About the customs broker courses, profession, and studies

About the customs broker courses, profession, and studies

31 March 2021, online training courses for persons wishing to provide customs representation services are launching. About these courses, the profession of customs broker and studies in the field of customs in general, we talk to the representatives of the partners organizing the courses: Prof. Dr. Astrida Miceikiene, Chancellor of the Academy of Agriculture of Vytautas Magnus University, Akvile Alauskaitė, Head of the Study Programs of the University of Applied Social Sciences, and Enrika Naujoke, Head of the Lithuanian Customs Practitioners Association.

Whom and why would you recommend choosing the profession of customs representative (also called customs broker)?

Prof. Dr. Astrida Miceikienė: The globalization of business requires broad and diverse competencies. As a result, the customs broker profession is becoming needed increasingly in various business organizations, both exporting and importing. This profession, as a profession that provides additional opportunities, I would recommend choosing for both young people currently studying economics, business and management, even for exact science students, and people with a profession and experience who want to change their job profile and dream of new opportunities.

Akvilė Alauskaitė: This profession is suitable for those who are smart, pushing, actively pursue goals, want to improve constantly, and operate in an active community. As international trade, its legal regulation, and change of procedures are one of the most changing phenomena, the relevant knowledge provided in the courses will allow one to perform properly one's duties and perfectly meet the market needs.

Enrika Naujokė: Yes, this profession is for people who do not like monotony. I run a customs brokerage firm. Colleagues emphasize that what they like the most about work is that they face new situations, challenges and learn something new every day. This work is not just about filling in a customs declaration – it is communication with customers, customs, carriers, and other actors in the logistics chain. The legislation is also constantly evolving, and it is necessary to update knowledge regularly. I also asked the association members whom and why they would recommend this profession, and here I provide some answers.

Monika Bielskienė, lawyer, APB WALLESS: The question could not be why it is worth choosing this profession, but why it is worth completing the course. I see this as a much broader benefit, not just becoming a customs broker. In my opinion, this is great and probably the only possibility in Lithuania to get the basics of customs knowledge online in a relatively short time. This is relevant for both customs brokers and anyone working in logistics or dealing with the import and export of goods.

Milda Stravinskė, Project Manager, AB Lietuvos Paštas: The completed customs broker courses and acquired knowledge would open the door to young people with no work experience at all, who intend to work in logistics, manufacturing, or international trade companies, and possibly in the customs system. The courses would complement the knowledge and could be beneficial for teachers, lawyers, heads of companies/departments dealing with customs activities, employees, and even, for example, to persons preparing to self-declare goods sent for personal use in consignments.

As for the customs broker profession, one can highlight the growing demand for it, which is dictated by legal changes. The abolition of the EU-wide import VAT relief, which will take effect on 1 July, will bring the number of import declarations to customs to record highs. Companies transporting parcels calculate that the number of super-low value declarations in Lithuania will grow by at least 30-40%, and in some companies, they may increase up to several dozen times!

How long do the courses last, and can a person with no knowledge of customs choose them?

Enrika Naujokė: Yes, the courses can be chosen by a young person who has graduated from high school and has neither knowledge nor experience in the field of customs. Access to the video courses is granted for three months, which is enough time to calmly review all the lectures (and more than once to delve into) on the 22 topics, read the handouts, and complete the assignments and tests. In addition, course participants are provided with additional opportunities: a 3-week internship in the Customs Practitioners Association companies, consultations provided by specialists twice a month, access to the articles of the publication Customs Law for Practitioners on the Internet. Upon successful completion of all tests, a certificate of course attendance is issued, giving the right to go to the Customs Training Center to take the exam.

Another advantage is that upon completion of the courses if it is desired to deepen knowledge further and study at Vytautas Magnus University or at the University of Applied Social Sciences in related study programs, credits will be credited.

Which study programs will credits be credited to? People studying in which programs do you recommend your courses to?

Prof. Dr. Astrida Miceikienė: VMU Faculty of Bioeconomics Development, seeing great opportunities to acquire the profession of a customs broker, will offer this opportunity to students in the Bachelor's study programs in Accounting and Finance, Logistics and Trade, and Master's in Business Logistics, Agricultural Economics, Agricultural Business Management, and even Rural Development Administration. We will offer this opportunity to students of other VMU faculties as well. Each new portfolio of competencies is a new opportunity in the job market, as well as an important argument for building your own business. As partners in the courses' organization, we will look for opportunities to credit the courses taken as an optional subject of study. 

Akvilė Alauskaitė: Individuals who have completed the course will be able to choose between Transport and Logistics Business or International Trade and Customs Logistics. It will allow them to apply the acquired knowledge during their studies and learn more about the studied subjects.

Why is it vital for production, trade, and logistics companies that working in them specialists in charge of the field of customs would not only have attended the courses but also completed the relevant studies?

Akvilė Alauskaitė: Higher education studies provide general and special skills that allow you to fully prepare for the labor market and apply the acquired theoretical and practical knowledge to a specific business or public sector jobs. Persons who have completed higher education can independently organize international trade and logistics processes in the organization, know customs activities and customs procedures, are able to represent entities in the customs as required, and perform the necessary customs formalities. After graduation, SMK graduates successfully integrate into the labor market, as they not only have special skills but also an excellent demonstration of analytical, communication, legal, systemic, logical skills, and are able and know how to adapt to the ever-changing legal, political, economic and business environment.

Prof. Dr. Astrida Miceikienė: Manufacturing, trade, and logistics services are a perfect combination for business development. The VMU Academy of Agriculture mission is to train future specialists with a wide range of competencies, professionals in their field. If in the twentieth century the most significant contribution of managers was to increase the productivity of ordinary workers by 50 percent, then the biggest contribution of managers in the 21st century is to increase the knowledge and competencies of employees. Our motto is to release professionals who have acquired additional competencies and values in their field.

A profession that can predict the future is always one step ahead, properly prepared to avoid danger, and make better use of the opportunities that come with change. Thus, additional competencies help to become the creators of the future today.

Got interested? More information on the courses, and registration.