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.)



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 . 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: …   

(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.




Call for papers is open until 15 June 2016, please visit:…

(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.



Call for papers is open until 18 May 2016, please visit:

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

FP7-CORE Education – Two new diagrams

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

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

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

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

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


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.


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: )

Border Agency Cooperation, Part 3 of 3

The last blog in our three-part series on Border Agency Cooperation introduces a conceptual framework capturing the essential dimensions of Border Agency Coordination: three levels of collaboration, four areas of integration and four objects for sharing. We hope that the framework helps the customs and other border agency communities to see all levels of Border Agency Cooperation (BAC) so that they can move from isolated coexistence towards more active cooperation at the borders. Higher levels of cooperation are likely to translate into higher levels of trade facilitation, control over cross-border cargo flows and resource efficiency, simultaneously. Compared with the previous BAC Blog Part 2, this BAC Blog Part 3 intends to present a comprehensive framework surrounding BAC ambitions, plans, implementations and monitoring activities – while the previous BAC Bloc 2 focused purely on a set of 15 key BAC actions, grouped according to the main beneficiary groups. This final BAC Blog has been written by Dr. Toni Männistö of CBRA.

Let’s start by first presenting the BAC diagram: Conceptual framework on Border Agency Cooperation (source: Männistö, T., and Hintsa J., 2015; inspired by Polner, 2011 and by Institute of Policy Studies, 2008)


Levels of cooperation

Intra-agency cooperation is about aligning goals and work within one organization, either horizontally between departments or vertically between headquarters and local branches, in particular border-crossing offices / stations. Ways to foster horizontal intra-agency cooperation include development of intranet networks, cross-training, inter-departmental rotation of staff, and establishment of joint task forces that tackle multifaceted challenges like transnational terrorism. Ideally, the vertical cooperation would be bi-directional: headquarters would define priorities and objectives and then communicate them to local branches. The branches would, reciprocally, send back status reports and suggest improvements to the general policies. Solving intra-agency cooperation lays a basis for broader cooperation: it’s hard for any organization to cooperate efficiently with external stakeholders if it struggles with internal problems. The logical first step in coordinated border management is therefore breaking departmental silos and building a culture of cooperation within boundaries of one organization.

Inter-agency cooperation, at the operational level, concerns relationships among a broad range of border agencies that play a role in controlling cross-border trade and travel. In many countries, primary agencies present at the borders include customs, border guards, immigration authorities and transport security agencies. However, also police organizations, health authorities, and phytosanitary and veterinary controllers, among others, take part in border management. According to a recent study, typical areas of customs- border guard inter-agency cooperation can include strategic planning, communication and information exchange, coordination of workflow of border crossing points, risk analysis, criminal investigations, joint operations, control outside border control points, mobile units, contingency/emergency, infrastructure and equipment sharing, and training and human resource management (CSD, 2011). Governmental inter-agency cooperation occurs between border control agencies and ministries and policy making bodies that are responsible for oversight and financing of border management activities.

International cooperation may take place locally at both sides of a border. One Stop Border Posts, OSBPs – border crossings managed jointly by two neighboring countries – are prime examples of such cooperation. One Stop Border Posts can involve various forms of collaboration: harmonization of documentation, shared maintenance of the infrastructure, joint or mutually recognized controls, exchange of data and information and common investments in infrastructure and so forth. Operational arrangements between the Norwegian, Finnish and Swedish customs illustrate advanced international cross-border cooperation that save time and money of border control authorities and trading companies. The cooperation builds on division of labor, where the national border authorities of each country are allowed to provide services and exercise legal powers of their home country and neighboring countries. For instance, when goods are exported from Norway, all paperwork related to both exports and imports may be attended by either Swedish, Finnish or Norwegian customs office (Norwegian Customs, 2011). At the political level, this requires international cooperation between authorities and policy makers in two or more countries. Operational cooperation (e.g., mutual recognition of controls or regional Single Window), often bringing tangible trade facilitation benefits, usually follows from political, supranational decisions (e.g., the WCO’s Revised Kyoto Convention and SAFE Framework of Standards).

Areas of integration

Technical integration often entails improving connectivity and interoperability of information and communication technology systems within and across organizations. Single Window solutions are typical outcomes of technical cooperation as they enable automatic exchange of electronic trade information among border control agencies. The UN Centre for Trade Facilitation and Electronic Business, UN/CEFACT, is an important international organization helping to build connectivity across countries and between business and governmental stakeholders. UN/CEFACT, for instance, develops and maintains globally recognized standards for EDI messages.

Operational integration is largely about coordination of inspection and auditing activities among border control agencies. Benefits of synchronized activities are evident: organizing necessary controls at one place and at the same time reduces delays and administrative burden that trading companies and travelers face at borders. A simple and powerful example of operational integration is coordination of opening hours and days of customs offices at the both sides of a border. Operational integration also covers provision of mutual administrative assistance, joint criminal investigations and prosecution, and sharing of customs intelligence and other information.

Legislative integration seeks to remove legal barriers and ambiguities that prevent border control agencies from exchanging information, sharing responsibilities or otherwise deepening their cooperation. Essentially, most forms of Border Agency Coordination require some degree of legislative harmonization and political commitment. For example, Article 8 of the WTO/TFA to the WTO Members requires that national authorities and agencies responsible for border controls and dealing with the importation, exportation and transit of goods must cooperate with one another and coordinate their activities in order to facilitate trade.

Institutional integration is about restructuring roles and responsibilities of border controls agencies. An example of a major restructuring is the annexing of US border control agencies – including the US Customs and Border Protection, Transportation Security Administration and Coast Guard – into the Department of Homeland Security, DHS, a body that took over the key governmental functions involved in the US non-military counter-terrorism efforts in the aftermaths of the September 11th, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Objects of sharing

Sharing of information – data, knowledge and intelligence – reduce duplicate work (e.g., sharing of audit findings), enable operational coordination (e.g., synchronized border controls) and facilitate development of common agenda for future border agency coordination. At the global level, the WCO’s Customs Enforcement Network CEN is an example of a trusted communication system for exchanging information and intelligence, especially seizure records, between customs officials worldwide. Another WCO initiative, the Globally Networked Customs, analyzes potential to further “rationalize, harmonize and standardize the secure and efficient exchange of information between WCO Members” (WCO 2015).

Resource sharing involves multi-agency joint investments in equipment, facilities, IT systems, databases, expertise and other common resources. The joint investment activities are likely to result in higher resource utilization and bulk purchasing discounts. For example, national and regional Single Window solutions are often outcomes of joint development and investment activities of various government agencies.

Sharing of work is mostly about rationalization of overlapping border control activities, controls and formalities. If two border control agencies, for instance, agree to recognize each other’s controls, there is no need to control the same goods more than once. Combining forces to investigate and prosecute crime also often help border control agencies to use their limited resources more efficiently.

Sharing of responsibilities is about coordinating and streamlining administrative and control tasks among border control agencies. Norway, again, sets a good example of sharing the responsibilities. The Norwegian customs represents all other border control agencies – except the veterinary office – at the frontier. Customs officers are responsible for routine border formalities, and they summon representatives of other border control agencies as and when the officers need assistance. Internationally, the Norwegian customs cooperates closely with Swedish and Finnish border control authorities at the Northern Scandinavian border posts. Bilateral agreements between its neighbors allow Norwegian customs officers authority to perform most customs checks and formalities for and on behalf of their Swedish and Finnish colleagues. The coordination decreases border-crossing times and lowers administrative costs for trading companies and the border control agencies in the three countries.

This concludes now our three-part series on Border Agency Cooperation. In Part 1, we shared an illustrative worst case example on how complex, slow and expensive a cross-border supply chain execution comes when no cooperation takes place between relevant government agencies, neither nationally nor internationally. In Part 2, we presented a conceptual BAC model with 15 key actions to improve the degree of cooperation in a given country or region – for the direct benefit of supply chain companies, or government agencies, or both. And in this Part 3, we finally presented our comprehensive BAC framework, which hopefully helps government policy makers and border agencies to design, implement and monitor their future BAC programs and initiatives in an effective and transparent manner. Toni Männistö and Juha Hintsa.


Center for the Study of Democracy (CSD), 2011. “Better Management of EU Borders through Cooperation”, Study to Identify Best Practices on the Cooperation Between Border Guards and Customs Administrations Working at the External Borders of the EU.

Institute of Policy Studies 2008, Better connected services for Kiwis: a discussion document for managers and front-line staff on better joining up the horizontal and vertical, Institute of Policy Studies, Wellington, NZ.

Männistö, T., and Hintsa J., “Theory of Border Agency Cooperation”, CBRA working paper 2015, Lausanne, Switzerland.

Norwegian Customs, 2011. Case Study on Border Agency Cooperation Submitted by Norway for the November Symposium.

Polner, M. (2011). Coordinated border management: from theory to practice. World Customs Journal, 5(2), 49-61.

United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), 2011 Border Agency Coordination”, UNCTAD Trust Fund for Trade Facilitation Negotiations Technical Note No. 14.

Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera, Parte 3 de 3

El último blog en nuestra serie de tres partes sobre la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera presenta un marco conceptual capturando las dimensiones esenciales de la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera: tres niveles de colaboración, cuatro áreas de integración y cuatro objetos para compartir. Esperamos que el marco ayude a las aduanas y otras comunidades de organismos que intervienen en frontera para ver todos los niveles de la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera (COIF) para que puedan pasar de la coexistencia aislada hacia una cooperación más activa en las fronteras. Los niveles más altos de cooperación son probablemente traducidos en mayores niveles de facilitación del comercio, el control de los flujos de carga transfronterizos y la eficiencia de los recursos, simultáneamente. En comparación con el anterior Blog sobre COIF Parte 2, este Blog sobre COIF Parte 3 tiene la intención de presentar un amplio marco que rodea ambiciones de COIF, los planes, las implementaciones y actividades de monitoreo – mientras que el anterior Blog sobre COIF 2 se centró exclusivamente en un conjunto de 15 acciones clave de la COIF, agrupados de acuerdo a los principales grupos de beneficiarios. Este último Blog sobre la COIF ha sido escrito por el Dr. Toni Männistö de CBRA.

Vamos a empezar con la presentación por primera vez del diagrama de COIF: Marco conceptual de la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera (Fuente: Männistö, T., and Hintsa J., 2015; inspired by Polner, 2011 and by Institute of Policy Studies, 2008)


Niveles de cooperación

La cooperación intra-agencia se trata de alinear los objetivos y el trabajo dentro de una organización, ya sea horizontal o verticalmente entre los departamentos de la casa matriz y sucursales locales, en particular las oficinas / estaciones de cruce de fronteras. Las formas de fomentar la cooperación intra-agencia horizontal incluyen el desarrollo de las redes de intranet, el entrenamiento cruzado, la rotación de personal entre los departamentos, y el establecimiento de grupos de trabajo conjuntos que abordan retos multifacéticos como el terrorismo transnacional. Idealmente, la cooperación vertical sería bidireccional: la casa matriz definiría las prioridades y objetivos y luego comunicarlas a las sucursales locales. Las sucursales, recíprocamente, enviaría de vuelta los informes de estado y sugeriría mejoras en las políticas generales. La solución de la cooperación intra-agencia establece una base para una cooperación más amplia: es difícil para cualquier organización cooperar eficazmente con las partes externas si se tiene problemas internos. El primer paso lógico para coordinar la gestión de fronteras es por lo tanto, la ruptura de los silos departamentales y construir una cultura de cooperación dentro de los límites de una organización.

La cooperación inter-agencia, a nivel operativo, se refiere a las relaciones entre una amplia gama de organismos fronterizos que juegan un papel en el control del comercio transfronterizo y viajes. En muchos países, los organismos primarios presentes en las fronteras incluyen aduanas, la guardia de fronteras, las autoridades de inmigración y los organismos de seguridad del transporte. Sin embargo, también las organizaciones policiales, las autoridades de salud, y los controladores de fitosanitarios y veterinarios, entre otros, participan en la gestión de fronteras. De acuerdo con un estudio reciente, las zonas típicas de cooperación inter-agencia entre aduanas y guardia de fronteras pueden incluir la planificación estratégica, la comunicación y el intercambio de información, la coordinación de flujo de trabajo de los pasos fronterizos, análisis de riesgos, investigaciones criminales, operaciones conjuntas, control fuera de los puestos de control fronterizo, unidades móviles, la contingencia / emergencia, infraestructura y equipos compartidos, y la formación y gestión de recursos humanos (CSD, 2011). Cooperación gubernamental inter-agencia se produce entre los ministerios, organismos de control fronterizo y los organismos creadores de políticas que son responsables de la supervisión y la financiación de las actividades de gestión de fronteras.

La cooperación internacional puede tener lugar a nivel local en ambos lados de la frontera. Puestos fronterizos de una sola parada, (OSBPs, por sus siglas en inglés) – cruces fronterizos administrados conjuntamente por dos países vecinos – son los principales ejemplos de este tipo de cooperación. Puestos fronterizos de una sola parada puede implicar varias formas de colaboración: armonización de la documentación, el mantenimiento de la infraestructura compartida, controles conjuntos o mutuamente reconocidas, el intercambio de datos e información y de las inversiones en infraestructuras comunes, etcétera. Los acuerdos operacionales entra las aduanas noruegas, finlandesas y suecas ilustran la cooperación transfronteriza internacional avanzada que permiten ahorrar tiempo y dinero de las autoridades de control de fronteras y las empresas comerciales. La cooperación se basa en la división del trabajo, donde se permite a las autoridades nacionales de fronteras de cada país prestar servicios y ejercer las facultades legales de su país de origen y los países vecinos. Por ejemplo, cuando los bienes son exportados desde Noruega, toda la documentación relacionada con las exportaciones y las importaciones podrán ser asistidos por las oficinas de aduanas suecos, finlandeses o noruegos (Aduanas de Noruega, 2011). En el plano político, esto requiere de la cooperación internacional entre las autoridades y los responsables de crear políticas en dos o más países. La cooperación operativa (por ejemplo, el reconocimiento mutuo de los controles o la Ventanilla Única regional), a menudo trae beneficios tangibles de facilitación del comercio, por lo general se desprende de las decisiones políticas, supranacionales (por ejemplo, el Convenio de Kioto revisado de la OMA y el Marco Normativo SAFE).

Áreas de integración

Integración técnica a menudo implica la mejora de la conectividad y la interoperabilidad de los sistemas tecnológicos de información y de comunicación dentro y fuera de las organizaciones. Soluciones de una Ventanilla Única son resultados típicos de la cooperación técnica, ya que permiten el intercambio automático de información sobre el comercio electrónico entre los organismos de control fronterizo. El Centro de las Naciones Unidas para el Comercio y el Comercio Electrónico, UN / CEFACT, es una organización internacional importante que ayuda a construir la conectividad entre los países y entre las empresas y las partes interesadas gubernamentales. UN / CEFACT, por ejemplo, desarrolla y mantiene estándares para los mensajes EDI reconocido a nivel mundial.

La Integración operativa es en gran parte sobre la coordinación de las actividades de inspección y auditoría entre los organismos de control fronterizo. Beneficios de las actividades sincronizadas son evidentes: la organización de los controles necesarios en un solo lugar y al mismo tiempo reduce los retrasos y la carga administrativa que las empresas comerciales y los viajeros se enfrentan en las fronteras. Un ejemplo sencillo y potente de integración operativa es la coordinación de los horarios de apertura y los días de aduanas en los dos lados de una frontera. La integración operativa también cubre la prestación de asistencia mutua administrativa, las investigaciones y enjuiciamiento criminales conjuntas, y el intercambio de información de las aduanas y otra información.

La Integración legislativa tiene por objeto eliminar las barreras legales y ambigüedades que impiden que los organismos de control fronterizo intercambien información, compartan responsabilidades o de lo contrario la profundización de su cooperación. En esencia, la mayoría de las formas de Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera requieren un cierto grado de armonización legislativa y el compromiso político. Por ejemplo, el artículo 8 de la OMC / AFC para los Miembros de la OMC requiere que las autoridades nacionales y organismos responsables de los controles fronterizos y que se ocupan de la importación, exportación y tránsito de mercancías nacionales deben cooperar entre sí y coordinar sus actividades con el fin de facilitar el comercio.

