Risk management in customs procedures

In an effort to achieve an appropriate balance between trade facilitation and regulatory control, customs administrations are generally abandoning their traditional, routine “gateway” checks and are now applying the principles of risk management with varying degrees of sophistication and success.

Organizational risk refers to the possible events and activities that may prevent an organization from achieving its objectives. Customs risks include the potential for noncompliance with the customs laws as well as the potential failure to facilitate international trade. Customs, like any other organization, needs to manage its risks and do so while interfering as little as possible with the flow of legitimate trade. There clearly is a trade-off between control and trade facilitation. Too much of one makes it difficult to achieve the other. Customs therefore needs to apply a set of management procedures that takes this into account. These procedures include the identification, analysis, evaluation, and mitigation of the risks that may affect the achievement of these objectives.

Basic risk management has always been fundamental to customs operations, and has guided the formulation of anti-smuggling policies, the functioning of border controls, to verify the movements of goods and passengers, and the establishment of documentary controls and physical inspection procedures. However, in recent times the increasing complexity, speed, and volume of international trade, fueled by technological advances that have revolutionized global trading practices, have significantly affected the way in which customs authorities implement risk management. This has led many customs administrations to adopt a more disciplined and structured approach to managing risk.

Customs needs to evaluate the risks that are presented by the nature of its operations. This includes the need for the Customs to review its operational procedures and assess where breaches of procedures are likely to jeopardize the attainment of stated objectives. In other words, Customs needs to provide a risk map that identifies the potential vulnerabilities of its processes and to determine how its procedures may need to be geared toward ensuring better realization of its objectives.

(From: Customs modernization handbook)

Text comprehension

Why are customs administrations abandoning traditional checks and applying risk management?

2.  What does organizational risk refer to?

3.  What do customs risks include?

4.  Does Customs need to manage its risks?

5. Why should there be a trade-off between control and trade facilitation?

6. What risk management procedures does Customs need to apply?

7. Why has basic risk management always been fundamental to customs operations?

8. What has led many customs administrations to adopt a more structured approach to managing risk?

9. How can Customs evaluate the risks that are presented by the nature of its operations?

10. Why does Customs need to provide a risk map?


Vocabulary and grammar acquisition

Read the words paying attention to the pronunciation of the bold-typed letters. Consult a dictionary if necessary.

Achieve, regulatory, control, abandoning, routine, varying, sophistication, refers, events, potential, noncompliance, laws, failure, while, interfering, flow, identification, mitigation, basic, fundamental, guided, formulation, functioning, verify, documentary, physical, increasing, complexity, fueled, technological, advances, revolutionized, practices, authorities, disciplined, structured, review, breaches, vulnerabilities, determine, geared, toward, ensuring.

2. Practise reading the words with two identical consonant  letters, normally pronounced in English as one sound. Find one exception.

Effort, appropriate, generally, applying, success, possible, trade-off, difficult, well, little, account,affect, anti-smuggling, passengers,approach, assess, attainment, processes, better.

d g j

3. Find in the text the words containing the sound / dz / expressed with the help of the letters d, g, or j. Write down the words in the corresponding columns of the table.


4. Practice reading the words with the consonant clusters:

 a) gu-: guarantee, guard, guardian,  guerilla,  guess, guided, guild, guinea,  guitar, guy;

b) qu-: qualify, quality, qualitative, quantify, quantity, quantitative, quarrel, quarter, quantum, quid, quit;

c)  fill in and name the missing letters in the following words:

 gu_ s_, gu_ _ty; qu_ t_, qu_ _n, qu_ _k, qu_ _tion.

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