risk awareness and intelligence handling.

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From your perspective, how bad is the current situation with counterfeit and other illicit trade in global supply chains? Can one for example see links between illicit trade and transnational organized crime groups; or, even terrorist organizations?

For many years the clear link has been established between the trafficking of illicit goods and transnational organized crime. Criminal organizations are attracted by the lucrative profits involved in trading counterfeit or fake goods, or in trading legitimate goods through illicit channels. The criminals involved manufacture and trade illicit goods on a regional and increasingly global scale.  It is well documented that they use the profits to fund other criminal activities such as drug trafficking and people smuggling, and for investment into funding subversive political groups.  Selling fake or counterfeit products is one aspect of illicit trade, as is selling genuine goods on the black market to avoid paying taxes. By avoiding regulatory controls, the criminals behind these activities peddle dangerous and illicit goods with a complete disregard for the health and safety of consumers. The phenomenon has grown to an unprecedented level, posing tremendous risks to society and the global economy. Counterfeiting harms businesses which produce and sell legitimate products, governments lose tax revenue from products manufactured or sold on the black market, and consumers are at risk from substandard products.

By the way, we met first time about one year ago in Lyon at an INTERPOL workshop linked to FP7-Project CORE. One of the main objectives of CORE-project is to develop leading edge education and training materials on supply chain security – for the benefit of law enforcement agencies, supply chain practitioners, and academics alike. Can you share your views about law enforcement – academia – industry cooperation in education material development, as well as in the broader field of supply chain security management?

One of our principle functions is capacity building and training.  At INTERPOL we recognize that capacity building brings with it raised identification of the impact of illicit cross-border trade and counterfeiting and all our new operations, or established operations in new regions, are preceded by a capacity building workshop.  The public domain is represented by police, customs, border control officials, and prosecutors, as well as representatives from various regulatory bodies including trading standards.  In addition, INTERPOL TIGC, the Trafficking in Illicit Goods and Counterfeiting program which I am heading, has developed a Mentoring Program which aims to increase cross-border, cross-industry law enforcement operational interventions by: strengthening capacity to deal with all types of cross-border trafficking in illicit and counterfeit products. We have also developed an online International Intellectual Property Crime Investigator’s College and have built already a robust network of over 10.000 law enforcement officers, and partner stakeholders with specialist knowledge and skillset.  This online training course provides specialist knowledge on transnational organized crime.  It is aimed at all law enforcement officials, regulatory authorities and private sector investigators who are committed in the fight against illicit trade and intellectual property crime.   We aim to provide crime professionals with specialist awareness and learning on the subject of transnational organized intellectual property, IP, crime, and illicit trade, by delivery of leading-edge training that meets international standards and allows crime investigators from any discipline to quickly identify other certified investigators.  Through this learning platform we also facilitate cooperation between the public and private sectors in the fight against IP crime, and ensure all public and private sector crime investigators have a common understanding of the problems facing them, while being aware of each other’s competencies and roles.  We seek to promote knowledge on what intervention strategies and tactics work, in order that all stakeholders are better able to work together in partnership in enforcement operations.

Thank you Mike for this highly interesting interview. It complements well our previous interviews on similar themes - with non-law enforcement experts including Mr. David Hamon and Mr. Tony Barone. CBRA and the whole FP7-CORE consortium, around 70 partners in total, wishes to continue the great cooperation in research and education material development with INTERPOL, throughout the CORE-project, until April 2018 - and beyond!  Juha.

 

Criminalization of global supply chains, by Mr. Hamon

Hi David, and thanks for joining a CBRA Interview – can you first tell a bit who are you and what you do?

I served in the US Army as a logistician, served with the United Nations Peacekeeping Department as well as work with the UN humanitarian organizations.  I recently retired from a not-for-profit government contractor to pursue more creative work.  Whilst at the latter position I was seconded to the US Defense Department, first in African Affairs, and then as Research and Studies Director for a strategic studies office within a US Defense Agency.  I currently work, mostly independently, on a great many things related to future threats and re-defining of security/stability as it pertains and impacts diplomacy, development, defense, society, and economics/finance.

We met first time in Lausanne, Switzerland, around 2005 – what was that roundtable event again about?

