Managing Trade Custom Matters For Your Business

Programme Code: CRS-N-0049046


Managing Your International Trade Strategy & Operations to Achieve Import Duty Savings, Business Efficiencies & Compliance

At the recent Singapore Budget 2019, Singapore’s Finance Minister aptly described Singapore’s continuous drive to be as “Asia 101 for global multinational companies (MNCs) looking to expand into Asia’s growing markets and as “Global 101 for Asian companies ready to go global”. This is all the more critical now given the current uncertain international trade climate. The US-China trade war, Brexit and a wider call for increased trade protectionism from various countries, industries and people are putting pressure on the rules-based international trade order that Singapore and other like-minded countries have thrived under for the last few decades.

Whether for Small Medium Enterprises (SMEs) or regional headquarters of MNCs based in Singapore, internationalisation of businesses to overseas markets is likely now prioritised as the next stage of business growth or an inevitable strategy to preserving businesses’ competitiveness and survival. Yet managing international trade and customs issues are often overlooked by businesses as potential showstoppers or enablers to overseas business operations. For both MNCs and SMEs alike, entering into new overseas markets and managing in these markets require a deep set of knowledge, know-hows and more importantly practical experiences to navigate through the various complexities of international trade and customs rules. Effective management of international trade and customs matters can lead to businesses achieving import duty savings, business efficiencies and yet be compliant in a sustainable manner.

An essential area to achieve import duty savings for businesses’ imports is through use of free trade agreements (FTAs) to achieve preferential import duty rates for imports from FTA signatory countries. The benefits extend to other aspects as well such as removal of non-tariff barriers for overseas markets etc. There are over 300 existing FTAs in the world such as the ASEAN Free Trade Area, ASEAN-China FTA, the Comprehensive & Progressive Trans -Pacific Partnership (CP-TPP) which businesses can explore utilising based on their global value chain set-ups. Businesses that strategically utilise FTAs can achieve significant import duty savings and hence gain price competitiveness for their imports over their competitors. The FTA rules are however typically cited by the business community as challenging to understand with its myriad of qualifying rules and compliance requirements, let alone practically apply them in their unique business set-ups.

With actual first-hand knowledge and experiences on the ground in managing international trade and customs matters, our expert trainers with rich industry practitioner and consulting backgrounds will share with participants an introductory overview of the various international trade and customs concepts with a basic focus on the strategic use of FTAs. More importantly, practical business insights to international trade set-ups, along with the multiple touchpoints of the international trade function with other business functions such as Tax, Procurement, Legal, Supply Chain etc. will also be shared to empower participants to provide value-add to their businesses as they internationalise! 

Next Course Starts On13 May 2019 (Mon) See Full Schedule
Fee SGD2140.00* (as low as SGD242.00* after maximum funding) Learn more

2 days



Programme Partner

AC Trade Advisory provides practical, holistic and sustainable advice and solutions to international Trade & Customs matters faced by their clients, with a strong focus on Asia.

Their team of International Trade & Customs practitioners have a wealth of experience, having worked in multinational corporations and reputable professional services firms with international portfolios.

With their first-hand knowledge of the dynamic International Trade & Customs landscape, practical know-hows and collaborative working experiences with other functions within companies such as tax, legal and supply chain, they are truly well-placed to understand their clients’ Trade & Customs needs and provide real value add to their clients’ business.

Learning Objectives

The course will take a practical business centric perspective to empower participants in:

  • Appreciating the international trade megatrends e.g. Increased trade protectionism, proliferation of free trade agreements, China Belt-And-Road Initiatives etc. and how they might impact their businesses
  • Appreciating the trade and customs environments of various countries in Asia such as China, Thailand, India, Indonesia, Vietnam etc.
  • Understanding the fundamentals of international trade concepts such as Customs Harmonised System classification of goods, country of origin, customs valuation etc. and the role of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and World Customs Organisation (WCO) play
  • Use of Free trade agreements as a competitive advantage for your businesses
  • Developing critical thinking to manage the multiple touchpoints of international trade function with other business functions such as Tax and Supply Chain and practical considerations to manage for optimal business operations
  • Walking through of actual case studies when businesses internationalise


Day 1: Fundamentals and trends of International Trade and Customs
1.   The current international trade megatrends with an Asian focus
2.   Tour of the international trade and customs landscapes of the various countries in Asia
3.   The US-china trade war and the impact on businesses
4.   Elements of International trade and customs and what to look out for during cross border trade which include:
      4.1 Customs HS Classification
      4.2 Country of origin
      4.3 Customs valuation
      4.4 Customs Audits
5.   Role of World Trade Organisation, World Customs Organisation and their practical impact on businesses
6.   Walkthrough of actual case studies of how businesses manage their international trade & customs strategies & operations  

