Knowledge management: interesting practices from brokers - our article in WCO News


Knowledge is a customs broker’s most strategic asset. Customs brokers and Customs administrations share many challenges when it comes to collecting and sharing knowledge. This article introduces some of the practices used in this domain by brokers based in Lithuania.

To ensure the smooth cross-border movement of goods, Customs professionals need to understand the specifics of the supply chains they manage and the many actors involved, have an overview of the latest developments in the trade landscape, and maintain a high level of knowledge of Customs and trade-related regulations in the countries and regions they cover.

When doing so, they are faced with many challenges. The international supply chain is a complex environment for knowledge management, as it brings together multiple private and public entities which have no ownership relationship or hierarchy between them, and have competing policies and missions as well as different resources. It is also a moving environment, where regulations and procedures change and new ones – including a growing number of non-Customs regulations – emerge on a regular basis.

In such a context, it is not hard to understand why companies often entrust their Customs and trade formalities to Customs brokers. In many countries, the latter play a key role as intermediaries between Customs and business; for example, more than 80% of import and export declarations in Lithuania and Bulgaria are lodged by brokers. The brokers’ role is diverse. As explained in the WCO Study Report on Customs Brokers, “there is a wide range of models among countries regarding the use of Customs brokers. The function of a Customs broker also varies greatly, from the preparation of documents related to release and clearance, to the payment of duties and taxes, to providing assistance in post clearance audits, to representing clients in dispute resolutions, and to providing advice/consultancy services to traders aimed at helping them to meet various regulatory requirements”.

Continue reading the article Knowledge management: interesting practices from brokers by Enrika Naujokė, published in WCO News Issue No. 100.