Businesses have to deal with a wide range of issues when moving goods across national borders. These concern, for example: the collection of customs duties and taxes; licensing requirements; the enforcement of prohibitions and restrictions; veterinary and phytosanitary checks; supply chain security; the enforcement of environmental policies; and the compliance with market standards. Trade facilitation is about reducing the impact of trade and customs procedures without undermining their regulatory objectives. And, there are many good ideas about how to achieve this.

Trade facilitation ideas are often linked to best practice international recommendations and commitments. This includes the:

  • World Trade Organisation and its “Trade Facilitation Agreement”
  • World Customs Organisations and its Revised Kyoto [Customs] Agreement, the SAFE Framework of Standards, and similar instruments
  • United Nations family of organisation, especially the work of UNCTAD, ITC and CEFACT amongst others.

Often practical solutions are also developed from the bottom-up by working with the business community – for example through the agency of National Trade Faciliation Committees – to help make compliance with trade and customs procedures as easy as possible. Many of the key publications within the subject have been written by our Director Dr Andrew Grainger.

Our Company

The company is based in Nottingham, UK, but has a global footprint. We specialise within the the wider field of trade, border and customs procedures. Often we work in close collaboration with business partners and universities around the world. Much of our current activities focus on: detailed research and analysis, including economic modelling; education and training at all levels; technical and academic writing; business case development; process analysis; project implementation; reviews; and impact evaluation. Our clients include international organisations, government agencies, research institutes, and private sector companies.

Dr Andrew Grainger

Professor Dr Andrew Grainger is one of the company’s founding Directors. He started out in his profession as a freight forwarder in Germany and Southeast Asia. He then moved on to PricewaterhouseCoopers in London before joining SITPRO, the UK’s former trade facilitation agency, as the Deputy Director Trade Procedures. Upon the completion of his award-winning PhD thesis in Supply Chain Management and Trade Facilitation he accepted tenure at the University of Nottingham.

He has been serving international organisations, governments and businesses as a freelance consultant since 2006. His project portfolio ranges from bespoke research to the development and implementation of practical solutions. Andrew’s publications can been found in leading journals. A seminal book with the title “Cross-border logistics: effective trade facilitation and border management” is forthcoming. He is also an experienced educator and well-practiced at developing and delivering bespoke training solutions at all levels.

Next to his work at Trade Facilitation Consulting, Andrew has also held multiple consultancy assignments with the World Bank and the United Nations family of organisations. He holds an Honorary Associate Professorship at the University of Nottingham (UK) and an Adjunct Professorship at the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, CSU (Australia), along with visiting affiliations at numerous other universities around the world. Within the International Network of Customs Universities (INCU) he is a member of its management committee. On occasion he has also given witness to the UK Parliament’s Select Committees and provided research services to the European Parliament. Andrew is fluent in English and German.

Ms Melissa Siew

Melissa Siew is a qualified Pharmacist and holds a Master’s Degree in Classical Studies and a Bachelor’s degree in the Humanities with Creative Writing from the Open University (UK). Working with Andrew, she provides practical support in project management, event planning and logistics. She is also a gifted writer and editor. Prior to joining the company she worked as a Staff Editor for the Royal Pharmaceutical Society’s “Martindale: the complete drug reference” guide. Melissa is fluent in English and Malay.