Day 2: Using Free Trade Agreements to achieve import duty savings for your business, Issues and Case Studies
7.   Typical set-up and structure of a Free Trade Agreement
8.   Awareness of its underlying concepts in a practical business context
9.   Practical use of FTAs by businesses to achieve import duty savings from ex-industry practitioners’ perspectives
10. Strategic use of ASEAN Free Trade Area for your business internationalisation plan
11. Business issues and challenges when using free trade agreements
12. Use of tools and resources for the businesses to kick start or enhance FTA implementation programs
13. Practical insights to dealing with Customs Audits
14. Walkthrough of actual case studies and test

What is the teaching pedagogy?
The teaching approach will be practical with insights, actual industry experiences from ex-industry practitioners supported by case studies. The seminar is aimed to be interactive as well to further facilitate and enhance learning from participants.  The teaching materials will be provided to the participants in softcopy.

What will you learn?
Upon completion of this programme, the participants should have a sound basic understanding of the key elements of international trade and customs.  Participants should be able to apply these basic rules, ask the right questions and identify the right business considerations when they are internationalizing their business. Based on the fundamentals of international trade and customs, participants will be in a better position to appreciate and be aware of how free trade agreements work in typical business set-ups and how to strategically use them to achieve import duty savings.


Who Should Attend

  • For C-Suites, executives and professionals that are interested to make practical sense of the technical jargons of international trade, customs and free trade agreements in their respective business contexts when internationalising their business for cross-border movement of goods.

Fees and Funding

SkillsFuture Series 

Course fee grant at 70% of course fees (excluding GST) for participants who are successfully enrolled by SMU into approved courses under the Programme. Participants must be Singapore Citizens or Singapore Permanent Residents.

SkillsFuture Mid-Career Enhanced Subsidy ("MCES")
Up to 90% of course fees for Singapore Citizens aged 40 years and above

Enhanced Training Support for SMEs ("ETSS")
Up to 90% of course fees for employees of SMEs who are Singapore Citizens or Permanent Residents

Workfare Training Support Scheme ("WTS")
Up to 95% of course fees for Singapore Citizens aged 35 years and above (13 years and above for persons with disabilities) earning a monthly income of not more than S$2,000.

SkillsFuture Credit
Singapore Citizens aged 25 and above, and self-funding may use their SkillsFuture Credit (up to S$500) to defray part of the course fee. Please click User Guide on how to submit your claim. SkillsFuture Credit claims may be submitted by logging in via

Absentee Payroll
Companies who sponsor their employees for the course may apply for Absentee Payroll via the SkillsConnect system. For more information, please visit SkillsConnect.

Full Fee: S$2,140 per participant (including GST)

Nett fee payable after SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) Funding for Individuals:

  • S$642 (including GST) for Singapore Citizens and Singapore Permanent Residents
  • S$242 (including GST) for Singapore Citizens aged 40 years and above


Start Date(s)
Intake Information

13 - 14 May 2019 (Open for registration)

Speaker/Trainer Bio

Angelia Chew, Founder & Managing Partner of AC Trade Advisory

  • Currently advises companies on international trade and customs matters such as free trade agreement analysis and management of customs compliance programs, with focus in Asia in a practical manner
  • Extensive practical industry experiences spanning over 20 years as global trade compliance leader with Philips Electronics and Asia Pacific regional trade compliance function with Cisco and Sony
  • Achieve millions of import duty savings in her ex-industry practitioner roles through development of in-house FTA implementation programs together with various stakeholders
  • Previously led the Asia Pacific International Trade and Customs consulting practice at KPMG
  • Currently elected as the Vice-President of CAPTCIS (Centre of Asia Pacific Trade Compliance & Information Security), an NGO promoting trade compliance best practices in the Asia Pacific region


Eugene Jang, Co-Founder & Partner of AC Trade Advisory

  • Currently advises companies on international trade and customs matters, with focus on Asia in achieving cost savings, operational efficiencies and trade compliance for them
  • Ex-consultant with PwC and KPMG Asia Pacific international trade and customs consulting practices for more than a decade, where he managed diverse industry portfolios across Asia
  • Has advised companies across various industries in Asia to assess business cases in using free trade agreements, developing standard operating procedures and manuals for various stakeholders and customised FTA trainings
  • Went on extended industry secondment stints with 2 different US MNCs in high technology sector, where he was responsible for their APAC regional trade and customs compliance function
  • Ex-APAC trade compliance practitioner with Philips Lighting (now known as Signify)


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