10 key facts on the digitization of customs clearance

What is the status of customs clearance digitization at most companies? What are their priorities? What benefits will digitization bring and where do problems lie? The Global Trade Management Study 2018 from AEB and DHBW has your answers. Here are the 10 top findings from our survey.

of companies give a high priority to digitization of customs clearance, 40% at least a medium priority. Those are important numbers because customs is competing with sales, procurement and production for scarce digitization resources. In terms of management, the digitization priority is even higher after the growth of global trade disputes.

Is management helping?
Thirty-five percent of customs professionals say they slowed down in digitization by their own management team. They complain the lack of support from the boardroom is a big challenge.

Customs jobs safe for now.
30% of companies expect digitization of their customs clearance work to reduce staff costs by at least 10%. But only 6% of companies want to reduce staff. It's about coping with the growing need for highly skilled workers.

75% see centralization as the main effect
The vast majority of companies say centralization will be the biggest impact of digitization to customs processes. That is especially true for larger companies, where customs work is spread over many locations.

Export is digitization leader
30% of respondents think digitization of customs clearance in exports to be "very important" and 62% say the same for export control. Companies with digitization experience are also prioritizing digitization projects in origin and preferences as well as classification and tariffing.

Digitization know-how is in short supply
36% of companies consider a lack of digitization know-how in their own company as a major obstacle on the way to digital customs clearance.

30% of the companies are beginners!

Those companies have no experience at all digitization projects in customs. And only 35% have implemented at least one digitization project. The rest are in project planning or have realized a project.

Make more use of free trade agreements
What if there was a tariff reduction but nobody used it? Unimaginable? Yes, but many companies do not take advantage of their tariff opportunities due to the complex burden of proof - leaving competitive advantages on the table. This will happen more rarely in the future. 38% of companies want to make greater use of free trade agreements over the next three years, using IT.

58% want to invest in customs IT
Over the next three years, nearly 60% of respondents in customs are planning to implement new IT solutions or upgrade their legacy software

Most companies are ready
Despite all the obstacles, nearly 69% of companies are well or even very well prepared for the challenges of digitization. The pessimists are in the minority with 31%.

Study: Clear the track for Digital Customs Management

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Global Trade Management Study 2018

Digitize successfully with AEB software

Many companies have already digitized their customs clearance proceses - or are well on their way. With innovative software from AEB, we have you covered on everything from import and export processing to automated classification and preference calculation. Here's what you need: