UK Customs Academy

  Professor David Widdowson AM
  Dean of the UK Customs Academy

Professor David Widdowson is Chief Executive Officer of the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies at Charles Sturt University, Australia. He is the founder and president of the International Network of Customs Universities, founder and Editor-in-Chief of the World Customs Journal, a member of the World Customs Organization’s Partnership in Customs Academic Research & Development, a member of the Scientific Board for the World Customs Organization and a founding director of the Trusted Trade Alliance.

David holds a PhD in Public Sector Management and has over 40 years’ experience in international trade regulation, including 21 years with the Australian Customs Service. In 2019 he was appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to higher education in the field of international trade and customs. His research areas include Trade Facilitation, Regulatory Compliance Management, Risk Management and Supply Chain Security.

  Kevin Shakespeare FIEx
  Director of Stakeholder Engagement

Kevin has been involved in the world of trade, from a young age of just 17 working in a small business, to joining National Westminster Bank, The Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Bank, carrying out a variety of roles in senior positions covering the world of trade and dealing with businesses of all sizes.

Kevin sits on several committees and boards involved in directing the world of business, trade and education. Professional and industry qualifications have been achieved with a number of organisations including The Association of Corporate Treasurers, The Institute of Financial Services and British International Freight Association.

  Greg Weppner
  Associate Professor

Associate Professor Greg Weppner is the CCES Course Director for all border-related academic courses at Charles Sturt University including the Master of Customs Administration and the Bachelor of Border Management Degrees. Greg holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Masters of International Customs Law and Administration. He has a wide range of Customs specific skills following 37 years’ experience in Customs Service in both a regional port and central office Customs environment which included a period as Australia’s Customs Representative in Washington DC. Greg actively contributed to the revision of the Kyoto Convention as a member of the WCO working party and has represented Australia at many other meetings at the WCO and other international organizations. Greg has significant experience in anti-dumping matters including being responsible for the technical anti-dumping input to Australia’s negotiation team at the WTO Doha Round of trade negotiations. He has three times served as a WTO panellist adjudicating anti-dumping WTO disputes.

  Dr Robert Preece
  Associate Professor

Associate Professor Dr Robert Preece has over 33 years’ experience in customs and border tax revenues, with specific expertise in compliance and risk management. Rob holds a PhD in addition to Master and Bachelor qualifications. Rob spent 12 years in South East Asia, including periods embedded with World Bank and Asian Development Bank assignments inside local customs administrations. He is currently leading teams undertaking a diagnostic of the Papua New Guinea Customs Service and separately the modernisation of the Bangladesh Bonded Warehouse system. Included in Rob’s experience is 15 years with the Australian Customs Service.

  Mark Harrison
  Associate Professor

Associate Professor Mark Harrison is an experienced consultant and lecturer specialising in international customs and trade law. Mark has a Masters of International Customs Law and Administration and an Honours degree in Law from the Australian National University. Mark’s early career was in the Australian diplomatic service with postings in Moscow and Vienna. He then joined Customs and held senior positions in Passenger Processing, Anti-Dumping and Commercial Compliance. Mark has worked as a consultant on Customs matters in USA, Jordan, Dubai, Kenya, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, the Maldives, Timor Leste and Australia. He is also a specialist lecturer in International Trade Law, and has taught the subject not only in Australia but also at the East China University of Science and Technology (Shanghai), at Ningbo University in China and at Muenster University (Germany).

  Sandra Strong FIEx

Sandra has many years' experience in international trade from desk-level to becoming the corporate shipping manager for the Ferranti International Group until its break-up in 1993, when, after 2 years working for the receivers, Strong & Herd was formed. She was a graduate member of the Institute of Export & International Trade until awarded a Fellowship of the Institute in 2011 for services to UK Companies involved in all areas of international trade. She is also a Certified International Trade Advisor and a member of the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).

She has sat on the UK ICC Review Committee for the changes to the Incoterms ® 2020 rules and is active in the North West Export Hub along with HSBC, AON, Pinsent Masons, RSM Tenon, DIT and HMRC. She continues to have hands-on involvement in export and import on a daily basis. In addition, she assists companies in operating compliant Customs procedures such as IPR, OPR, End-Use (predominantly Civil Aircraft and Military), AEO application and procedures, PCC, Intrastat reporting systems, Export Control Regulations (both UK and USA, eg ITAR) and Letter of Credit procedures.

  Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is a civil servant who writes customs policy for Defence. He graduated from the Diploma in World Customs Compliance & Regulations in 2016.

Steve began working for the Ministry of Defence in 1999 as part of the Department’s transport hub and worked on numerous national and international projects, especially relating to the movement of MOD goods as freight on civilian aircraft. He specialised in customs activity in 2010 and created the Department’s first customs team, providing coherent direction within MOD and to the multitude of freight agents importing and exporting on behalf of Defence in the UK.

In 2014, Steve transferred to MOD’s Head Office and forged close relationships with HMRC and other Government Departments to develop a Defence interpretation of Customs legislation and publishes internal customs policy on a regular basis.

Steve has provided specialist customs advice on various MOD acquisition and deployment projects involving some of the biggest, most valuable and important assets in MOD’s inventory.

  Jon Walden

Jon Walden is Principal Consultant in Customs and Trade Facilitation at Crown Agents, with over 30 years’ experience in international trade including sales, freight forwarding, marketing, finance and compliance roles. He provides technical consultancy, training inputs and advisory services in international contracting, international supply chain, WTO/WCO systems and requirements, international trade procedures, shipping / freight procedures, trade facilitation, supply chain security, warehousing, trade finance, export strategy and promotion and customs reform and modernisation projects.

