Three INCU Institutions Cooperate in a Research Project

Researchers from three INCU institutions are cooperating in the research project on Review of ‘Accredited Operator’ Schemes. The project is being led by the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES), Charles Sturt University, Australia (represented by Professor David Widdowson and Dr Mikhail Kashubsky with support from the Trusted Trade Institute Ltd in the US (represented by Mr Bryce Blegen) and the Nottingham University Business School in the UK (represented by Dr Andrew Grainger).

The project has been funded through the Australian International Trade and Transport Industry Development Fund (AITTIDF), the objectives of which are to promote, support, advance and enhance projects that facilitate Australia’s international trade with its trading partners, and that encourage more efficient international supply chain solutions.  Project funding has been supported by the Customs Brokers and Forwarders Council of Australia Inc. (CBFCA), the Export Council of Australia (ECA), the Australian Federation of International Forwarders (AFIF), the Conference of Asia Pacific Express Carriers (CAPEC) and Shipping Australia Limited (SAL).

The purpose of the project is to develop an Australian international trade and transport industry position for presentation to Australian Government on the various forms of AO schemes that are in place, under development, or being considered by Australian agencies. This includes recommendations on how such schemes should be progressed in order to guard against any possible erosion of the industry’s competitive position in the global marketplace.  In particular, the research seeks to identify options for maximising the relevance of such schemes, minimising compliance costs and ensuring that the Australian international trade and transport industry is able to compete on an equal footing with its overseas competitors, particularly when exporting to countries that have similar arrangements in place.  In doing so, the project has focused on whole-of-government solutions for a whole-of-industry outcome.

As part of the project, researchers Mr Bryce Blegen (Trusted Trade Institute Ltd, USA) and Dr Andrew Grainger (Nottingham University, UK) visited Australia to undertake research activities including industry focus group sessions, interviews with Australian exporters and importers, and meetings with representatives of government agencies.

The project is currently in its final stages of completion with a final report expected to go public in March-April 2014. The researchers would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated in this study and assisted the researchers including representatives of Australian international trade and transport industry, representatives of various Australian government agencies, representatives of international organisations including the WCO, as well as alumni who participated in the online survey.