Associate Customs Consultant
This role involves an accelerated path of learning and development to enable you to take on increasing responsibility as part of the company’s Customs Consultancy team, whose work includes: Customs Compliance Audit, Authorised Economic Operator Certification, Customs Permits and Routines, Classification, Origin and Free Trade, Investigations, BREXIT Package, Union Customs Code Diagnostics and Support. This includes, but is not limited to:
- Going into companies to understand the movement of imported/exported goods.
- Identifying and confirming the most appropriate tariff classifications.
- Checking compliance with customs processes/tax.
- Liaising with HMRC.
- Making appropriate recommendations.
All of this helps to reduce risk and improve operational efficiency and profitability.
While you will occasionally attend meetings with executives, your day-to-day interaction will be with people at middle management and team member level. Approximately 60% of the work is estimated to be on clients’ sites; this will be mainly be in the UK but will include Europe and therefore you will need to be comfortable, willing and able to spend a reasonably high proportion of time travelling and away from home. This will usually be 2-3 days per week, and occasionally 1 week, with the contract of employment allowing deployment for up to 1 month in exceptional circumstances.
This is an exciting role as a facilitator of desired/required change that is of importance to the business community. There is a great deal of freedom and the opportunity to grow with the company, which would include the mentoring and development of others coming into the company to fulfil similar roles.
We require the following qualifications, expertise and abilities:
- GCSEs in English and Maths.
- Educated to degree level.
- Competent in the use of Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
- Good standard of spoken and written English.
- The ability to structure a letter/email/recommendation.
- The confidence to pick up the phone and engage in conversation.
- The ability to present a reasoned argument.
- Awareness of what’s socially and commercially acceptable in terms of appearance and behaviour.
- Driving licence with less than 6 points.
- Must comply with our zero-tolerance drug policy.
- Somebody who is a ‘good fit’ for this role will possess the following personal characteristics:
- Independent by nature and self-managed.
- A reasonably broad comfort zone - keen, willing and able to travel for work.
- Strong work ethic.
- Good communication and human relations skills, both verbal and written. This includes patience, discretion, respect, showing genuine interest, and being comfortable with different people and situations.
- Suited to a repetitive, evaluative process where attention to detail is important. This includes being inquisitive, applying common sense and being persistent.
- Curious to delve below the surface to reveal or get to the bottom of any issues.
- Facilitator of change with the approach of ‘How are we/you going to fix it?’
Key Areas of Responsibility
- Information Gathering, Recording and Evaluating
- Preparing and Submitting Recommendations
- HMRC Liaison/Negotiation
- Instigation and Audit
- Customer Service/Retention
1. Information Gathering, Recording and Evaluating
- Arranging visits to clients/prospects at mutually convenient times and in the context of any sense of urgency and/or required timescale.
- Interviewing all stakeholders in the processes due to be reviewed and make records.
- Producing a flowchart of the customs processes for clarity and reference.
- Systematically discussing information on customs-affected products and processes.
- Determining and evidencing the correct interpretation and application of current legislation to the processes being reviewed.
- Making checks as to whether the products/processes are sound/compliant and if there is the need or opportunity to improve.
- Preparing and submitting applications for customs permits, tax rulings, repayment claims and voluntary disclosures of tax underpayments as required.
- You will demonstrate a high degree of understanding of the requirements of international trade following training/mentoring provided by the company and your own research/study.
2. Preparing and Submitting Recommendations
- Verifying with the client that information on which your recommendations are made is accurate.
- Discussing (and ideally agreeing on) draft recommendations with prospects/clients prior to preparing reports/recommendations so there are no surprises and there is greater buy-in to any subsequent required action.
- Preparing concise, well-structured reports and recommendations within 7 days (or earlier as required) according to company guidelines and based on the information gathering, recording and evaluating.
- Ensuring that recommendations are reasonably argued and respected by the client, even if not subsequently adopted.
- Ensuring that prospects are clear as to the potential consequences/benefits associated with accepting your recommendations, or not as the case may be.
3. HMRC Liaison/Negotiation
- Establishing a respectful and co-operative working relationship with HMRC.
- Ensuring that any work completed in relation to any applications for customs permits, tax rulings, repayment claims and voluntary disclosures can be relied upon as an accurate representation of the situation and facts.
- Submitting and managing applications for customs permits, tax rulings, repayment claims and voluntary disclosures according to company guidelines.
- Keeping clients fully informed during the process.
4. Implementation and Audit
- Providing assistance with the implementation of any new processes when required.
- Carrying out appropriate audit checks to help ensure that what’s supposed to be happening is actually happening and, if not, why not and what action should and will be taking when and by whom; and subsequently confirming this in writing with all stakeholders.
- Providing support to help ensure that the processes are robust and sustainable (especially when you are not overseeing or checking them).
5. Client Service/Retention
- Noting and discussing opportunities for additional sales with the Account Manager.
- Ensuring that clients feel we are adding value to our business, appreciate how and why our service/solutions are better/different than our competitors and feel we are nice people to talk to and do business with.
- Showing a genuine interest in the people we deal with and their business.
- Anticipating/knowing impending changes to the person/company we are dealing with and agreeing on appropriate actions to secure the relationship.
- Accurately and fully updating the TOJ system on a daily basis with activities and notes.
- Submitting the completed weekly TOJ report to the company’s nominated manager by 12.00 pm the following Monday.
- Submitting accurate expense claims and supporting receipts in the required manner and to the required person by the 1st working day of each month.
- Providing help to the accounts team on chasing the occasional payment if and when required.
- Consistently demonstrating a strong work ethic in working hours, whether working on or off site.
- Capturing, storing, protecting and using prospect/client information according to GDPR guidelines.
- Maintaining a smart, professional appearance at all times in situations where a prospect/client may see us. This includes but is not limited to your car, any cases/bags/files taken to meetings etc.
- Conducting yourself in a courteous and professional manner at all times, particularly on social media.
- All team members are aware of their shared responsibility for health and safety and comply according to company guidelines. In particular, special care is taken on clients’ sites to comply with their health and safety policies and procedures.
- Recognising and accepting that everyone who works with the company is part of an interdependent team that relies on and supports each other when needed if we are to achieve our corporate, team and individual goals.
- We are a new and rapidly evolving part of the global company. On occasion, understanding is expected when things do not progress as anticipated.