La Integración institucional se trata de la reestructuración de las funciones y responsabilidades de los organismos de control de las fronteras. Un ejemplo de una reestructuración importante es la anexión de los organismos de control de fronteras de los Estados Unidos – incluyendo la Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos, la Administración de Seguridad del Transporte y la Guardia Costera – en el Departamento de Seguridad Nacional (Department of Homeland Security, DHS, por sus siglas en inglés), un cuerpo que se hizo cargo de las funciones gubernamentales clave involucrados en los esfuerzos no militares contra el terrorismo de Estados Unidos en las secuelas del ataque terrorista del 11 de septiembre de 2001.

Objetos de intercambio

El intercambio de información -datos, el conocimiento y la inteligencia – reduce la duplicidad de trabajo (por ejemplo, el intercambio de resultados de la auditoría), permite la coordinación operativa (por ejemplo, los controles fronterizos sincronizadas) y facilita el desarrollo de la agenda común para la coordinación futura agencia de fronteras. A nivel mundial, la OMA con su Customs Enforcement Network (CEN, por sus siglas en inglés) es un ejemplo de un sistema de comunicación de confianza para el intercambio de información e inteligencia, especialmente los datos de incautaciones, entre los funcionarios de aduanas en todo el mundo. Otra iniciativa de la OMA, la Red de Aduanas a nivel mundial, analiza potenciales para mayor “racionalización, armonización y estandarización del intercambio seguro y eficiente de información entre los miembros de la OMA” (OMA 2015).

Intercambio de recursos implica inversiones conjuntas de múltiples organismos en equipos, instalaciones, sistemas informáticos, bases de datos, experiencia y otros recursos comunes. Las actividades de inversión conjunta es probable que resulte en una mayor utilización de los recursos y descuentos de compra a granel. Por ejemplo, las soluciones de Ventanillas Únicas nacionales y regionales son a menudo los resultados de desarrollo conjunto y actividades de inversión de varias agencias del gobierno.

Compartir el trabajo es principalmente sobre la racionalización de la superposición de actividades de control de fronteras, controles y trámites. Si dos organismos de control de fronteras, por ejemplo, están de acuerdo en reconocer los controles respectivos, no hay necesidad de controlar las mismas mercancías más de una vez. La combinación de fuerzas para investigar y perseguir el delito también a menudo ayuda a los organismos de control fronterizo para utilizar sus limitados recursos de manera más eficiente.

El intercambio de responsabilidades se trata de coordinar y agilizar las tareas administrativas y de control entre los organismos de control fronterizo. Noruega, de nuevo, es un buen ejemplo de compartir las responsabilidades. Las aduanas de Noruega representa todos los demás organismos de control de fronteras – con excepción de la oficina veterinaria – en la frontera. Los funcionarios de aduanas son responsables de trámites en la frontera de rutina, y convocan a representantes de otros organismos de control fronterizo cuando los oficiales necesitan ayuda. A nivel internacional, las aduanas de Noruega coopera estrechamente con las autoridades de control de fronteras de Suecia y Finlandia en los puestos fronterizos del norte de Escandinavia. Los acuerdos bilaterales entre sus vecinos permiten que los funcionarios de aduanas noruegas lleven a cabo la mayoría de los controles y formalidades aduaneras en nombre y en representación de sus colegas de Suecia y Finlandia. La coordinación disminuye los tiempos de cruce de fronteras y reduce los costes administrativos para las empresas comerciales y los organismos de control fronterizo en los tres países.

Con esto concluye ahora nuestra serie de tres partes sobre Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera. En la Parte 1, compartimos con carácter ilustrativo el peor de los casos de cuan complejo, lento y caro puede llegar a ser la ejecución de una cadena de suministro transfronterizo cuando no hay cooperación entre las agencias gubernamentales pertinentes, ni a nivel nacional ni a nivel internacional. En la Parte 2, presentamos un modelo conceptual COIF con 15 acciones clave para mejorar el grado de cooperación en un determinado país o región – para el beneficio directo de las empresas de la cadena de suministro, o agencias gubernamentales, o ambas partes. Y en esta parte 3, que finalmente presentamos nuestro marco COIF integral, que ojalá ayude a los responsables de crear políticas y las agencias fronterizas para diseñar, ejecutar y supervisar sus programas e iniciativas BAC futuras de una manera eficaz y transparente. Toni Männistö y Juha Hintsa.


Border Agency Cooperation, Part 2 of 3

Our second blog on Border Agency Cooperation (BAC) focuses on a conceptual model developed by CBRA. We have crafted this “CBRA-BAC15” diagram to visualize a set of key BAC actions and primary beneficiaries, with contributions by Dr. Toni Männistö (supply chain security post-doc researcher at CBRA), Mr. Gerwin Zomer (TNO, technical manager for the FP7-CORE project) and by Ms. Susana Wong Chan (education and training materials developer at CBRA).BAC-1

The diagram is cut to three sectors: on left side, the supply chain companies are the primary beneficiaries of BAC actions; on the right side, the government agencies form the primary beneficiary group; and on the bottom area, both supply chain companies as well as government agencies benefit from BAC actions. Each of these three sectors contains five examples of concrete border agency cooperation actions – 15 in total – explained in a moment by using real examples, whenever available in the literature or by expert suggestions. In the center of the diagram lies a circle with the more generic “smart cross-border improvement actions”, applicable to virtually any work in global trade facilitation.

The diagram should not be considered exhaustive, when it comes to all optional actions to improve BAC in a given country or region or globally. Some of the 15 key actions may be strongly interconnected, or, partially overlapping. Some of them may apply mainly on national multi-agency environment, and some of them mainly on international e.g. customs-to-customs environment. Also, the division of the key actions into the three beneficiary groups can and should be challenged, by the interested audiences. But, let´s start now by listing and illustrating the key 15 BAC actions:

Supply chain companies as the primary beneficiary (left sector in the diagram). The following five BAC actions can bring immediate benefits to the companies operating in supply chains, in terms of saving administrative costs and speeding up the supply chain – less work dealing with various certifications and audit visits, less variation and IT costs with import/export data filing and less waiting times at the borders.

  • Harmonized ´trusted trader´ & other certification programs: In the European Union, the European Commission´s implementing regulation (No. 889/2014) updates the references to the aviation security legislation in force, including recognition of the Known Consignor (KC) status and its relevance to Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), and framing the scope of recognition of the common requirements between the respective programs.
  • Coordinated company visits & audits: Closely linked to the previous BAC-action, in the Netherlands, the Dutch Customs executes joint audits on AEO security (customs) and known consignor/regulated agent (air cargo) with the Dutch Immigration and air-police agency – during the application phase, as well as during periodical audits.
  • Harmonized data filing requirements: Despite a global, harmonized data model, harmonized tariff codes and standards on clearance procedures, there are many differences in operational import, export and transit procedures and information requirements between countries. This results in additional complexity of IT systems for globally operating traders and logistic service providers. An example is the pre-arrival security declarations, where harmonization would be most useful e.g. between the Importer Security Filing, “10+2” in the US and the Entry Summary Declaration in Europe – Multiple Filing, supported by Standard Trader Interface, under development within the Union Customs Code, UCC.
  • Synchronized border interventions & inspections: The Article 4 of the Greater Mekong Sub-region Cross Border Transport Agreement on Facilitation of Border Crossing Formalities calls upon the contracting parties to progressively adopt measures to simplify and expedite border formalities by carrying out joint and simultaneous inspection of goods and people by respective competent authorities of agencies such as customs, immigration, trade, agriculture, and health. It further provides for single-stop inspection and urges the national authorities of adjacent countries to carry out joint and simultaneous inspections.
  • Harmonized operating hours: This applies particularly in the context of two neighboring country customs offices – having same opening hours across the border helps to maximize the daily throughput volumes. As the Article 8 of the World Trade Organization´s Trade Facilitation Agreement puts it, “Each Member shall, to the extent possible and practicable, cooperate on mutually agreed terms with other Members with whom it shares a common border with a view to coordinating procedures at border crossings to facilitate cross-border trade. Such cooperation and coordination may include: … alignment of working days and hours … “. In the ASEAN region, the Article 7 of the ASEAN Framework Agreement on the Facilitation of Goods in Transit urges the contracting parties to “coordinate working hours of the adjacent border posts”.

Government agencies themselves as the primary beneficiary (right sector in the diagram). The following five BAC actions can provide instant benefits for the cooperating government agencies, in terms of cost savings and improved efficiency – in other words, identifying more violations and catching more bad guys with less total spending.

