Cost and Time Savings from Improved Declaring Agent Governance Framework

With existing requirements repackaged in an easy-to-understand framework, companies are able to focus on more important aspects of trade.

In 2013, Singapore Customs introduced the Declaring Agent (DA) Governance Framework to raise overall proficiency and professionalism of the DAs and declarants.

The framework drives the DA industry to improve their internal control procedures and processes, and encourages the keeping of good compliance records. By doing so, quicker processing and clearance of legitimate trade goods by government agencies may be possible through more efficient and effective risk-profiling – a result of reliable and correct trade data.

The pros do not stop here. Companies reported that the framework has also raised their staff productivity, assisted in more effective deployments and upped their competitiveness in the industry.

Three industry players share their stories.


Since information on the DA Governance Framework is made available online, CrimsonLogic staff have been able to receive first-hand information. This eliminates doubt when we seek clarification. Also, with the details in the DA Governance Framework, customers are more aware of the conditions they and the DA have to fulfil, to ensure there are no penalties involved should there be an error in information.

We truly recommend the use of the framework to importers and exporters in the event that they are seeking for more information. They need only to rely on the Internet for clarification. It helps us to save precious time and money.

    Mdm Fauziah Binte Abdul Rahim,
Senior Executive, CrimsonLogic

There is now a common standard of knowledge and proficiency to which all service providers must adhere. This sets an industry benchmark ensuring that declarants have the necessary skills to perform their functions and levels the playing field. We now have a reference point that we can meet and exceed as we train our staff.

In a tight and high-cost labour market, it is critical that we seek every opportunity to increase productivity. The new framework has enabled us to do this by combining the standards set out in the framework with our own declarant training programme. We have been able to create greater mobility within our workforce, and redeploy our team members more dynamically when the need arises.

We had previously found it much more challenging to cater to variations in volume with particular customers. With the new framework in place, all of our 60-plus declarants are trained to a minimum standard and can be more readily deployed at shorter notice.

    Mr Neil Johnson, Director, TNETS    

One of our responsibilities is to do the right declaration for our many varied customers, who range from our regulars to one-time, walk-in customers. The wide range of goods being imported and exported also poses a great challenge for us.

The framework helps us to focus on the important and necessary aspects of our trade. One of the main advantages is the reduction in bureaucracy. It is important for us to do what is necessary and that is to carry on with our business, with as little disruption as possible from the governing authorities.

With this framework, it helps us to ensure that we are doing as much as we can to comply. This releases us to do what is important, and that is to serve our customers.

    Ms Ng Bee Hong, Director, Traderspermits    


Ffind out more about the Declaring Agent Governance Framework at Singapore Customs website.
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