The World Customs Organization (WCO) recently declared the coming year 2017 to be the year of Data Analysis.
The WCO points out in particular that customs authorities worldwide should increasingly use the substantial amount of customs data at its disposal in order to undertake their control activities even more effectively and reveal gaps. This should be strengthened by the WCO’s initiative using various tools, studies and guidance.
Increased retroactive post-checks based on comprehensive data analyses and comparisons (so-called mirror analysis) are an international trend, which is being felt also in Switzerland and the EU. Customs checks are today moving away from individual checks of specific customs declarations to systematic reviews of customs data available in the IT systems of customs authorities (and in part also of other authorities). In this way risk profiles can be drawn up in order to capture more exactly future imports and exports. But it is also possible to trigger targeted retroactive audits and in this way additional claims can be raised and revenue generated.
Such comprehensive customs checks for past years (in some cases up to 5 years) confront companies with several challenges. Particularly in the area of imports the documents and information are often very widespread and in some cases also filed incompletely or simply cannot be found at short notice. In addition, Swiss companies concentrate primarily on sales / export and tend to lose sight of purchases and the associated import processing.
Whereby from the perspective of the company it is important to be at least on the same level as the customs authorities, in order to be able to survive customs checks as far as possible unscathed and without significant administrative expense.
Are you ready for this in your company?
If you have to answer the following questions (and this is only a selection) with No or „Don’t know“, there is a need for urgent action:
- Are you aware how much customs duty you pay annually (Switzerland / in other countries)?
- Do you know where your import customs documents are filed and are they checked as to their content?
- Where would a letter from the customs authorities land in your company internally?
- Do you have cost transparency over your purchased products and does your purchasing department know exactly what costs are incurred on purchases abroad?
We are pleased to support you and your company in answering these and similar questions, so that you obtain an improved overview of the customs treatment and are armed for possible customs audits.