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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

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.

EU logistics security – an interesting decade

I had a great pleasure to work intensively on the European surface transport security standardization efforts, some years ago – this CBRA Blog aims to summarize the main work done, and the key objectives achieved.

 

Couple of years after the US 9/11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the European Commission Directorate General of Transport and Energy, EC DG TREN, started to prepare a proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on enhancing cargo surface transport security. In the meanwhile, 9/11 was already triggering an avalanche of new customs, aviation and maritime supply chain security regulations, programs and standards, in the US, Europe and across the globe. But when it came specifically to surface transport security for road and rail cargo (and inland waterways, to that matter) in Europe, nothing was cooking before the DG TREN initiative “Secure Operator”, first announced in 2004. By 2006, the main goal of the EC proposal for a regulation on enhancing supply chain security (SCS) in the EU was shaped as to achieve greater protection of the European freight transport system against possible terrorist attacks. The specific objectives of the draft regulation were defined as: (i) to increase the level of security along the supply chain without impeding the free flow of trade; (ii) to establish a common framework for a systematic European approach without jeopardizing the common transport market and existing security measures; and (iii) to avoid unnecessary administrative procedures and burdens at European and national levels. In addition, the draft regulation related to the need to prevent a patchwork of various supply chain security standards and solutions across EU.

blog2105162However, it quickly became clear that there was no common sense of urgency in supply chain security regulations across EU Member States, particularly in the context of threat of terrorism to surface (cargo) transport. One was lacking a commitment towards an integrated approach, which would urge everybody to look at the holistic supply chain picture. The countries and especially stakeholder (or, lobby) organizations clearly focused on their specific interests on a part of the supply chain, thus appearing uncomfortable when trying to identify the “big picture”. Ultimately, the draft regulation was blocked in the European legislative process and finally officially withdrawn by the Commission, in 2010.

 

 

In the meanwhile, already in 2005, an expert group in supply chain security was formed under the umbrella of European Committee for Standardization (CEN) – and that’s when Cross-border Research Association started to play a role in the “EU land transport security regulations and standards play”, first as the rapporteur for the expert group, and later as the research party for the technical committee in supply chain security. The expert group was formed technically under the CEN working group "Protection and Security of the Citizen” (CEN/BT/WG161), and the (pre)standardization work was partly based on the Logistics Action Plan of the EC that indicated the need for standardization in the transport security domain for the whole logistic chain.

blog2105163Following the conclusions and recommendations by the expert group, the CEN Technical Committee in Supply Chain Security (CEN/TC 379) was established in 2008, producing ultimately three tangible outputs: Supply Chain Security Feasibility Study (in 2010); CEN Technical Report “Supply Chain Security — Good Practice Guide for Small and Medium Sized Operators” (in 2012, CEN/TR 16412:2012); and, a European Standard: Logistics - Specifications for reporting crime incidents (in 2013, EN 16352:2013-06). The first of the outcomes is available for free (ask by email:  cbra@cross-border.org ), and the latter two you can purchase e.g. from your national standardization institute web shop. All in all, great project experience behind us, couple of good publications, and many new contacts and even few friends for lifetime – thus, no regrets, and if asked, would become rapporteur and lead researcher on these important topics, again and again!

 

 

 

 

And finally, when it comes to the future of SCS regulation and standardization work in Europe – in particular in the land transport security sector (e.g. the LANDSEC expert group, Commission Decision 2012/286/EU): do not be shy in exploiting the tangible outcomes of a decade of our joint work, in particular the Euronorm EN 16352:2013-06, “Logistics: specifications for reporting crime incidents” – no reason to reinvent the wheel!

 

CBRA Blog by Dr. Juha Hintsa on 21.5.2016

 

Summarizing the main milestones of the surface transport security 2004-2014 regulatory and standardization process tracks:

A) Regulatory process -track was largely driven by the European Commission Directorate General for Transport and Energy (EC DG TREN), comprising of the following five sequential steps:
A1. Preparation of the Secure Operator legislation at EC DG TREN (2004-2006)
A2. Publication of the legislative proposal (EC, 2006a)
A3. Publication of an impact assessment study (EC, 2006b)
A4. Announcements and debates at European Parliament and Council (2006-2009)
A5. Withdrawal of the proposal by the Commission, (18.9.2010)

