Brexit is the largest change in the field of Customs in our lifetime. I don’t think that anybody really knew what it would mean to exit a Customs Union. In fact, we are still finding out.One thing is certain though, it is not possible to leave a Customs Union and its Customs territory and still stay in. 

Now we also know the date for this change. Brexit will happen on 29 March 2019 at 23h00.

When you leave a Customs territory there will be a border and Customs requirements and border formalities will have to be handled. Also meaning that there have to be Customs declarations for all goods passing the border in both directions. This will be the case for the Northern Ireland-republic of Ireland border as well as for the channel tunnel, the airfreight and the sea border.

Sometimes people mix up the Customs territory with the single market, the different agreements and the security zone. However it is not complicated at all, there will be a new Customs border between EU and UK.

The number of Customs declarations will increase tremendously, both in UK and in EU. UK is a major trade partner for all EU countries. Some people in media have concentrated on what tariffs will be in place, which depends on political negotiations and what trade policy/free trade agreements UK will have over time. It will take time. However regardless of the tariffs and trade affairs, the Customs model and border solution will have to be in place. Information must be collected, analyzed and processed, for a number of good and necessary reasons. There need to be identification at the borders, on borders today lacking the sufficient infrastructure to do so. There are a number of other complications, like the fact that all goods going from the Republic of Ireland to EU and the other way around, will likely have to pass UK – a third country – and thus need a transit regime. Both UK and EU companies will have to learn a new Customs legislation of UK, when that is ready and implemented. In addition, there are thousands of UK and EU companies that today only trade with clients within EU and now, if they want to keep those trade relations will have to learn not only one Customs legislation and procedure, but two.     

So Houston we have a problem, or really London-Brussels we have a problem.

The good news is that there is hope. I am convinced that is possible to solve this challenge in a positive way. I believe that we should use already existing international standards, existing best global practices (upgrade by five times) and the state-of-the-art technology on the top to re-invent the border concept to Border 2.0. When having the largest Customs change in history ahead of us, we also have the opportunity of a lifetime to make the necessary change of how we do business. There are existing Customs models that integrated and upgraded can do the job. This is what the international customs community has prepared for and we have the tools to make it work. If there is political will to do so.

How can it be done? I have three words for you. Read. This. Blog.

I will over the next year publish a series of articles about how the Brexit challenge can be solved but also how the Brexit can become the bridge to the future of Customs.

For all EU companies that trade with UK or UK companies that trade with EU I have only one advice. Do not wait to see what happens. Do your own internal Brexit analysis now. There are many experts that can help you. We have a Brexit package that diagnose your company, analyze your Brexit situation, detect gaps and presents a way forward. If you want to know more, please contact me on   


Since a few years a group of futurist are looking at the potential next megatrends for the future. Already a few years ago American scientists published a report entitled “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds.” Sincevthen the researchers have continued their work and these are some of  the conclusions so far. 

The studies of our future are full of both grim predictions and hopeful insights about the world that humans will inhabit within the next two decades. As an example, the researchers predicts and suggests that our demand for food will rise by 35% and water by 40% during the next 20 years. 
For now the scientists outline four mega-trends that are poised to create the greatest impact in the years to come in society, healthcare, government, and resources. 

Definition Megatrend

An important shift in the progress of a society or of any other particular field or activity; any major movement. 

Oxford Dictionary

Here’s what we can expect.

Individual empowerment

Over the next 15 to 20 years, continued giving from groups like the World Health Organization and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will lift millions of people out of poverty, the report found, to the extent that the majority of the world’s population will no longer be impoverished.
This new wealth will produce millions more empowered individuals that will have the means to add to local and national economies.
The report hedged slightly, however, because more empowered people will also have greater access to lethal weapons and networks, which is “a capability formerly the monopoly of states.”
Diffusion of power

Developing countries in Asia will become more prominent world powers compared to North American and European nations.
“China alone will probably have the largest economy, surpassing that of the United States a few years before 2030,” the report explained. “In a tectonic shift, the health of the global economy increasingly will be linked to how well the developing world does — more so than the traditional West.”
In other words, having the most money or people won’t necessarily keep a country powerful if others are more adept at staying connected to data and resources.

Demographic patterns
A combination of widespread aging, falling fertility, and urbanization will lead to a dramatically different world in 2030.
With an expected 8.3 billion people, human civilization will be both older and much more focused on city life. Our infrastructure may improve, but our level of innovation and output will slow down without younger workers.

“Aging countries will face an uphill battle in maintaining their living standards,” the report stated.
It’s entirely possible, however, that within the next several decades, humanity will generate more urban construction than it has in the rest of its history.
Growing demand for food, water, and energy

A growing middle class and gains in empowerment will lead the demand for food to rise by 35%, water by 40%, and energy by 50%, government research suggested.
Regions with extreme weather patterns — like rain-soaked Singapore or muggy Mumbai — will get more extreme due to the effects of climate change. Dry areas such as northern Africa and the US Southwest will feel the effects of diminished precipitation especially hard.
We will still have enough resources to avoid energy scarcity by 2030; however, whether those resources include fracking or renewable forms like solar and wind is yet to be seen.
Source: WEF

Recently we launched KGH’s new online flagship program, European Customs Law Accredited Training Program (ECLAT), the most inclusive, innovative training program of its kind.ECLAT facilitates your development of a fully skilled workforce that meets the EU’s Competence Framework, UCC Competence demands and Authorized Economic Operator requirements mitigating the risk of non-compliance. Also, it serves as an ideal platform for an individual’s personal development by helping them to perform their work more effectively and to maximize their employment potential.

I have been working for decades in capacity building, competence development and professionalism of Customs and I am extremely proud that we now can provide this revolutionary online instrument for the millions of people involved in import to and export from the worlds’ largest market. We can now provide this innovative platform supported by world class tutors (including the architects behind the UCC) on a screen on your desk. Welcome to explore ECLAT. You will not be disappointed.