Customs & Global Trade Management


Customs & Global Trade Management

The pressure on customs and trade compliance functions has never been higher. Increased regulations, market volatility and an ever-shifting economic and political landscape (Brexit, the signing of new Free Trade Agreements and America’s protectionist policies) compel companies to adapt.

Deloitte is ideally equipped to address these global trade developments, as we deploy the following:

Deloitte’s team includes lawyers, former government officials and professionals across the industry spectrum. Our combined regulatory and practical expertise covers the Swiss, EU and global markets allowing us to seamlessly serve clients with both localised and cross-regional needs. We deliver in-depth customs advice adapted to each jurisdiction our clients operate in, and assist them in navigating regulatory fluctuations.

Additionally, Deloitte’s extensive pool of subject matter experts is placed at our client’s disposal. Our colleagues have a deep understanding of industry, supply-chain and technology, which makes them uniquely placed to accompany clients across the length of complex implementation cycles for new global trade systems (be it SAP GTS or S/4 HANA International Trade).

Together we provide the right mix of capabilities and we are confident that we can answer your needs, no matter how complex they may seem.

Explore our solutions below:

While Global businesses may have a well-structured, compliant and efficient customs infrastructure within their company, the need for ad-hoc advice related to customs and global trade often still arises. As global companies deal with different customs administrations and their respective customs legislation, ever-changing supply chain structures and the possibility of broad ranges of products can result in ad-hoc customs issues that require swift solutions.

Examples of such scenarios may occur, for example, when:

  • businesses introduce new products (possibly in a new region),
  • companies want to apply for a customs authorisation,
  • companies are subjected to a customs query / audit by the customs administration,
  • firms are faced with Brexit-like preparations, orenterprises undergo mergers and acquisitions

Deloitte's customs and global trade specialists can assist businesses with their ad-hoc questions (not limited to the support listed below) and liaising with customs authorities.

Support clients engaging / liaising with customs administration
  • Support clients with ruling applications
  • Support clients with government audits
  • Support clients with Customs Administration litigation
Merger and acquisition (M&A)
  • Conduct global customs compliance pre- and post-merger/acquisition and due diligence checks
  • Provide support with post-merger / acquisition disclosures and remediation activities
  • Provide post-merger / acquisition integration support
  • Focus on M&A processes, people and technology
  • Provide support with drafting and implementing merger and demerger target operating models
Product-related Customs advice
  • Customs valuation of goods: assisting clients determining the correct customs methodologies and / or values
  • Origin management (preferential and non-preferential origin)
  • Export controls
Brexit support
  • Review of third party / customs broker agreements
  • Support in applying for customs authorisations / EORI numbers etc.
Compliance and optimisation
  • Customs compliance risk review
  • Customs health / maturity check of the organisation
  • Supply chain / network optimisations
  • Customs & Excise training
  • Training materials

Success story: Global trade organisation set-up as a result of a carve-out

The client sold one of its largest divisions and subsequently requested support with the operationalisation of its newly established entities belonging to the carved-out division globally. The demerger had global implications. Deloitte supported the client with the design and implementation of all customs-relatedcarve-out activities in all countries (65+), and aimed to ensure a seamless transition towards the new operating model with minimal disturbances in the clients’ trade operations.

Further, Deloitte assisted the client with the development of a target operating model (TOM) for the future trade organisation of the demerged division. This enabled the client to restructure in a more efficient manner, to streamline and improve processes where necessary, and to create an independent, functioning and trade-compliant organisation.

Finally, Deloitte assisted the new entities with their “go-live” and ensured that all critical trade processes were functioning as expected and service-provision to the end client was unaffected by the switch. Deloitte is also expected to assist with the roll-out of the new target operating model on a global and country level (i.e. implementation of systems and processes etc.).

The increasing digitalisation of trade compliance and customs functions requires businesses to manage and report their activities electronically. Real time assessments performed by customs authorities, as well as internal controls have become the norm in countries the world over, Switzerland being one of the pioneers in Western Europe.

Deloitte specialists develop customs and global trade automation tools that can identify simplification and efficiency-increasing opportunities, analyse data and manage risks and costs associated with customs processes. Deloitte offers both self-developed and SAP-certified solutions.

Starting with an analysis of the company’s supply chain processes and continuing with a solution / system comparison, the Deloitte team proposes the most suitable strategy for a company’s foreign trade processes.