B) Standardization process -track - for which the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) was responsible – consisting of the following seven, chronologically ordered steps:
B1. Establishment of an Expert group in supply chain security, under CEN/BT/WG161, "Protection and Security of the Citizen” (2005)
B2. Publication of the final report of the Expert group, approved by CEN/BT/WG161 (14.11.2006)
B3. Establishment of the CEN Technical Committee in Supply Chain Security, CEN/TC 379 (2008)
B4. Publication of Supply Chain Security Feasibility Study (15.1.2010)
B5. Publication of the CEN Technical Report, CEN/TR 16412:2012 “Supply Chain Security — Good Practice Guide for Small and Medium Sized Operators” (2012)
B6. Publication of a European Standard: Logistics - Specifications for reporting crime incidents, EN 16352:2013-06 (2013)
B7. Closure of the CEN Technical Committee in Supply Chain Security, CEN/TC 379 (2014).

 

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Main references / bibliography:

  • CEN (2013), “Logistics: specifications for reporting crime incidents”, EN 16352:2013-06
  • CEN (2012), “Supply chain security (SCS): Good practice guide for small and medium sized operators”, CEN/TR 16412:2012
  • CEN (2006), “Expert group: Supply chain security”, approved by CEN/BT/WG161, 14.1.2006
  • EC (2012), “Commission Staff Working Document on Transport Security”, SWD(2012), 143 final.
  • EC (2006a), COM(2006)79 final, 2006/0025(COD), COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on enhancing supply chain security Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on enhancing supply chain security, (SEC(2006)251)
  • EC (2006b), SEC(2006)251 COMMISSION STAFF WORKING DOCUMENT. Annex to the COMMUNICATION FROM THE COMMISSION TO THE COUNCIL, THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT, THE EUROPEAN ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL COMMITTEE AND THE COMMITTEE OF THE REGIONS on enhancing supply chain security and Proposal for a REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL on enhancing supply chain security - IMPACT ASSESSMENT - {COM(2006)79 final}
  • 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, 15.12010

 

 

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

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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) ).

SIECA delegation visiting Europe in June 2015

I had a great pleasure to be the lead host for a 12 person SIECA delegation visit to Europe in June 2015. We spent two days in the Netherlands, one day in Belgium and two days in Switzerland in an action-packed tour, visiting several border areas, governmental offices and beyond.

The idea to organize a one-week customs and international trade visit tour to Europe first came when Mr. Roman Stoll from the Federal Customs Administration of Switzerland and I paid a four-day visit at the SIECA Secretariat in Guatemala City in March 2015. There we had several meetings and discussions on World Trade Organization´s Trade Facilitation Agreement, WTO TFA, implementation plans with the SIECA management – Ms. Carmen Gisela Vergara Mas and Mr. Javier Gutierrez; with Customs management and experts from all the six SIECA member countries; and with representatives of the Intra-American Development Bank. Some weeks after the Guatemala-visit, SIECA and IDB confirmed the willingness to come over to Europe, to learn about good practices in international trade, supply chain and border management in the Netherlands, Belgium and Switzerland. And after couple of hundreds of emails and phone calls – myself acting as the focal point in arranging the visit – we were ready to welcome the SIECA Delegation to Europe between Monday 1 June and Friday 5 June, 2015.

blog 22.03.20161Monday-Tuesday we had a full agenda in the Netherlands. Monday started by presentations on Dutch Customs in general, and Schiphol Customs in specific, focusing on risk management, coordinated border management, and the SmartGate solutions at the Schiphol Airport. This was followed by a roundtable discussion with representatives from the Dutch Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Economic Affairs, as well as with an expert from the air cargo industry. During Monday the SIECA delegation gained firsthand knowledge for example on One-Stop Shop (OSS) implementation steps in the Netherlands: Step 1. Information exchange; 2. Joint inspections; 3. Training specialists; 4. Joint risk analysis by both inspections and selection by Customs; and Step 5. One inspection inspects for the other. The program on Tuesday consisted of a tour in Port of Rotterdam, at the APM 2 Container terminal; as well as a visit to the Central command post of nuclear detection and an X-ray container scanner. In between we had a typical “Dutch sandwich” lunch, kindly offered by the hosts. The delegation enjoyed seeing the ultimate high level of automation at the new container terminal, as well as visiting a pragmatic “one stop inspection room”, where multiple border agencies work together inspecting containers flagged for manual inspections.