Many years before cyber based terror threats were on the radar, we launched an inquiry into what we termed “Economic/Financial Terrorism” and whether security threats emanating from terrorism in the future would take the form of attacks on the Western system of finance and the economy.  We brought in a host of experts from the US and Europe to debate the changing face of terrorism and likely goals of future terror groups.  We examined everything from evolving ideology, motivation and intent, culture and identity to strategy, tactics, targets, weapons, and groups.  It was an extremely interesting event with industry admitting - at the time - they were not prepared for this phenomenon and governments largely split on the issue.  Additionally, experts and think tanks disagreed on whether economic terrorism was tangible.  It was very forward-looking for its time.  All participants came away with greater awareness on the subject as we went above and beyond what is currently called “financial crimes,” exploring potential kinetic based threats terror groups would use against the economic and financial machinery that included physical attacks on the supply chain, tourist industry, psychological undermining of the Western economic system to disrupt the normal provision of goods and services.

Can you tell more about your views on ´criminalization of global supply chains´?

I take similar views on the subject as Dr. Moisés Naim, in his 2005 book ‘Illicit: How smugglers, traffickers, and copycats are hijacking the global economy.’ He addresses several tenants that remain true today including the role of governments, technology, the Illicit traders mimicking licit trade and logistics actors - while simultaneously collaborating with many of them, and criminal groups seek high-profit opportunities as opposed to any other attribution (see CBRA Blog 21 October 2014).  Terror groups care less about profit but when thinking about logistics networks, what if the two groups collaborated?  Today logistics systems are more complex and move faster than ever in history, have less margin to fail, are far less ‘hands-on’ and offer many ways and places to hide illegal activity.  Detection and interdiction of this activity isn’t exclusively in the realm of governments. Industry has a role to play if it wishes to minimize new regulations, taxes, deter corruption, and other drains on efficiency and profit.  Experts, both public and private, rarely take a systems approach to detecting criminal activity with much throughput going undetected.  Both parties want to specialize on one aspect and miss the big picture.  A good example was the AQ Khan network.  How long has it been since industry has undertaken an assessment of whether there is a new “Khan” network out there?  Do trade organizations war-game with governments on criminality within supply chains?

Interesting! What are your views on ‘multi-commodity trafficking / crime portfolios’?

At the last corporate organization where I worked my team did some analysis on unregulated, illegal fishing as a security threat to Pacific Island nations.  In the course of this analysis, we discovered it was the same actors doing the illegal fishing as doing illegal dumping, illegal smuggling, illegal trafficking, among other illicit activities.  The criminality was only one aspect of the supply chain as the “demand” side as well as the delivery side was entirely legal and within businesses who conduct practically all business legally.  The same boats as platforms - and their crews - were used to conduct all activity legal and illegal and to the local authorities - as well as donor nations attempting to help - it was impossible to project accurately when the activity would switch between licit and illicit.  We couldn’t analyze if this was a regional or global phenomena but I guess it was a widely copied practice.  As Anthony Barone has pointed out, border management and controls are not the panacea of containment but need to be part of a larger practice (see CBRA Interview 18 December 2015). Criminals use technology just as effectively!  His idea of assembling a group of independent experts to rethink new approaches to border management - and I might add, redefining the meaning of borders and how thinking differently about borders per se - is a good start.   Using strategic foresight come up with several alternative futures to present to a dedicated [supply chain] private-public partnership empowered to make changes would be my overarching recommendation

Sounds that the global supply chain community is facing increasingly more threats and risks! Any other suggestions on how to improve the situation, both short term and long term?

In the short term, as I mentioned, conduct a public-private-partnership exercise to rethink the concept supply chain surveillance for illicit activity and anticipating new and emerging illicit activity.  In the long run, we don’t give enough thought to knowledge as a part of the supply chain.  Using the supply chain for illicit activity begins with motivation and intent getting out in front of those who may do harm.  To address alternative futures will take some innovation and creativity, but the stakes are high.  The next AQ Khan Network may bring very bad things into Europe (and beyond!) compliments of ISIS.  We don’t know what knowledge the current refugee population possesses that may be part of some future attack on the financial and economic system of the EU or if some refugees worked on chemical or biological programs in their countries of origin.

Thanks David for this interview – and let´s start working towards a joint project on these topics of common professional and research interest!

Web-links:

http://www.cross-border.org/2014/10/21/dr-naim-on-illicit-trade/

http://www.cross-border.org/interviews/new-approaches-to-border-management/