The importance of lifelong learning

Arne Mielken discusses the necessity of ‘staying ahead of the game’ by keeping up-to-date with the ever-evolving global laws in customs and trade

The importance of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning in customs, export controls and sanctions is absolutely crucial. During 2023, we witnessed a plethora of new developments in our industry.

These included the Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM); the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP); the UK Government’s Border Target Operating Model (BTOM), along with numerous export controls and customs updates in the United States.

These additional and updated rules illustrate the need to maintain lifelong learning. It is so important to stay informed. This will prevent you from falling foul of the rules, as well as helping companies to identify new opportunities. With every piece of new legislation, it is vital to understand compliance.

Another advantage of lifelong learning is the chance to learn or refine new skills. In today’s rapidly evolving international trade landscape, compliance expertise is more important than ever. To excel in your job, it is advisable to enhance your education by acquiring greater knowledge.

Yet it takes dedication to fully get to grips with the ever-evolving rules of export controls and sanctions. And the only way to achieve this is by embracing the need for continuous learning and personal growth.

Among the topics studied by import or export professionals, are: Customs Tariff and Determining Commodity Codes; Becoming An Authorised Economic Operator (AEO); CBAM and Practical Implementation in Companies; SPS Rules and Veterinary Border Controls; Customs Valuation; Customs Declaration Service (CDS) For Exports; Customs Procedures & Documentation; Export Controls; US Export Controls

There are several options for those keen to remain updated regarding new rules and regulations.

Firstly, invest in ongoing training and education; Read relevant law journals and federal registers; Take the time to browse through government websites; Subscribe to relevant newsletters, and checkout podcasts and blogs. You can follow influential people on social media too, although any of the above suggestions can be time-consuming in the extreme.

There are platforms that provide weekly compilations of updates, so you never miss out on important information. These external service providers will collect this information and distribute it to interested parties.


Remaining up-to-date with the latest trends and developments – in customs, export controls and sanctions – is essential in today’s rapidly changing global business landscape. 

To stay ahead of the game, it is crucial for business leaders, customs agents, trade managers, and import/export professionals, to continuously learn and adapt. This helps to maintain a competitive edge and ensure compliance with trade regulations. 

To ensure your business stays competitive and compliant, it is important to educate customs professionals within your company. Today’s fast-paced corporate world requires customs professionals to retain their competitive advantage by keeping up to date with trends and advances.

It is crucial to monitor any changes in the laws, guidance and policies which may impact your company. Ultimately, this will save you money, while ensuring compliance with the law.

Arne Mielken
Arne Mielken

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