Wednesday was spent in Brussels, Belgium. In the morning, the trade representatives of the SIECA Delegation went to the European Commission, DG TRADE, for EU-SIECA related discussions. In the afternoon, most of the delegation visited the World Customs Organization, where the meeting started with discussions with the WCO Secretary General Dr. Kunio Mikuriya and the WCO Deputy Secretary General Mr. Sergio Mujica. This was followed by a presentation on WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and the linked WCO Instruments, by Ms. Heike Barczyk, the Deputy Director of Compliance and Facilitation Directorate at the WCO. Lastly, we had a brief presentation and roundtable discussions on the European Flagship Supply Chain Security Research, Development and Demonstrations project called FP7-CORE. This discussion was joined by Mr. Nik Delmeire, the Secretary General of the European Shippers Council; Ms. Nicolette van der Jagt, the Secretary General of CLECAT, the European association for forwarding, transport, logistics and customs services; and myself, Dr. Juha Hintsa, Founder of the Cross-border Research Association. After the meeting at WCO, it was time to fly from Brussels to Basel, Switzerland.

blog 22.03.20162Thursday-Friday we had a packed program in Switzerland. Despite some “navigation challenges” with our three-car convoy, we arrived on time from Basel to Bern at the Directorate General of the Federal Customs Administration. We heard several interesting presentations focusing on performance mandate, tasks and strategy of Swiss Customs; on international affairs section and it’s relevant international cooperation program; on shifts from traditional revenue collection to environmental and incentive taxes; and on strategy and challenges regarding future customs clearance systems and platforms – all this by three top experts from Swiss Customs. I presented the outcomes of Swiss Customs and Cross-border Research Association -visit to SIECA in March 2015, suggesting some specific areas and priorities for future co-operation activities. Next, the Delegation visited the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, where the discussions focused on Swiss foreign policy in Central America and bilateral cooperation Switzerland - Central America; as well as on political and economic regional integration in Central America. After a quick photo session on the Bundeshaus terrace facing over River Aare, our journey continued towards the Swiss Customs facilities at the Zurich Airport. Again, there were some “logistics challenges” on the way to Zurich, when one of our three cars suddenly lost all engine coolant – fortunately a gas station was close by, and a road service company (car + mechanic) happened to be there. At the Zurich Airport, the SIECA Delegation learned a lot of details about Swiss Customs operations with air cargo and passenger flows. And as the last agenda item, we met a cute black Labrador retriever, who together with his trainer showed how effortlessly he finds illicit goods hidden in air cargo boxes and pallets…

On Friday morning – last day of the journey – we had again an early wake-up call at our hotel in Basel. We were warmly welcomed by Swiss Customs Officers at the Basel/Weil- Motorway border-crossing point – the highest volume customs clearance point in Switzerland. First the hosts explained about facts and figures on Basel/Weil, topped with interesting information on customs risk management processes and IT-systems. Now we all know that on average 3500 trucks cross the Basel/Weil border per day, and that around 600 million CHF is collected annually as indirect taxes at that border crossing point. After that we took a rooftop view over the border area premises, discussing further Import/Export/Transit -procedures, as well as visited the Swiss Transito-Cabins / Checkpoints. From the motorway we drove to the Swiss Customs House at the Basel Port, visiting the famous tri-border-point between Switzerland, Germany and France. There the Delegation learned about the barge traffic on River Rhine – the same river we saw three days earlier at Port of Rotterdam. From the Basel Port, we drove again to Bern, this time to visit the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs, SECO. Lively discussions took place on the SECO rooftop meeting room on topics including EFTA – Central American FTA, as well as Bilateral Economic Relations Switzerland – Central America. And after lunch kindly offered by SECO, we headed towards Geneva for the final meeting of the week: World Economic Forum, WEF, where we all arrived just in time to learn about the organization and the key activities of WEF, including: the work of the WEF in Latin America, with updates from the Latin American Summit; and, the work of the WEF on trade and investment policy and implementation, including Policy Directions, Enabling Trade Index, Enabling Trade implementations. The United Nations Economic Commission for Europe, UNECE, was kind enough to explain about latest developments and trends in single window projects and implementations. And lastly, I shared briefly select work on trade facilitation and supply chain security research and education materials by the Cross-border Research Association and HEC University of Lausanne.  I highlighted the important developments taking place within the FP7-CORE project - referring naturally to our meeting two days earlier at the World Customs Organization.