  • Sharing of agency intelligence, information & data: Customs Mutual Assistance Agreements (CMAAS), signed bilaterally by Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and eight counterparties during years 1979-2010 (European Community, France, Germany, Mexico, the Netherlands, South Africa, South Korea and the United States) provide Canada with a legal basis to share customs information to prevent, investigate and combat customs offences, particularly customs fraud, and to provide reciprocal mutual assistance to ensure the proper application of customs laws. Under CMAAs Canada may share customs information pertaining to: persons, goods and means of transport; activities planned, on-going, or completed, that constitute or appear to constitute a customs offence in the territory of the country requesting the data; proven law enforcement techniques; new and emerging trends, means or methods of committing customs offences; and facilitation of risk assessment activities, within the mandate and authority of the CBSA.
  • Joint investments in common resource pools (equipment, facilities etc.): In Finland the Customs Administration and the Border Guard share common premises and equipment. Each authority has a designated role in the servicing and maintenance of the equipment. X-ray machines are largely the responsibility of Customs. Road-testing equipment, such as lorry brake-testing pads, is also maintained by Customs. All equipment can be shared and operated by each agency upon request. Thus, although the equipment belongs to one agency, it can be easily relocated to the other agency, enabling smoother processing of the workflow without unnecessary and lengthy administrative procedures, thereby reducing costs.
  • Joint teams: In the Netherlands, “HARC” – Hit and Run Cargo Rotterdam team, is a joint operation of Dutch Maritime Police, Dutch Customs, the Fiscal and Economic Crime Agency and the Ministry of Justice collaborating operationally in narcotics enforcement. Joint teams differ from Joint operations below by being a long-term / permanent set-up; while Joint operations “come and go”.
  • Joint operations: A joint operation Meerkat, (23-27 July 2012) involving the World Customs Organization and INTERPOL against the illicit trafficking of cigarettes, tobacco and alcohol in East and Southern Africa, resulted in the seizure of tons of illicitly traded products in seven countries. Operation Meerkat saw Customs and police authorities carry out some 40 raids at seaports, inland border crossing points, markets and shops in Angola, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. More than 32 million cigarettes – equivalent to 1.6 million packets, 134 tons of raw tobacco and almost 3,000 liters of alcohol were seized, resulting in national authorities initiating a number of administrative investigations into tax evasion and other potential criminal offences.
  • Collaborative criminal investigations & prosecutions: In the United States the Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) units gather officers from more than 100 different law enforcement agencies under one roof. The objective is to identify, investigate, disrupt and dismantle transnational organizations posing the greatest threat to border security, public safety and national security, by employing the full range of federal, state, local, tribal and international law enforcement resources. Over the years, the BEST has become a successful interagency law enforcement collaboration model that’s keeping the US safer.

Both supply chain companies as well as government agencies as beneficiaries (bottom sector). The five BAC actions can bring instant benefits to all parties in cross-border supply chains, in terms of lowering costs and improving performance, from supply chain company and from governmental agency perspectives.

  • ‘Single window’ -type import/ export/ transit data submissions: In the Netherlands, the authorities have designed Digipoort, the government’s ‘electronic post office’ for businesses. It provides the communication infrastructure for the exchange of digital information between companies and government authorities. Digipoort enables companies to submit import and export information at a single entry point aimed at multiple government authorities.
  • Common risk indicators, risk profiles & targeting systems: In Finland, common databases are linked to the different agencies’ operational and risk management databases, leading to a common approach when a ‘signal’ is recorded. Some control and enforcement officers have access to each other’s systems on a need-to-know basis, with levels of restricted access determined by rank and functional responsibility.
  • Mutual recognition of supply chain inspection procedures & outcomes: As part of the European Union funded research and development project FP7-CORE ( ), the phytosanitary and customs administrations in Kenya and the Netherlands are working towards mutual recognition of controls carried out by Kenyan authorities, as well as the exploitation of digital phytosanitary certificates and other trade documents, between the two countries. Outside of the research world, mutual recognitions (MR) of customs inspections are being explored in the context of EU MR Agreements, for example with Japan.
  • Cross-training and empowering manpower: In Finland, Customs officers have been trained by the Border Guard to inspect identification documents and visas, among other procedures. Border guards have, in turn, received basic Customs training, which includes the search of vehicles and the recognition of prohibited and restricted goods, such as drugs, alcohol, and counterfeit items.
  • Joint public-private partnership arrangements, training sessions etc.: In 2011 in Hong Kong, the Customs and Excise Department established a Joint Liaison Group with the representatives of shippers, freight forwarders and truck drivers for exchanging operational views and comments on the Road Cargo System “ROCARS”. Moreover, Customs also launched an extensive publicity program and established outreach teams to assist the industry stakeholders to get used to the ROCARS. Following other government departments are listed on the ROCARS web-site : Commerce and Economic Development Bureau, Census and Statistics Department, and Transport Department.

Finally, the center circle of the CBRA-BAC15 diagram highlights the basic, classical principles of trade facilitation – naturally in the context of multiple agencies dealing with cross-border regulations, procedures, IT-systems and data requirements:

  • Simplification & Harmonization: agencies work together with the first aim to streamline certification requirements and procedures, to minimize the number of data elements required from traders etc.; and the second aim to unify the rules and requirements facing supply chain companies.
  • Interoperability & Synchronization: agencies invest in improving interoperability between their inspection technologies, IT-systems etc.; they also work together to better synchronize their supervision and control processes, particularly for the benefit of supply chain companies.
  • Transparency & Predictability: agencies keep each other well informed of their current regulations, procedures, operations etc., as well as planned future changes – such proactive approach helps to minimize surprises and related hassles.

This concludes the second of three parts of our Border Agency Cooperation (BAC) blog. In Part 3 – to be published sometime in February – we focus on the overarching institutional arrangements on Border Agency Cooperation, including establishment of single border agencies (e.g. in the US and Australia); creation of one-stop border posts, OSBPs (multiple examples across the world); carrying work permanently on behalf of other agencies etc. We also plan to discuss bit more on the benefits and costs of BAC, as well as the main challenges and obstacles in BAC-projects across the globe. Talk to you again in February, Juha Hintsa.


Bibliography / sources for the examples and cases attached to the 15 BAC key actions:

  • Harmonized ´trusted trader´ & other certification programs: Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) No 889/2014 of 14 August 2014 amending Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93, as regards recognition of the common security requirements under the regulated agent and known consignor programme and the Authorised Economic Operator programme.
  • Coordinated company visits & audits: Email exchange with a Dutch Customs expert
  • Harmonized data filing arrangements: Interview with a Dutch supply chain and trade facilitation expert (29 January 2016); and AnNa Master Plan Extended Collaboration Project Book, December 2015. Available for download at:
  • Synchronized border interventions & inspections: Jain, S.R. (2012), “Coordinated Border Management: The Experience of Asia and the Pacific Region”, World Customs Journal, Vol. 6 No.1. (CBM25).
  • Harmonized operating hours: Article 8 (Border Agency Cooperation) of the WTO Agreement on Trade Facilitation of 15 July 2014; and Jain, S.R. (2012), “Coordinated Border Management: The Experience of Asia and the Pacific Region”, World Customs Journal, Vol. 6 No.1.
  • Sharing of agency intelligence, information & data: “Customs Cooperation Case Study for Canada”, paper submitted by Canada (Canada Border Services Agency – CBSA) for the July 2012 WTO Symposium on Trade Facilitation.
  • Joint investments in common resource pools (equipment, facilities etc.): “Coordinated Border Management”, WCO News, February 2015, No. 76.
  • Joint teams: “Customs find cocaine buried in cocoa bean shipment”, NL Times 25.5.2015, Available online at: (accessed 28 January 2016).
  • Joint operations: “WCO and INTERPOL joint operation against illicit trafficking in Africa leads to tobacco and alcohol seizures”, WCO Press Release, 27 August 2012. Available online at: (accessed 28 January 2016).
  • Collaborative criminal investigations & prosecutions: “Coordinated Border Management”, WCO News, February 2015, No. 76
  • ‘Single window’ –type import/ export/ transit data submissions: “Coordinated Border Management”, WCO News, February 2015, No. 76.
  • Common risk indicators, risk profiles & targeting systems: “Coordinated Border Management”, WCO News, February 2015, No. 76.
  • Mutual recognition of supply chain inspection procedures & outcomes: The Consistently Optimised REsilient ecosystem, CORE FP7 project, EU. See online at: (accessed 28 January 2016).
  • Cross-training and empowering manpower: “Coordinated Border Management”, WCO News, February 2015, No. 76.
  • Joint public-private partnership arrangements, training sessions etc.: “Road Cargo System (ROCARS) (Hong Kong China)”. Available online at: (accessed 28 January 2016).