Jon is an accredited trainer to the public sector, trade associations and private companies in these areas, and considered a thought leader in global customs, transport, logistics and trade facilitation issues. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Export and International Trade and of the Institute of Freight Professionals, and sits on the Roster of Experts for ICC, UNCEFACT and UNCTAD. He also serves as a facilitator to the Commonwealth Secretariat on Export Competitiveness (in developed and developing countries) and is a regular speaker at high-profile conferences including the Africa Cashew Alliance, Borderless Alliance, PMAESA and Intermodal Africa, and has addressed the Kenya Trade Facilitation Committee. Jon was guest speaker at the 2016 Zimtrade export competitiveness conference in Harare.

He was the Customs and trade procedures expert on USAID’s NEXTT (Nigeria) project and also carried out a World Trade Organisation Trade Facilitation Agreement assessment in Cambodia. He has developed an export procedures, export finance, and competitiveness programme for EBRD aimed at capacity enhancement for SMEs, delivered in Ukraine, Belarus, Moldova and Romania. Jon has provided technical inputs on projects funded by DFID, USAID, AfDB, EBRD, EU, DIT, JICA, Commonwealth Secretariat,. AsDB and FCO in East Africa, West Africa, Southern Africa, Middle East, ASEAN Region, Central Asia, Eastern Europe and Western Europe.

  Brent Juratowitch

Mr Brent Juratowitch is a Senior Lecturer and responsible for all accredited and non-accredited vocational education and training programs at CCES. He is also the principal assessor for the Advanced Diploma of International Business Management which includes modules on international trade terms, trade law, market development, business strategy development and implementation. Brent holds a Bachelor of Economics, a Masters of Business Administration, a Graduate Certificate in Customs Administration and a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. He has over 36 years’ experience in international trade both in the public and private sectors, including 25 years with the Australian Trade Commission (Austrade) including a period as Australia’s Commercial Consul and Trade Commissioner in Osaka, Japan. Included in Brent’s experience is leading teams undertaking trade facilitation and customs modernisation projects in South East Asia, Central Asia and the Pacific.

  Shane Davie

Mr Shane Davie has over 37 years of experience working in Customs. He holds a Bachelor of Business degree and a Master of International Customs Law and Administration. Shane’s various roles include regulatory compliance and the control, movement, risk management, examination, clearance and revenue aspects of cargo. He is currently a subject convener and senior lecturer for the undergraduate and post graduate Customs and Border Protection degree courses at Charles Sturt University. Shane has also facilitated the Customs International Executive Management Program and the Pacific Customs Management Program on behalf of the Australian Customs Service, and has delivered vocational training courses in Thailand, Jordan, Indonesia and the Maldives. From 2014 to 2017 Shane was part of the team that conducted a diagnostic analysis of the Solomon Islands Customs capacity and capability and assisted management to establish strategic change agenda. Shane has also participated in projects related to the introduction of a national single window in Laos and Sri Lanka.

  Jenny Robinson

Ms Jenny Robinson has extensive experience across all areas of customs and border management from a policy, legislative, interdepartmental coordination and operational perspective. Jenny holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma of Teaching. She has represented the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service at numerous international fora, including in the Pacific. In 2015, Jenny led the CCES team that completed the World Bank Country Assessment and Diagnostic for Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea on the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement.

  David Hesketh

David Hesketh is an educator and innovator in the world of customs and trade. He has wide-ranging experience in UK and international Customs, including Customs training, European Union projects and WCO Capacity Building. After 42 years’ service he retired from HM Revenue and Customs in May 2017 as Head of Customs Research and Development.

David has extensive international experience having worked with a wide range of organisations including HM Customs and Excise, HM Revenue and Customs, the World Customs Organisation, the International Monetary Fund, Caribbean Customs Law Enforcement Council, UNCTAD, UN CEFACT and the Department for International Development.

From 2005 to 2008 he worked in the private sector as Revenue Business Development Director with Crown Agents and from 2016 to 2018 for British Maritime Technology as UK Work Package Leader in the EU funded CORE Project and for Uniserve Group in the Supply Chain Academy.

He is an Adjunct Lecturer for the Centre for Customs and Excise Studies, Charles Sturt University, Australia researching and delivering on-line courses on Supply Chain Management, Supply Chain Security, Customs Duty Reliefs and European Customs Legislation.

Since 2016 he has worked with KGH on the ECLAT training programme, UCC Navigator and various Brexit initiatives and since 2017 in Hesketh Consultancy Ltd, Five Lanes Consultancy Ltd and Warrant Group providing education and innovation services to a range of customers.

David holds a master’s degree in International Customs Law and Administration.

  Benedicte Meille

Since 2000, Bénédicte Meille has been actively involved in Customs training & capacity building (CB). From 2000 to 2016, she has been working for the World Customs Organization (WCO) on Human Resource Development (HRD), Customs & Modernization and CB programs.

She has managed, participated to develop the current WCO Human Resource Management (HRM) and Human Resource Development (HRD) strategy, setting up standards, guidelines and tools for Customs competencies, Customs career pathing, distance and collaborative learning and development, and accreditation of Customs trainers.

She has been instrumental in the adoption of WCO competency-based experiential learning and development strategy for the international Customs community.

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