This concludes the brief summary of the SIECA week in Europe, and now I would like to thank all the SIECA Delegation members for coming over and spending the five days with us, here on the old continent:

  • Costa Rica: Mr. Jhon Fonseca, Vice Minister Foreign Trade; and Mr. Luis Fernando Vasquez Castillo, Costa Rica Customs.
  • El Salvador: Mrs. Luz Estrella Rodriguez, Vice Minister Foreign Trade
  • Guatemala: María Luisa Flores Villagran, Vice Minister Foreign Trade; and Mrs. Maria Elisa Chang, Guatemala Customs.
  • Honduras: Jeronima Urbina, Director of Economic Integration
  • Nicaragua: Eddy Aldolfo Artola Garciá, Director Risk Management of Nicaragua Customs.
  • Panama: Melitón Arrocha. Minister Foreign Trade; Mrs. Diana Salazar, Vice Minister Foreign Trade; and Mr. José Gómez Núnez DG of Panama Customs.
  • SIECA Secretariat: Carmen Gisela Vergara Mas, Secretary General
  • Intra-American Development Bank: Mr. Jaime Granados

And last but not least, warmest thanks to all the local hosts: Dutch Customs Administration; Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Dutch Ministry of Economic Affairs; European Commission DG TRADE; World Customs Organization; Federal Customs Administration of Switzerland; Federal Department of Foreign Affairs of Switzerland; State Secretariat for Economic Affairs of Switzerland; and World Economic Forum.

CBRA Blog by Juha Hintsa

blog 22.03.20163PS. If your country / region would be interested on a similar European field visit, please contact us – we could organize the practical details for the next delegation, possibly every 1-2 years (of course the actual hosts need to agree to the visit in the first place, that goes without saying…). And one final note: next time a bus and a professional driver need to be rented, please!

 

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.

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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

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.

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.

Global supply chain design considerations: Mitigating product safety and security risks (Speier et al. 2011)

Summary

There is a broad consensus among supply chain professionals that supply chain disruptions are very bad for business: supply chain glitches commonly lower operational performance and reduce shareholder value. Regardless of this, there is surprisingly little research on supply chain design strategies that have the highest potential to mitigate the risk of disruptions. Based on interviews with 75 US-based managers, an industry survey and a case study, Speier et al. (2011) identify types of SCS strategies and examine how contextual factors influence business managers to select a set of SCS design strategies. They argue that the depth and breadth of security initiatives depend mainly on top management mindfulness, operational complexity, product risk and coupling. The abstract is available at: http://www.sciencedirect.com.

Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA) based on his doctoral thesis.

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 Ms. Sarma on the US CSP-program

28.6.2016: Today’s CBRA Interview with Ms. Dace Sarma from CRDF Global focuses on the U.S. Department of State’s Chemical Security Program

 

Hi Dace, and thanks for joining CBRA Interview. Can you please tell first a bit of your background and what you do today?

I work at CRDF Global, an independent nonprofit organization that promotes international scientific and technical collaboration through grants, technical resources, training and services. At CRDF Global, I work in partnership with the U.S. Department of State’s Chemical Security Program, CSP in short, on programming collaborating with government, security, academic, and industrial communities around the world to strengthen their ability to thwart chemical attacks. Prior to working with CSP, I supported and implemented the Department of State’s Office of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism, WMDT in short, projects within the scope of CRDF Global support for the WMDT.

 

Thanks for sharing that. Can you explain more about CRDF Global and the Chemical Security Program, CSP, by the US State Department?

CSP works with a number of implementing partners, including CRDF Global, to promote chemical security through sponsorship of projects designed to identify and address chemical security vulnerabilities and prevent chemical attacks.

CSP collaborates with diverse stakeholders, including partner governments, subject matter experts, and international organizations, to enhance chemical security through capacity building workshops, and trainings.

 

I had the pleasure to join twice the CRDF Global workshops in 2015: first to Hurghada, Egypt, in March 2015, and second to Istanbul, Turkey, in December 2015. The former workshop was targeted for the Egyptian government and chemical industry, and the latter one for the Iraqi government and chemical industry. Extremely interesting 3-4 days in both workshops, with great audiences and co-speakers / co-facilitators. In both workshops I gave presentations e.g. on FP7-project CORE / dangerous goods tracking, and on Dow Chemical supply chain security – thanks again to Ms. Antonella Di Fazio of Telespazio and Dr. Toni Mannisto of CBRA for co-producing these presentations. What is the current status of CSP regarding these countries today, if I may ask?

Thank you again for your participation in these workshops, Juha. We all appreciated you sharing your experience in chemical supply chain and transportation security.

