Notable CCES Alumni
After graduating I was promoted to National Manager Border Control for the Fiji Revenue and Customs Authority (FRCA) in 1999. However I am no longer employed with FRCA and currently working as a customs expert or consultant on ad hoc basis with the Oceania Customs Organisation.
CCES studies help me today to retain a balance between academic theory and pragmatic based business decision-making. It also is a source of continued reading on contemporary issues within the field of customs and international trade.
The topics covered and perspectives gained during the course interactions have prepared me to face the day to day challenges of running a customs administration. Decisions are easier to make when you have good resources to draw from. The material collected during the course is truly invaluable and I would recommend the course to those who are seeking a solid stepping stones to higher places in customs management.
Currently I am working as a Regional Director in Bhutan, one of eight Regional Revenue & Customs Offices spread throughout the country. As the name of the office indicates, the Regional Directors are also holding the additional charges of direct taxes and revenue audit in their jurisdictional region.
My studies have given me a broad and truly global perspective on the regulation of trade by Customs and other authorities at global, multilateral, regional and national levels. The insight and understanding I gained from the time I spent studying with the CCES has benefited me in my work as an international consultant on Customs reform and modernization projects around the world as well as helping me provide more impactful export assistance to the SME’s I work with on a daily basis to either begin exporting or to expand their international sales.
Professionally, my studies with CCES enhanced my awareness of the global arena, providing a thorough understanding of the principles of international law, of the organizations that influence national governments and administrations, and of the international agreements that shape domestic law and policy in Canada. That knowledge permits me to readily discuss the basis for many trade and border programs with a broad audience, domestically and internationally.
I discovered that the discipline and focus in research that CCES provided during the course has helped more than anything else while I go about my business of consulting, teaching and training in International Trade and Customs. I was always familiar with import regulations such as product classification, trade security and rules of origin issues specifically in the US which after attending MICLA classes, I came to realize were not that much different than in other countries either. But it did give me a razor-sharp focus when speaking on these topics with my students and peers.
Currently I am the Head of Compliance and Enforcement Division, Rwanda Revenue Authority, Customs Services department. As a head of this division I oversee the Risk Management and Intelligence function, Post Clearance Audit and Enforcement of Customs arrears.
My studies with CCES have provided me with a fruitful knowledge base that is useful in my current role at the GDT. It has also provided me with a good insight into relevant areas, namely direct and indirect taxation policies and administration as well as regulatory compliance, which are directly related to my current role. As a result of my studies I am now in the habit of conducting full research on topics before presenting my reports to stakeholders. Moreover, as I studied the course online, the time I spent with CCES has further developed my self-discipline and time management skills, which are essential in professional career life.
In 2007 I started developing the concept of a seamless, web based, data ‘pipeline’ to assist in managing the international trade supply chain. My research was based initially on Customs data but I soon realised the problem was more widespread across all commercial sectors. In 2008 I applied to the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES) to study a Master in International Customs Law and Administration to give my research proposals more academic rigour and for me to learn more about commercial aspects of supply chain management.
At the time of graduation, I held the position of Comptroller of Customs and Excise of the Ministry of Finance, Trinidad and Tobago. I have since retired from that position, and have established a business: Customs and International Trade Law Consultancy Service.
I am presently National Manager Airport Operations for the Australian Customs & Border Protection Service. In this I have senior executive oversight of passenger clearance and related border protection functions at Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Darwin international airports. As a member of the Compliance & Enforcement Division Executive, I am helping shape the emerging ACBPS Strategic Border Command and the competencies needed for Border Force officers in the air domain which are central elements in the ACBPS Reform agenda.
After completing my studies I was selected by our administration to start and head up a new division in Customs Operations which deals with beleaguered industries which have been identified as priority by Government. Adhering to the Government initiative SARS have initiated engagements with relevant role players like industry bodies and associations in the various industries identified with the aim of identifying opportunities for collaboration between industries, labour and SARS.
Initially I worked for Jordan Customs, in different customs areas, from Tariff, Rules of Origin to Head of International, all this provided me with wide experience in customs matters, but it was important for me that this was recognized academically after I finished my course in International Customs Law & Administration and upon my return from leave to Jordan Customs I was promoted to Customs Colonel rank and appointed as Assistant Director of main Amman Customs Centre.
As my work tends to be in the specialist area of Customs Reform and Modernization and, increasingly, in trade facilitation the topics covered in the course genuinely helped me expand my overall background knowledge thus giving me more confidence and structure in the approach to my work. Also, in these circles, the CCES/University of Canberra Master is held in high esteem and it has brought me recognition and work opportunities at the highest level.
The units that I have followed in MICLA greatly enhanced my knowledge in the respective fields especially in the international arena thereby enabling me to apply the knowledge and skills I have gained in my day to day work. This also has enhanced more interaction with CCES and other Alumni enabling me to obtain valuable insight into the latest methods and applications in these fields in Australia and other countries.
I started my career as a Customs official straight after completing high school. I worked for the South African Revenue Services (Customs) for 21 years. During that time I was exposed to various positions within the organization and every day I experienced something new in my work. Being a Customs Officer is such a diverse, interesting and at times complicated career, but I enjoyed every minute of my work. Through a selection process, SARS offered a few of us the opportunity to enrol in the Centre for Customs & Excise Studies (CCES) study programme. It was a once in a life time opportunity, and a life changing experience for me as well as my family, since they had to support me through long hours of study and very little private time.
As Germany has already a very good education situation in the area of export control and customs the impact on my working role was not that big as it might be in other countries. For me studying with CCES gave me a deeper understanding of how the European Legislation is influenced by the International Treaties. In my daily work life the studies help me to quicker research the laws and understand the impact for my business, which I consult and to implement measures with deeper knowledge.