SAP-certified Solutions
  • SAP GTS implementation
  • Compliance Management (embargo, SPL, license control)
  • Customs management (e-filing and broker)
  • Preference management (EU and CH FTAs)
  • Intrastat
  • S/4HANA International Trade implementation
Self-developed Solutions
  • Automated export / import declarations through RPA (Robotics Process Automation)
  • Automated product classification through AI (Artificial Intelligence) & RPA

Success story in the luxury goods industry – Switzerland

As a result of system changes undertaken by customs authorities (support for SISA software was discontinued) and due to a lack of internal / centralised customs repository across countries and brands, a decision was made to implement SAP GTS, with the aim of covering customs and trade preference functionalities for the client.

The value delivered through a five year implementation project across the globe (Switzerland and APAC) consisted of cost savings in the customs and trade preference area, through increased automation and control over the different steps along the process.

The client was very satisfied with the work delivered, and requested Deloitte’s support for further roll-outs as well as for production activities.

Industry specific requirements are becoming increasingly demanding in the customs management landscape, with authorities imposing heightened controls (in the form of licenses or documentary / reporting requirements). 

Traditional automation solutions, such as SAP GTS, (Global Trade Services) used to cover approximately 80% of a company’s processes as standard (best-case scenario), as they would be industry agnostic.

With the tendency of the remaining 20% to increase annually, due to regulatory requirements, at Deloitte we developed industry-customised solutions, as an add-on to SAP GTS. 

  • Export restitution cockpit (food)
  • CITES license management & reporting (luxury goods/fashion)
  • Miscellaneous shipment portal (pharma)
  • EH&S – SAP GTS integration (chemicals)

Success story in the consumer goods (food) industry - Switzerland

An S/4HANA green implementation dictated a closer to standard solution for customs & global trade, thus leading to the introduction of SAP GTS 11.0.

The value delivered through a three year implementation project across different Swiss plants consisted of the full automation of:

  • compliance checks (SPL, embargo and license)
  • products’ preferential origin calculation (Swiss Free Trade Agreements)
  • customs processes (export e-filing, inward / outward processing)
  • export restitution calculation

The restitution functionality was rendered possible through the implementation of the custom-built restitution cockpit that fully met the clients’ needs (master-data maintenance, calculation and forms).

The client saved costs in such a way that remaining manual activities could be centralised in a Shared Service Center, acting across business units. Traceability and full transparency of all implemented functions (particularly for inward / outward processing and export restitution) was ensured at all times, thus providing increased regulatory compliance.

A common issue in the global trade area is the difficulty to gain complete insights into duty costs and savings potential. As such, most companies find it challenging to manage their flows of goods from procurement to distribution in the most cost effective manner.

Some of the reasons leading to this lack of transparency are the complexity of the supply chain processes and the use of third parties.

Companies frequently use third parties (i.e. customs agents or logistics service providers) to file their customs declarations. In this set-up, trade information is not directly transferred by the company themselves to Customs Authorities. Therefore, the third party often holds the customs declarations and related information, resulting in a scattered trade-related knowledge trail. 

Deloitte has created several analytics solutions allowing companies to gain more insights and cut down their duty expenditure.

Preference Management
  • Free Trade Agreement sourcing simulation
  • Free Trade Agreement distribution simulation
Customs Management
  • What-if scenarios
  • Broker performance analysis

Success story in the consumer goods (food) industry - Switzerland

Our client, a Swiss multinational, was aiming to gain more transparency on their actual customs duty spend on a global, regional and local level.

The Deloitte team consisting of IT, SAP BW and Tax experts developed an innovative solution that completes the missing data elements from the third party providers and is able to calculate customs duties based on master-data and transactional data elements. The results are kept in clear graphs, summarised in a dashboard and can be downloaded in an Excel format if necessary.

The solution was beneficial to the client from two perspectives:

  1. it enabled the consideration of customs duties in the calculation of the total cost of products and,
  2. it led to savings through the identification of alternative sourcing countries.

Sanctions are non-punitive but restrictive measures aimed to curb malign behaviour internationally. Sanctions may target states, entities, organisations or individuals. In broad terms, they address nationals of the issuing state, and business done within the state’s territory and jurisdiction. The UN, the EU, and individual nation-states such as the US, or Switzerland publish their own sanctions regulations and targeted lists of individuals.

Is your sanctions compliance framework currently addressing the needs and risks of your business?

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Find out more about our sanctions risk management services


Hevin Demir

Hevin Demir


Hevin is leading the Global Trade Advisory Practice at Deloitte Switzerland. She has a legal background (attorney at law) and has worked as a customs- and trade compliance specialist on both sides, in... More

Nima Biglari

Nima Biglari


Nima is an experienced Manager leading the SAP Global Trade Services (GTS) offering at Deloitte Switzerland. He has many years of experience in SAP implementation projects in a wide range of industrie... More

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