"Downsizing" and "delayering" in the 1980's and 1990's coincided with dramatic reductions in tariffs such that few companies now can justify the cost of in-house expertise in Customs and Trade Law beyond that necessary for clearing imports and exports through Customs.
With globalisation, forwarding agents are now more often asked to handle transactions which are complex and involve a greater knowledge of Customs Law than they can bring to bear in the time available. Some 60% of cases brought against companies are due to errors by forwarders, yet the company directors are liable.
Many changes to Customs systems are in the offing. Disputes over the adequacy of import/export systems give rise to many disputes with Customs and costly amendments. Companies may need advice and support in the choice of in-house v. out-house solutions, distributed v. centralised systems.
If there is a problem or a new market opportunity, there is no "Corporate memory" to help decision-making e.g. where to site the European distribution function, what systems are needed, what Customs and Trade approvals are needed.
Thus few companies use their rights of appeal against decisions of local officers or can judge the gravity of the issue.