Cooperación entre los organismos que intervienen en la frontera, Parte 2 de 3

Nuestro segundo blog sobre la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera (COIF) se enfoca en un modelo conceptual desarrollado por la CBRA. Hemos creado este diagrama “CBRA-BAC15” para visualizar una serie de acciones fundamentales de la COIF y los beneficiarios principales, con contribuciones del Dr. Toni Männistö (investigador post-doc de seguridad de la cadena de suministro en CBRA), el Sr. Gerwin Zomer (TNO, gerente técnico para el proyecto FP7-CORE) y la Sra. Susana Wong Chan (promotora de materiales de educación y entrenamiento en CBRA).


El diagrama está separado en tres sectores: en el lado izquierdo, las empresas de la cadena de suministro son los principales beneficiarios de las acciones de la COIF; en el lado derecho, las agencias gubernamentales  conforman el grupo beneficiario principal; y en la parte inferior, tanto las empresas de la cadena de suministro como las agencias gubernamentales que se benefician de las acciones del COIF. Cada uno de estos tres sectores contiene cinco ejemplos concretos de acciones de la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera – 15 en total – explicado en un momento usando ejemplos reales, siempre que estén presentes en la literatura o por recomendaciones de expertos. En el centro del diagrama yace un círculo con las “acciones inteligentes de mejoramiento transfronterizo” más genéricos, aplicables a virtualmente cualquier trabajo en facilitación del comercio global.

El diagrama no debería considerarse exhaustivo cuando se trata de todas las acciones opcionales para mejorar la COIF en algún país o región, o globalmente. Algunas de las 15 acciones fundamentales pueden estar fuertemente interconectadas, o bien, ser parcialmente coincidentes. Algunas de ellas pueden aplicarse principalmente en el ambiente de multi-agencias nacionales, y algunas de ellas principalmente en el ambiente internacional por ejemplo, el ambiente entre aduana-aduana. Además, la división de las acciones fundamentales en los tres grupos beneficiarios puede y debería ser desafiado por las audiencias interesadas. Sin embargo, empecemos ahora enumerando e ilustrando las 15 acciones fundamentales de la COIF.

Empresas de la cadena de suministro como los beneficiarios principales (sector izquierdo del diagrama). Las siguientes cinco acciones de la COIF pueden traer beneficios inmediatos a empresas operando en cadenas de suministro, en términos de ahorro de costos administrativos y aceleración de la cadena de suministro – menos trabajo lidiando con diversas certificaciones y visitas de auditoría, menos variación y costos de TI con la presentación de datos de importación/exportación y menos tiempo de espera en las fronteras.

  • Armonización de “Operador de confianza” & otros programas de certificación: en la Unión Europea, la regulación (No. 889/2014) implementada por la Comisión Europea actualiza las referencias a la legislación de seguridad de aviación vigente, incluyendo el reconocimiento del estatus del Expedidor Conocido (EC) y su relevancia para el Operador Económico Autorizado (OEA), y el enmarcamiento del alcance del reconocimiento de los requisitos comunes entre los programas respectivos.
  • Visitas de empresa & auditorías coordinadas: Estrechamente relacionado con las acciones previas de la COIF, en los Países Bajos, las Aduanas Holandesas ejecutan auditorías conjuntas sobre seguridad aduanera del OEA y expedidor conocido/agente regulado (carga aérea) con la Inmigración Holandesa y la agencia de policía aérea – durante la fase de aplicación, así como durante auditorías periódicas.
  • Armonización de los requisitos de archivamiento de datos: A pesar de la existencia de un modelo de datos global y armonizado, códigos arancelarios y estándares en procedimientos de despacho armonizados, hay muchas diferencias en las operaciones de exportación e importación, procedimientos de tránsito y requisitos de información entre países. Esto resulta en complejidad adicional en sistemas de TI para operadores del comercio global proveedores  y de servicios de logística. Un ejemplo son las declaraciones de seguridad pre-arribo, donde la armonización sería más útil por ejemplo, entre el Importer Security Filing, “10+2” en los Estados Unidos y la Declaración Sumaria de Entrada de Europa – Multiple Filing, respaldado por la Standard Trader Interface, bajo desarrollo dentro del Código de Unión Aduanera, CUA.
  • Intervenciones e inspecciones de frontera sincronizados: El artículo 4 del Acuerdo de transporte transfronterizo en la subregión del Gran Mekong sobre Facilitación de Formalidades en Pasos Fronterizos llama a las partes contratantes a adoptar progresivamente medidas para simplificar y acelerar formalidades fronterizas realizando inspecciones conjuntas y simultáneas de mercancía y de personas a través de las respectivas autoridades competentes de agencias como aduanas, migración, comercio, agricultura y salud. También provee inspecciones de una sola parada e insta a las autoridades nacionales de los países adyacentes a realizar inspecciones conjuntas y simultáneas.
  • Horas de funcionamiento armonizadas: Esto se aplica particularmente en el contexto de dos oficinas de aduanas vecinas – tener las mismas horas de apertura a lo largo de la frontera ayuda a maximizar el rendimiento diario. Como dice el Artículo 8 del Acuerdo sobre Facilitación del Comercio de la Organización Mundial del Comercio, “En la medida en que sea posible y factible, los Miembros cooperarán, en condiciones mutuamente convenidas, con otros Miembros con los que tengan una frontera común con miras a coordinar sus procedimientos en los puestos fronterizos para facilitar el comercio transfronterizo. Esa cooperación y coordinación podrá incluir: … la compatibilidad de los días y horarios de trabajo…”. En la región ASEAN, el Artículo 7 del Acuerdo Marco de la ASEAN sobre la facilitación del tránsito de mercancías insta a las partes contratantes a “coordinar las horas de funcionamiento de los pasos fronterizos adyacentes”.

Las agencias gubernamentales como los beneficiarios principales (sector derecho del diagrama). Las siguientes cinco acciones de la COIF pueden proporcionar beneficios inmediatos para las agencias gubernamentales cooperantes, en términos de ahorro de costos y eficiencia mejorada – en otras palabras, identificar más violaciones y atrapando más “tipos malos” con menos gastos.

