International Network of Customs Universities

— Promoting the Academic Standing of the Customs Profession —

In loving memory of David Hesketh

Today we commemorate the life of David Hesketh, a dear colleague and friend of the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES) and the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU).

Sadly, having lost his brave battle with cancer, David will be laid to rest today.

Having obtained his Master in International Customs Law and Administration and the CCES medal for excellence, David was appointed as a member of the INCU Advisory Board and an Adjunct Lecturer at Charles Sturt University where he researched, developed and delivered courses on Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Security, Customs Duty Reliefs and the European Union Customs Code.

David was a highly regarded customs expert with extensive international experience, having worked with a wide range of organisations including HM Revenue and Customs (where he worked for 42 years), the World Customs Organization, International Monetary Fund, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, UK Department for International Development, and Crown Agents.

Since 2007 David had been pioneering the data pipeline concept for end-to-end supply chain visibility. His data pipeline innovation concepts are now coming to fruition following his work in three EU funded projects: Integrity; Cassandra; and CORE, and the UK Border Strategy for 2025 includes data pipelines as key elements of a trade single window.

David will be greatly missed by all his customs colleagues and friends.

Rest in peace David.

Professor David Widdowson
President, INCU
22 November 2021

INCU Seminar Series

The INCU is pleased to announce the launch of new online seminar series called “INCU in conversation with”. These seminars series focus on various current and fundamental customs topics and will feature prominent guest speakers. The seminars typically run for 60 minutes including presentation and discussion with the audience and are open to INCU members free of charge. The following seminars have been held to date:

  • In Conversation with Dominik Schnichels, Director of Customs Directorate of TAXUD – “Current developments in the European Customs Union.”
  • In Conversation with Valentina Ferraro & Maka Khvedelidze, WCO – “Performance measurement in Customs and key performance indicators (KPIs).”
  • In Conversation with Virginie Bohl, Coordinator of IMPACCT Working Group – “Customs and Its Role in Disaster Relief Operations. IMPACCT Activities and How to Lend Input.”
  • In Conversation with Steven Pope, DPDHL  – “GoTrade: Why private sector companies might want to invest in developing trade and customs capacity?”
  • In Conversation with Poul Hansen, UNCTAD – “Do National Trade Facilitation Committees work?”

The following future seminars have been arranged so far and additional seminars are being planned:

  • 24 Feb 2022, 10:00am CET – In Conversation with Sue Probert, Chair UNCEFACT – “Why are standards so important for facilitating trade and customs?”
  • 24 Mar 2022, 10:00am CET – In Conversation with Mohammad Saeed, International Trade Centre – “Are the needs of SME businesses well enough articulated in trade and customs policy?”
  • 28 Apr 2022, 10:00 CET – In Conversation with Richard Morton, Secretary-General, IPCSA & Uwe Liebschner, Chairman of IPCSA Customs Committee – “Latest developments in Port Community Systems and issues relevant to Customs.”

INCU members receive invitations and registration details by email. In case of questions, please contact our Membership Affairs Officer, Ms Henrike Lobeck (

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