Descartes Systems Group announced the formation of a Global Customs Filing working group by its customers to help them interpret, understand and prepare for the various existing and upcoming country-specific and international customs filing mandates across modes of transportation.

Descartes’ working groups are formed by users with common interests to standardize business processes and develop best practices.

The Global Customs Filing working group brings together members of Descartes’ European- and American-based Customs Advisory Councils, with the aim of expanding the discussion on optimal approaches to security adherence, enriching solution design, testing offering, developing industry insight into adoption and rollout, and working together with government representatives to better understand and normalize compliance requirements for smoother adoption.

The Global Customs Filing working group includes members of Descartes’ forwarder, carrier and trading customer base. This group, along with the customs brokerage community, has government-mandated responsibility for security around cross-border shipments, and are relied upon by their customers to transmit filings to ensure supply chain integrity.

A key objective of the Global Customs Filing working group is to assist Descartes in advancing its comprehensive Global Filing Portal initiative, as announced by Descartes earlier today. The Global Filing Portal initiative focuses on the design of solutions that meet compliance requirements, are commercially viable, scale a variety of IT and operational environments and provide for an effective end-user experience.

Descartes’ Global Customs Filing working group’s other objectives


  • Providing input on the interpretation and understanding of the filing mandates ruling and its impact on industry;
  • Providing insight on optimal data and multi-party workflow options between the importer/exporter, forwarder, broker, carrier, other agents and governments around the world;
  • Participating in the testing of new Descartes offerings;
  • Reviewing and guiding Descartes’ near/mid/long term product development priorities; and
  • Provide guidance on future complementary solutions or services to assist in further streamlining international trade.

“More than 30 countries have security manifest system initiatives that have or are scheduled to become effective between 2008 and 2011. This compares to only seven countries that instituted such regulations in the seven years after the tragic events of 9/11,” said Jonathan Wasserman, Senior Vice President, Global Trade and Compliance Solutions at Descartes. “We believe that organizations around the world need to work together to determine how to manage and simplify these multi-party, multi-country processes and strive to make them as standardized and as efficient as possible. This working group is a perfect forum for shippers, carriers, forwarders, customs brokers and governments around the world, to Standardize Transactions Automating Multi-Party Processes related to customs filing.”