Anticipating the future of shipping: recommendations to overcome these challenges
The research team has proposed a few recommendations in order to mitigate the existing challenges in using electronic tracking device for cross-border shipping:
Advocating for global standard guidelines & procedure
International governing bodies such as WCO (World Customs Organization) or WTO (World Trade Organization) to issue clear guidelines on how to handle electronic tracking device used in international shipping. This is similar to the guidelines issued by WCO under “Customs Convention on Containers, 1972” (Container Convention) includes provision on the temporary admission of containers without the need for customs declaration. Likewise, WCO also published a set of guidelines in May 2021 on how to handle envirotainers for international vaccine transportation, these guidelines help to remove any un-necessary customs delay at the border.
Incorporating Harmonized customs procedures in regional trade agreements
Similar approach on issuing a universal operating guideline for electronic tracking device in cross-border shipping can also be accomplished via bilateral or regional FTA (Free Trade Agreement) such as RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership) or CPTPP (Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership). Governments from multiple countries come together to establish simplified customs procedures for cross-border shipment tracking will greatly enhance the efficiency of supply chain flow for specialized products.
Apply for an ATA Carnet
ATA Carnet is an international customs document that permits the tax-free and duty-free temporary export and import of goods for up to six to twelve months. Established by the International ATA Convention and controlled both by the World Customs Organization (WCO) and International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), ATA Carnet could be used to simplify international shipping with electronic tracking device. However, ATA Carnet may still encounter similar issues in import and export of the sensor when:
- The tracking device is considered as controlled item by OGA when special permit is required prior to importation.
- As there is minimum processing fee of ATA Carnet (vary in different countries), this extra charge could outweigh the cost of tracking device, making the entire service to be expensive and uncompetitive.
Apply for Advance Customs Ruling
One practical and effective recommendation to mitigate the current situation of using tracking device in cross-border shipping is to apply for Advance Customs Ruling before cargo is shipped. Customs administrations in many countries provide advance ruling services to the traders offering binding decisions by the authority on specific particulars in relation to the intended importation or exportation of goods.
Under GEODIS global trade advisory service offering, we support our customers by presenting all the relevant details and supporting documents to local Customs department during advance ruling application. Customs dept. could provide a firm and official directive on how the electronic tracking device to be handled during importation with the cargo, as well as how to handle the recycling of the device upon exportation. For all multinational companies operating in different continents, it is absolutely useful to have clarity in customs requirements and procedures before cargo being shipped so as to avoid shipment get stuck at the customs due to clearance issues of tracking sensor, as well as to ensure full regulatory compliance for their customs reporting.