3 months after graduation I got promoted to become the regional head for customs and regulatory affairs for 21 countries ,so yes the impact was very positive. I live in Dubai and if anyone has plans to pass by it would be great to catch up for a drink! and maybe advise you on must see locations in Dubai or show you around if time permits.
Initially I was Manager Customs IT. Upon my return from CCES, my Director moved me to Manager Post Clearance Audit because of my Customs qualification from CCES. A couple of months later I was further relocated to Manager Border Control and Enforcement. He has further moved me to the office of the Deputy Director Customs on an acting basis while the current Deputy Director is on indefinite leave.
“I am an Australian Customs & Border Protection Supervisor (CBP L3) currently working as the national coordinator for the Infringement Notice Scheme modernisation project and as a policy writer on Compliance activities for the Australian Customs & Border Protection Service. My course of studies for the Maters of International Customs Law & Administration has enabled me to advance to my current position and expanded my horizons generally.
The course gave me with a greater / wider understanding of the strategic factors affecting Customs administrations and border management environments, from both the international and domestic perspectives and this has been really useful in my current role.
This course fitted well with my role at the Corporate Planning Division. I have gained a better understanding of issues from a wider organisational perspective. Not only has it raised my personal status, it has also given me a greater awareness and understanding of particular issues and develop new skills as well as enhance existing skills.
My time studying with the CCES, and completing the MICLA course, has manifested in a number of benefits that range from being specific to more general in nature. The specific advantages include the establishment of a sound knowledge foundation of customs’ enduring principles and common functions together with an appreciation of particular instruments necessary for effective planning, implementation of initiatives or the provision of advice. An improved capacity to navigate international law and agreements has also been highly useful in my current role.
My studies with the CCES enhanced my Customs knowledge which inevitably reflected within my work environment with many initiatives and improvements that were implemented in my administration as a direct result of my studies.
My current position, as the deputy commissioner of customs for policy and compliance, is directly related to the knowledge and skills I acquired at the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies. The program gave me a broad understanding of how customs operates as it relates to international trade. Because of my understanding of the dynamics of international customs laws and their relationship with other national and international laws, I am confidently applying some modern customs management styles that will enhance my country’s revenue generation capacity. I feel more confident discussing customs issues with my international counterparts.
Moving forward to the next level of academic qualification was always on my mind. It got even better when we became the first group from Royal Malaysian Customs Department (RMCD) to graduate with a Master of International Customs Law and Administration. CCES has indirectly assisted me in performing my duty as one of the RMCD officers that involve in tax reform in Malaysia. As a member of the GST Malaysia legislation team, the immeasurable experience and knowledge from the best lecturers and personnel of CCES has increased my level of readiness and my understanding of the aspects to be considered in reforming a taxation system.
While I was studying I was completing a period of capacity development in Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands sponsored by the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service under the Australian Government’s Foreign Aid Program.
TechAmerica is the public policy department of CompTIA, the IT industry trade association. In my current role I provide policy and regulatory guidance to technology companies in order for them to ensure compliance with global customs and export laws and regulations. I also advocate government agencies on behalf of the member companies for streamlined regulations which provide for greater transparency and trade facilitation. The MICLA curriculum assisted in providing a solid foundation of international customs laws and regulatory compliance methodologies.
I am currently in charge of Namibia Customs and Excise Capacity Building Programme with the University of Canberra/Centre for Customs and Excise Studies (CCES) and in collaboration with Charles Sturt University (CSU), This programme was initiated upon my returning home from studies in Australia, as such Namibia managed to enrol 35 staff members in the CSU: Bachelor of Border Management and the Graduate Certificate in Customs Administration. Both are online.
On returning to my Australian based position in Brisbane I was more aware of the bigger picture issues Customs is responsible for, not only regionally, but on the global Customs scene. I found myself reflecting on my learnings and how the theory could be applied to the practical environment. I soon started to think about overseas opportunities where I could apply my skills in a more decisive way and at the same time live the adventure of working overseas.
My decision to commit to four years of intensive study to achieve the CCES Double Masters was one of the most important I’ve ever made. The return on investment for the time and effort has been evident in the day to day activities I undertake as a full time Customs Consultant for Crown Agents. Whether it is delivering technical capacity building, designing training products or input into technical proposals for project tenders, I find myself continually tapping into the knowledge gained through these studies.
The successful completion of the MICLA course has assisted me to gain access to management positions in international operating companies. There is an emerging trend for international companies to establish internal customs & competency divisions to centralise control and monitoring of international commercial transactions. These internal divisions require the development of complex IT-systems and rely on advice and input from international customs specialists.
The knowledge gained through the Masters course in the CCES has significantly improved my capacity as a legal advisor in the Vietnamese customs agency. From this step, I would like to further extend my knowledge by applying a PhD course in the CCES. I have a great time studying here and hope to get fruitful results at the end.
Undertaking my master’s studies at CCES remains one of the best decisions in my career. As an aspiring customs and international trade expert, I had always wanted to be a notch higher than my peers! This meant I needed a higher qualification. When I discovered the Master of International Customs Law and Administration (MICLA) degree, I knew that I wanted to study it, and that decision would later impact positively on my career.
There is no doubt that studying the MICLA has significantly enhanced my knowledge in Customs core business. I have gained a better understanding especially with international issues that relate to Customs roles, and to see how Customs Administrations around the world serve and play their dynamic role in country development.
Having spent 25 years in the Swedish Customs administration on different positions, and the last 7 years as vice president of KGH Border Services, my decision to enrol for a Graduate Certificate as well as a Master’s degree in Customs Administration is one of the best I ever made.
My studies with CCES has tremendously impacted my working since graduating, even during graduating. I have been able to significantly contribute to my country as well as my organization because of knowledge that I learnt during Master of Customs Administration from CCES.