  • Intercambio de inteligencia, información y datos de la agencia: El Acuerdo de Asistencia Mutua en materia Aduanera (AAMA), , firmado bilateralmente por el Organismo de Servicios Fronterizos de Canadá, (Canada Border Services Agency -CBSA, en inglés-) y ocho contrapartes durante los años 1979-2010 (Comunidad Europea, Francia, Alemania, México, los Países Bajos, Sudáfrica, Corea del Sur y los Estados Unidos) proporciona a Canadá un criterio legal para compartir información sobre aduanas para prevenir, investigar y combatir ofensas aduaneras, particularmente fraudes aduaneros, y proveer asistencia mutua y recíproca para asegurar la aplicación adecuada de las leyes aduaneras. Bajo los AAMA, Canadá puede compartir información aduanera acerca de: personas, mercancía y medios de transporte; actividades planeadas, en marcha, o completadas, que cometan o parezcan cometer una ofensa aduanera en el territorio del país que está solicitando los datos; técnicas probadas de aplicación de ley; nuevas tendencias, medios o métodos de cometer ofensas aduaneras; y facilitación de actividades de evaluación de riesgo, dentro del mandato y autoridad de la CBSA.
  • Inversiones conjuntas en fondos de recursos comunes (materiales, instalaciones, etc.): En Finlandia, la Administración Aduanera y la Guardia Fronteriza comparten el mismo establecimiento y equipo. Cada autoridad tiene un papel designado en el servicio y mantenimiento del equipo. Las máquinas de rayos X son más que nada la responsabilidad de Aduanas. Equipos de análisis de calles, como almohadillas para probar los frenos de los camiones, también es cuidado por Aduanas. Todo el equipo puede ser compartido y operado por cada agencia bajo petición. Pues, a pesar de que el equipo pertenezca a solo una agencia, puede ser trasladado fácilmente a la otra, permitiendo un procesamiento más fácil del flujo de trabajo sin largos e innecesarios procesos administrativos, de este modo reduciendo costos.
  • Equipos conjuntos: En los Países Bajos, “HARC” – Hit and Run Cargo Rotterdam team, es una operación conjunta en la que participan la Policía Marítima Holandesa, Aduanas Holandesas, la Agencia Económica y Fiscal de Crimen y el Ministerio de Justicia, donde todos colaboran operacionalmente en la ejecución de narcóticos. Equipos conjuntos es diferente a operaciones conjuntas, porque los equipos conjuntos son una actividad a largo plazo/permanente, mientras que las Operaciones conjuntas “vienen y van”.
  • Operaciones conjuntas: La operación conjunta Meerkat (23-27 de Julio, 2012), que involucraba a la OMA y a la Interpol contra el tráfico ilícito de cigarrillos, tabaco y alcohol en el Sur y el Este de África, resultó en el decomiso de toneladas de productos transportados ilícitamente en siete países. Operación Meerkat se aseguró de que Aduanas y las autoridades policiales realizaran 40 redadas en puertos marítimos, cruces fronterizos terrestres, mercados y tiendas en Angola, Kenia, Mozambique, Namibia, Sudáfrica, Tanzania y Zimbabue. Más de 32 millones de cigarrillos – equivalentes a 1.6 millones de paquetes – 134 toneladas de tabaco crudo y casi 3,000 litros de alcohol fueron decomisados, que resultó en autoridades nacionales iniciando un número de investigaciones administrativas sobre evasión de impuestos y otras ofensas criminales potenciales.
  • Investigaciones y persecuciones criminales colaborativas: En los Estados Unidos las unidades de la Border Enforcement Security Task Force (BEST) juntan a oficiales de más de 100 organismos de seguridad bajo un mismo techo. El objetivo es identificar, investigar, interrumpir y desmantelar organizaciones transnacionales que plantean la más grande amenaza para la seguridad fronteriza, pública y nacional, empleando el rango completo de recursos federales, estatales, locales y tribales de la ley internacional. A lo largo de los años, la BEST se ha convertido en un modelo exitoso de colaboración interinstitucional para el cumplimiento de la legislación que está manteniendo a los Estados Unidos más seguro.

Tanto las empresas de la cadena de suministro como las agencias gubernamentales se benefician (sector inferior del diagrama). Las siguientes cinco acciones de la COIF pueden traer beneficios inmediatos para todas las partes de las cadenas de suministro transfronterizas, en términos de disminución de costos y mejoramiento de desempeño, desde la perspectiva de las empresas de la cadena de suministro y de las agencias gubernamentales.

  • Presentación de datos de importación/exportación/tránsito de tipo “ventanilla única”: En los Países Bajos, las autoridades han diseñado Digipoort, la “oficina de correos” del gobierno para negocios. Este sistema proporciona la infraestructura de comunicación para el intercambio de información digital entre compañías y autoridades gubernamentales. Digipoort permite que las compañías presenten información sobre importaciones y exportaciones en un solo punto de entrada dirigido a múltiples autoridades del gobierno.
  • Indicadores de riesgo común, perfiles de riesgo & sistemas de orientación: En Finlandia, las bases de datos comunes están conectadas a las bases de datos operacionales y de gestión de riesgos de las agencias, llevando a un enfoque común cuando una ‘señal’ es grabada. Algunos oficiales de control y cumplimiento han ingresado al sistema del otro en una frecuencia de “necesidad de saber”, con niveles de acceso restringido determinados por rango y responsabilidad funcional.
  • Reconocimiento mutuo de procedimientos & resultados de inspección de la cadena de suministro: Debido a que parte de la Unión Europea fundó el proyecto de investigación y desarrollo FP7-CORE (, las administraciones fitosanitarias y aduaneras en Kenia y los Países Bajos están trabajando en controles de reconocimiento mutuo llevados a cabo por autoridades kenianas, así como la explotación de certificados digitales fitosanitarios y otros documentos sobre comercio, entre ambos países. Fuera del mundo de la investigación, reconocimientos mutuos (RM) de inspecciones aduaneras están siendo explorados en el contexto de Acuerdos de RM de la UE, por ejemplo, con Japón.
  • Capacitación recíproca y potenciación de mano de obra: En Finlandia, oficiales aduaneros han sido entrenados por la Guardia Fronteriza para inspeccionar documentos de identificación y visas, entre otros procedimientos. Los guardias fronterizos, a cambio, han recibido entrenamiento básico en Aduanas, el cual incluye la inspección de vehículos y la identificación de mercancía prohibida y restringida, como drogas, alcohol y materiales de falsificación.
  • Acuerdos asociación pública-privada, sesiones de entrenamiento, etc.: En el 2011, en Hong Kong, el Departamento de Aduanas y de Impuestos estableció un Grupo de Enlace Conjunto con los representantes de transportistas y conductores de camión para intercambiar opiniones sobre operaciones y comentarios del Road Cargo System “ROCARS”. Además, Aduanas lanzó un programa de publicidad extensivo y estableció equipos de divulgación para ayudar a los accionistas a acostumbrarse a ROCARS. Otros departamentos gubernamentales están listados en el web-site de ROCARS : Oficina de Desarrollo Económico y de Comercio, Departamento de Estadísticas y Censos, y el Departamento de Transporte.

Finalmente, el centro del círculo del diagrama CBRA-BAC15 resalta los principios básicos y clásicos de facilitación de comercio – naturalmente en el contexto de varias agencias teniendo que lidiar con regulaciones, procedimientos, sistemas de TI y requerimientos de datos transfronterizos:

  • Simplificación & Armonización: agencias trabajan juntas con el primer objetivo de racionalizar requisitos y procedimientos de certificación, para minimizar el número de elementos de datos obligatorios de parte de los comerciantes, etc.; y el segundo objetivo de unificar las reglas y requerimientos que enfrentan las empresas de la cadena de suministro.
  • Interoperabilidad & Sincronización: agencias invierten en mejorar la interoperabilidad entre sus tecnologías de inspección, sistemas de TI, etc.; también trabajan juntas para sincronizar mejor sus procesos de supervisión y control, particularmente para el beneficio de las empresas de la cadena de suministro.
  • Transparencia & Previsibilidad: agencias se mantienen bien informadas entre ellas de sus regulaciones actuales, procedimientos, operaciones, etc., así como de cambios futuros planeados – tal enfoque proactivo ayuda a minimizar sorpresas y molestias relacionadas.

Así concluye la segunda parte de tres de nuestro blog sobre la Cooperación entre los Organismos que Intervienen en la Frontera (COIF). En la parte 3 – a ser publicada posiblemente en febrero – nos enfocaremos en los arreglos institucionales dominantes sobre la COIF, incluyendo el establecimiento de agencias monofronterizas (e.g. en los EEUU y Australia); creación de puestos fronterizos de una sola parada, (one-stop border post –OSBPs, en inglés-) (múltiples ejemplos alrededor del mundo); realización de trabajo permanente de parte de otras agencias, etc. También planeamos discutir un poco más sobre los beneficios y costos de la COIF, así como los mayores desafíos y obstáculos de proyectos de COIF alrededor del globo. Hasta febrero, Juha Hintsa.


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:

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Full review: The study provides an economical model based on the game theory to estimate the optimal inspection rates in order to deter perpetrators from smuggling weapons into the U.S. The model assumes the customs or Border agency aims at minimizing the expected damages and cost of inspections while perpetrators are simultaneously trying to maximize their rewards. The used parameters are number of attackers, estimated damages, the cost of inspecting a container, the cost of a smuggling attempt, the cost of retaliation and the probability of detecting weapons. Retaliation cost describes the cost incurred e.g. due to dismantling the attacker’s network.  Cost of a smuggling attempt are the costs of acquiring, developing or manufacturing the weapons, and any logistical costs required to smuggle them into the U.S.  It is assumed the government agency announces publicly the inspection level and set of retaliation policies. Retaliation policy must pose a credible threat that means the governmental agency would retaliate even if that were not economically justified.

The study has four main limitations. First, the paper does not describe under what conditions the model works well or poorly. The quality of strategic and tactical intelligence, the efficiency of criminal investigation and prosecution processes, the extent of inter-agency cooperation and information sharing, the degree of private sector involvement and successfulness of awareness campaigns on retaliation policies are probably factors that influence on the model and its parameters. Second, the study does not provide numerical estimates to the parameters such as detection rates and cost of retaliation. Third, it is very unlikely that weapons of mass destructions are transported in containers into the U.S., what makes it difficult to assess the usefulness of the model in real life cases. Forth, costs of retaliation are not calculated and published by law enforcement agencies, thus criminals cannot make decision based on financial risks.

