Tony Kerr’s experience covers the full range of customs and international trade issues, ranging from import and export procedures, customs valuation, preferential and non-preferential country-of-origin rules, the use of duty reliefs, tariff classification, customs warehousing, free trade zones, excise taxes, Incoterms, import and export licensing, import and export systems, full customs compliance reviews, and customs and trade due diligence. He has extensive practical and technical knowledge of customs legislation in China and in other countries across Asia.
He has been working as a Customs and International Trade Consultant in Asia since late 1996, prior to which he held a number of key positions within the New Zealand Customs Service for 22 Years. He has assisted clients with projects in China, Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Japan, Taiwan and Singapore, and has resided in Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and China during his years in Asia.
Tony works with clients to ensure that their systems for the import and export of goods are fully compliant with requirements of customs and other cross border agencies. This has included reviews of third parties being used by his clients to support their imports or other trading activities – an area of great exposure for some clients. He also assists clients from an indirect tax perspective (related party transactions) on tax planning. His strategies have resulted in substantial duty, VAT and GST savings for his clients.
He reviews transactional and logistics flows to ensure that the client is gaining maximum benefit from the various trade agreements and in-country investment incentives.
He assists clients in undertaking customs and trade due diligence, an area often overlooked when a company is expanding its operations through the establishment of a joint venture or through investment in a new company. Early identification of customs and trade issues, which often do not surface until the acquisition is long concluded, has provided clients with the early opportunity to discuss these issues and make more informed decisions on their acquisitions.
Tony applies a holistic approach to global customs compliance and global supply chain security (AEO & C-TPAT) education. He works with his teams to create and deliver simple, comprehensive compliance processes, which add value by delivering savings and mitigating risk in supply and value chains and customs areas (classification, valuation, origin, and trade agreements). While he has played a key role in the management of advocacy on behalf of his clients, Tony also provides a positive focus on areas where a business can gain opportunity and facilitation to give it a competitive edge whilst still being fully compliant with its legislative requirements.
He has played key roles in customs advocacy matters in China, Singapore, and the Philippines, assisting clients to minimise the impact of customs penalties and other revenue.