We have continued work with our partners in Egypt on chemical supply chain security. CRDF Global, the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ Environmental Compliance Office (FEI-ECO) and the Federation of Egyptian Industries’ Chamber of Chemical Industries (CCI) held an event in December, also sponsored by CSP, which convened 170 government, industry and academia representatives from Egypt’s chemical sector to highlight Egypt’s achievements in securing the chemical supply chain and identify further steps required to secure their chemicals in transit.  FEI-ECO and CCI are also working to provide technical guidance and support for Egyptian chemical companies to adopt Responsible Care®, an international voluntary chemical management initiative developed by the chemical industry to help chemical companies operate safely, securely and profitably.

In Iraq, CRDF Global and CSP have continued to work closely with a variety of partners from across the chemical and security communities. Most recently in April, with sponsorship from CSP, CRDF Global implemented the 1st National Chemical and Biological Security Coordination Conference in Baghdad. The conference convened Iraqi government, security, industrial, and academic sectors to discuss national efforts, interagency coordination, and best practices to counter chemical and biological proliferation in Iraq.

 

Any plans in 2016 to organize similar workshops in the MENA region?

We will continue to work with our international partners, including in the MENA region, in 2016. As the world becomes more connected, we will continue to focus on securing the chemical supply chain.  Many of our partners have also identified chemical ground transportation security as an area of particular interest.  We look forward to working with technical experts like CBRA and leaders from chemical communities worldwide to enhance global chemical security.

 

Thanks a lot Dace for this interview – and hope to meet you soon again, at one the upcoming missions / workshops! Juha

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!

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.
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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

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/

New approaches to border management

Today we discuss with Mr. Anthony Barone how to modernize border management techniques. Mr. Barone is a writer and adjunct professor. He has served at the WCO and American Federal Advisory bodies and held senior positions in both the industrial and logistics industries most recently at Pfizer.

Tony, it seems that we are living in a fairly dangerous world today. Threats to society arise from globalized terrorism, organized crime and individual criminal acts, such as the commission of fraud. How do border management techniques address these threats?

Not very well, I’m afraid. Border management techniques that are used today to identify and interdict criminal activities are based on technologies and concepts that are out of date. They cause unpredictability in supply chains, discriminate against smaller companies and opportune official corruption.

The absence of real time information exchange between countries, and even within countries among different departments of border management, is complicating the inherent challenges faced by border management authorities. Unfortunately crime has globalized, but law enforcement has not.

The supply chains are internationalizing rapidly, so all nations need to find ways that facilitate legitimate trade and simultaneously disrupt criminal activity hidden in commercial supply chains. Can emerging technologies be the solution?

Newly emerging technologies present both new threats and new opportunities. Threats arise from the criminal use of new technologies such as the use of social media by terror organizations and bitcoin money exchange by drug cartels. Opportunities to leverage technology arise from the ubiquitous use of integrated supply chain technology within the private sector, relatively inexpensive cloud based processing capabilities and a variety of hardware developments, such as Machine to Machine data processing or Internet of Things.

Emerging technologies may make it possible to accomplish the dual goals of facilitation and security, but certain prerequisites must be addressed in order for such solutions to succeed. The innovations must benefit both the private sector and governments in several different ways. There must be real economic value in transformative strategies. Political leadership must see a match to public policy goals and developers must see profit opportunity in the development of tools.

As you said, various public and private stakeholders may have different interests and priorities, and on top of this private citizens have increasing and legitimate privacy concerns. What should we do that real issues are accommodated despite these potentially contradictory goals?

The importance of engaging the private sector as agents of change cannot be understated. Both goods shippers and logistics service providers must find benefit through significantly reduced costs. And those savings must outweigh out-of-pocket investments that are needed to achieve them.

Articulating possible solutions faces significant headwinds. Among these are the investments made in current practices on both the private and public side. Reluctance to change is further bolstered by financial considerations including possible costs of transformation and the loss of revenue derived from existing systems.

Additionally, authorities charged with these responsibilities may feel threatened by criticism of programs they administer. Importers and exporters may fear reprisal from authorities. Trade associations may be too dependent on access to authorities to seriously challenge extant programs. Without a political constituency and given these challenges, introducing and implementing game changing ideas will be difficult.

So, what would you propose to modernize border management techniques? It seems to require radically transformative ideas.

I propose that we get together a group of independent experts who are willing to explore radically new approaches to border management. They would be tasked to investigate how supply chain facilitation as an open source capability could simultaneously block criminal activity and reduce the costs of border administration. They should consider both private and public sector effects and have a global focus so that all nations can benefit from their work.

Thank you, Tony, for the interview. CBRA team is interested to join the group of independent experts you suggested – hopefully we can get together on this, already during the first couple of months in 2016!