Despite of these limitations the CORE project can adapt the game theory and benefit from the paper. Traditionally law enforcement agencies highlight the number of seizures, arrests and successful prosecutions to measure operations and their impacts. The presented model brings two interesting components, a cost of crime attempt and a cost of retaliation. If criminal activities are financed and managed based on the same principles like legal ones, expected losses due to seizures of illicit goods or drugs are very likely calculated in the criminal business models. Consequently, making criminal business unprofitable is key to stop criminal activities. The approach enables to model the dynamic between costs and rewards from viewpoints of both law enforcement and criminal actors. In the other words, the model makes possible to study two dimensions in the Innovation Agenda, societal costs and friction costs caused by implemented security measures.

Reference: Bier, Vicki M. & Haphuriwat, N. (2011). Analytical method to identify the number of containers to inspect at U.S. ports to deter terrorist attacks. Annals of Operations Research, 187(1), 137–158.




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:

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Full review: Researchers have stressed the importance of having an organizational culture that highlights proactivity and vigilance toward supply chain security breaches. In security-focused supply chain management environment workers are empowered to detected and handle supply chain security threats without seeking formal permission from supervisors and managers. Company security strategy gives specific attention how SCS concepts are embedded into firm processes and procedures. Alignment with organizational culture and business or corporate-level strategies is believed to result in enhanced organizational performance. In addition, organization culture encompasses supply chain continuity management. The paper presents a scale for measuring supply chain security culture defined as the overall organizational philosophy that creates supply chain security as a priority among its employees through embracing and projecting norms and values to support secure activities and to be vigilant with security efforts.

The study makes possible to assess how implemented FP7-CORE security technologies, tools and practices influence on supply chain resilience based on the perception of company managers and employees. The article gives also guidelines how to develop survey forms and protocols in order to assess the influence of implemented security measures on other KPIs such as supply chain visibility and reliability. The survey tools based on perceived operational and organizational changes complete toolbox to measure impacts of introduced security interventions.

Reference: Zachary Williams, Nicole Ponder, Chad W. Autry, “Supply chain security culture: measure development and validation”, The International Journal of Logistics Management, Vol. 20 Iss: 2, pp.243 – 260




Draft SADC guidelines for Coordinated Border Management: A Practical Guide on Best Practices and Tools for Implementation, 2011 (CORE1115)

Summary: The 15 member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) are looking ways to ease the transition of their regional Free Trade Area towards a more integrated Customs Union where people and cargo would cross borders without excessive delays and administrative burden. The countries expect that the smoother cross-border traffic would contribute to the economic growth in the region. Central to the integration effort is coordinated border management, i.e., closer collaboration among various border control agencies, both nationally and internationally. The SADC guidelines provides a comprehensive catalogue and description of best practices of border agency cooperation and guidance how to implement them in the Southern-African context. Besides the guidelines, the document also features a comprehensive glossary of coordinated border management vocabulary. You can download the guidelines here: Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

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Full review: The guideline document suggests that coordinated border management depends on three levels of coordination: 1) intra-agency coordination within boundaries of one organization, 2) inter-agency cooperation between separate border control agencies or between the agencies and associated ministries and other policy-making bodies, and 3) international cooperation among border control agencies at both sides of a border or among governments at various supranational political forums.

The guideline document discusses in detail six key areas of coordinated border management. The most fundamental of the management areas is the legal and regulatory framework that defines a necessary legal basis for inter-agency and international cooperation and exchange of information. The second key management area is the institutional framework that is about governance and organizational structures underlying border control operations and high-level decision-making. The third management area concerns the procedures for cooperation at the borders. The fourth management area focuses on human resources and training, and the fifth on exchange of data, information, and intelligence. The sixth and the last management area is about providing infrastructure and equipment that supports other areas of coordinated border management.

Reference: Southern-African Development Community, 2011. “Draft SADC guidelines for Coordinated Border Management: A Practical Guide on Best Practices and Tools for Implementation”




Transit electronic platform in Central America, December 2010 (CORE2013a and 2013b)

Summary: The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) reports that more than 95% of commercial goods in the Mesoamerican region are transported overland using the Pacific Corridor. This traffic represents approximately 6 billion USD worth of goods on a highway which runs from Puebla, Mexico to Panama and crosses six national borders. The problem with the Pacific Corridor is with unreliable, inefficient and substandard infrastructure. In 2008, to upgrade the inadequate infrastructure, the IDB launched a ambitious project called International Goods in Transit. According to the report, the results of the project were outstanding: average time to cross a border was reduced from 62 minutes to eight. The project also succeeded to reduce the number of documents that traders needed to submit to border control agencies.  The two reviewed files are available for download at: Interoperability at the Border: Coordinated Border Management Best Practices & Case Studies and Automating the Control of Goods in International Transit: Implementing the TIM in Central America.

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Full review: The solution, that the International Goods in Transit project produced, is basically an electronic system for managing and controlling the movement of goods in transit. The system builds on three main pillars that unlock better services at border crossing:

  1. Process reengineering: the system harmonizes multiple paper-based declarations into an electronic document. This digital file stores all data that customs, migration, and phytosanitary agencies need.
  2. Information technology: the project created a new intranet system that features state- of-the-art risk analysis and cargo control systems.
  3. Cooperation: the project promoted cooperation within the country and between the different agencies operating at border crossings in the Mesoamerican Region.

Important lessons learned from the project include the following:

  • Political support for harmonizing regulations and processes is critical. Real and full commitment from the highest authorities in every participating country contributes to a cooperative environment based on mutual trust. In the case of this project, the IDB supported the decision of governments to include the project as one of the priorities highlighted in the Joint Declaration of Chiefs of State at the Presidential Summit of Tuxtla in 2008. The choice of the project coordinator is also critical for the success of the project. The coordinator must have good relationships with top government officials and have the support of the participating countries, and naturally of the IDB.
  • The project involved large number of stakeholders that have their unique characteristics and interests and operate within their legal remits. The IDB project was designed in a way that changes in national laws and regulations were not necessary.
  • All relevant agencies should participate in the coordination and harmonization process.
  • Information technology should be flexible and open to modifications.




Border Posts, Checkpoints, and Intra-African Trade: Challenges and Solutions. Barka, H., B., 2012 (CORE2009)


Pan-African economic integration has progressed over past years, producing a broad range of regional trade agreements and economic communities that seek to harmonise policies, develop common infrastructure and remove barriers to intra-African trade. Against expectations, however, this increased integration has not translated into strong economic growth in Africa. This article discusses how sub-Saharan countries can overcome trade barriers that undermine the African economic integration. The article’s focus is on border posts and customs procedures that play a key role in facilitating cross-border traffic.

According to the article, the problems of international trade in Africa are largely explained by inadequate infrastructure that creates congestion and limits connectivity, delays that stem from complex and manual customs procedures, corruption and by illicit trade. One-stop-border-posts are a promising approach to streamline customs procedures and curb corruption. The joint border post may bring trade facilitation benefits as significant as costly investments on roads, ports, bridges and other transport infrastructure. The articles highlights the Chirundu One-Stop Border Post between Zambia and Zimbabwe as a successful case of border agency cooperation. Previous Observatory review (CORE2008, 20 January 2016) describes the Chirundu border crossing in more detail.

The paper concludes by suggesting One-Stop-Border-Post as a promising way towards higher trade facilitation and African integration. To organise one-stop-border-post, the first thing to do is to analyse roles and procedures of different border control agencies. The task of high-level governance is to define how responsibilities across the various border control agencies are harmonised, coordinated and delegated. Metrics and statistics should underpin the design, as numerical data into traffic flows and clearance times are likely to reveal the major bottlenecks in the cross-border traffic. Finally, the article proposes extended exchange of information and data across government agencies, domestically and internationally. The article is available at

Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

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Full review

The discussion on one-stop-border-posts in the African context is closely related to the CORE project and its many work packages. Especially the WP12, the demonstrator Schipol, that deals with imports of fresh cut flowers from Kenya to the Netherlands, benefits from the insights into African bureaucratic practices at many African borders. The demonstrator should consider the set of recommendations for higher border agency cooperation that the article proposes. Besides the demonstrators, the article provides a concise and informative outlook on international in Africa. At least CORE’s WP19, should consider the African perspective on cross-border trade when developing training material.


Barka, H., B., 2012. Border Posts, Checkpoints, and Intra-African Trade: Challenges and Solutions. African Development Bank



Los puestos de control fronterizos, puestos de control y el comercio entre países africanos: retos y soluciones. Barka, H., B., 2012 (CORE2009)

Resumen: La integración económica pan-africano ha progresado en los últimos años, produciendo una amplia gama de acuerdos comerciales regionales y las comunidades económicas que buscan  armonizar las políticas, el desarrollo de infraestructura común y eliminar las barreras al comercio entre los países africanos. En contra de las expectativas, sin embargo, este aumento de la integración no se ha traducido en un fuerte crecimiento económico en África. En este artículo se analiza cómo los países del África subsahariana pueden superar las barreras comerciales que minan la integración económica africana. El enfoque del artículo está en los puestos fronterizos y los procedimientos aduaneros que juegan un papel clave en facilitar el tráfico transfronterizo.

Según el artículo, los problemas del comercio internacional en África se explican en gran medida por una infraestructura inadecuada que crea los límites de conectividad y de congestión, retrasos que se derivan de los procedimientos aduaneros complejos y manuales, la corrupción y el comercio ilícito. Puestos fronterizos de una sola parada son un enfoque prometedor para agilizar los procedimientos de aduana y poner freno a la corrupción. El puesto fronterizo conjunto puede aportar beneficios significativos de facilitación del comercio como las inversiones costosas como en carreteras, puertos, puentes y otras infraestructuras de transporte. Los artículos destacan el puesto fronterizo  Chirundu entre Zambia y Zimbabwe como un caso exitoso de cooperación agencia de fronteras. Investigación previa (CORE2008 20 de enero de 2016) describe el paso fronterizo de Chirundu con más detalle.

El documento concluye sugiriendo los puestos fronterizos de una sola parada como un camino prometedor hacia una mayor facilitación del comercio y la integración africana. Para organizar un puesto fronterizo de una sola parada, lo primero que debe hacer es analizar las funciones y procedimientos de los diferentes organismos de control fronterizo. La tarea de gobierno de alto nivel es definir cómo se armonizan, coordinan y delegan las responsabilidades en los distintos organismos de control fronterizo. Métricas y estadísticas debería ser la base del diseño, ya que los datos numéricos en los flujos de tráfico y los tiempos de despacho son propensos a revelar los principales cuellos de botella en el tráfico transfronterizo. Por último, el artículo propone un largo intercambio de información y datos a través de las agencias gubernamentales, a nivel nacional e internacional. El artículo está disponible en

Introduction to Supply Chain Management (CASSANDRA Compendium Chapter 2, CORE2007a)


The second chapter of the CASSANDRA compendium gives a general outlook on the theory and practice of modern supply chain management. Written in lay-man’s language, the text explains a broad range of strategies for managing supply chains, from lean management to agile and responsive logistics. The chapter also defines fundamental supply chain terminology and discusses current trends in the logistics, including synchromodality, use of 4PL logistics service providers, and green logistics. The chapter introduces several supply chain reference frameworks that illustrate a series of interdependent activities and stakeholders involved in the international transport of cargo. The CASSANDRA compendium is available for download here.

Review by Toni Männistö (CBRA)

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Full review

The compendium summarizes the SCOR and UN/CEFACT supply chain models, that may be the two most used logistics reference frameworks in the world. The document also discusses less known academic conceptual models that seek to simplify the complexity of supply chain management by categorizing and explaining management strategies, activities, stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities. The section on the future trends in logistics offers a great outlook on the most likely changes and driving forces in the logistics industry. The outlook suggests that for example synchromodality (increased flexibility in transport mode selection), green logistics (less emissions), use of 4PL logistics service providers (outsourced supply chain management), and continuously increasing ship and port sizes will reshape the cross-border logistics over the years. The document also explains key CASSANDRA concepts and their impacts on international supply chain management. For instance, the Data Pipeline, a pivotal CASSANDRA concept, seeks to enhance sharing of information across supply chain stakeholders, in particularly from business operators to customs and other border control authorities. Most importantly, the Data Pipeline would allow customs officers to access commercial information, that normally is exchanged only between buyers and sellers, early in the upstream supply chain at the consignment completion point (CCP). This accurate, early commercial information would enable the customs and other border control agencies to assess security and other risks of cargo early on.

All in all, the document provides a crash refresher course on basic and advanced logistics terminology that would be beneficial for many the CORE consortium, especially for those partners whose expertise is mainly outside the logistics industry. The CORE demonstrators benefit from descriptions of CASSANDRA innovations that support information exchange and improve visibility across the supply chain. The demos might choose to reuse some of these CASSANDRA innovations or their components. The CASSANDRA compendium also contains a great deal of material that could be reused for education and training purposes in CORE (WP19). Finally, the chapter concludes with recommendations that are relevant also for CORE. The chapter recommends, for example, that because of broad variety of international supply chains, CASSANDRA solutions should be adaptable for different contexts.


Hintsa, J. and Uronen, K. (Eds.) (2012), “Common assessment and analysis of risk in global supply chains “, Compendium of FP7-project CASSANDRA, Chapter 2



Introducción a la Gestión de la Cadena de Suministro (Capítulo 2 Compendio CASSANDRA, CORE2007a)


El segundo capítulo del Compendio CASSANDRA brinda una visión general sobre la teoría y práctica de la gestión moderna de la cadena de suministro. Escrito en un lenguaje común, el texto explica una amplia gama de estrategias para la gestión de cadenas de suministro, desde la gestión eficiente a la logística ágil y de rápida reacción. El capítulo también define terminología fundamental de cadena de suministro y discute las tendencias actuales en la logística, incluyendo la “sincro-modalidad”, el uso de los proveedores de servicios logísticos “4PL” (fourth-party logistics) y la logística verde. El capítulo presenta varios marcos de referencia de la cadena de suministro que ilustran una serie de actividades interdependientes y actores de interés involucrados en el transporte internacional de carga. El compendio CASSANDRA está disponible en(disponible solo en inglés).

Revisión por Toni Männistö (CBRA).

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Full review

The compendium summarizes the SCOR and UN/CEFACT supply chain models, that may be the two most used logistics reference frameworks in the world. The document also discusses less known academic conceptual models that seek to simplify the complexity of supply chain management by categorizing and explaining management strategies, activities, stakeholders and their roles and responsibilities. The section on the future trends in logistics offers a great outlook on the most likely changes and driving forces in the logistics industry. The outlook suggests that for example synchromodality (increased flexibility in transport mode selection), green logistics (less emissions), use of 4PL logistics service providers (outsourced supply chain management), and continuously increasing ship and port sizes will reshape the cross-border logistics over the years. The document also explains key CASSANDRA concepts and their impacts on international supply chain management. For instance, the Data Pipeline, a pivotal CASSANDRA concept, seeks to enhance sharing of information across supply chain stakeholders, in particularly from business operators to customs and other border control authorities. Most importantly, the Data Pipeline would allow customs officers to access commercial information, that normally is exchanged only between buyers and sellers, early in the upstream supply chain at the consignment completion point (CCP). This accurate, early commercial information would enable the customs and other border control agencies to assess security and other risks of cargo early on.

All in all, the document provides a crash refresher course on basic and advanced logistics terminology that would be beneficial for many the CORE consortium, especially for those partners whose expertise is mainly outside the logistics industry. The CORE demonstrators benefit from descriptions of CASSANDRA innovations that support information exchange and improve visibility across the supply chain. The demos might choose to reuse some of these CASSANDRA innovations or their components. The CASSANDRA compendium also contains a great deal of material that could be reused for education and training purposes in CORE (WP19). Finally, the chapter concludes with recommendations that are relevant also for CORE. The chapter recommends, for example, that because of broad variety of international supply chains, CASSANDRA solutions should be adaptable for different contexts.


Hintsa, J. and Uronen, K. (Eds.) (2012), “Common assessment and analysis of risk in global supply chains “, Compendium of FP7-project CASSANDRA, Chapter 2




Mr. Chris Thibedeau and the Barbados ESW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Interview with Dr. Vittoria Luda di Cortemiglia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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