A few years ago, a three day session on customs compliance, export control, trade sanctions and risk management may have not been all that appealing... Trump tariffs, Brexit, a global pandemic and unfortunately the ongoing war in Ukraine has changed how all of us approach international trade.

This is why we have put together this expert course of 6 different sessions over 3 days, which is designed to provide you with practical insights on how to navigate today's trade environment. 

We know that these uncertain times have brought a lot of doubt when it comes to your supply chain and that any inefficiency, inaccuracy or missed optimization opportunities will increase your cost and ultimately impact your business and bottom line.

It is widely reported and known by all that today's supply of goods is not only slower but also much more expensive.

  • How will you respond?
  • What could be the impact of doing business in embargoed countries?
  • What happens if you're doing business with black listed countries of companies?

Our experts will walk you through the fundamentals of subjects such as export control in order to provide you with first hand knowledge into the intricacies of dealing with risk management. They will also bring forth the true benefits of programs such as AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) which allows trusted traders to have a privileged relationship with global customs authorities.  

It goes without saying that all of these themes will be discussed in the context of today's global economy, meaning that we will account for how e-commerce has impacted trade and customs compliance. As you are aware, e-commerce has led to a major increase in valuation issues and more particularly undervaluation.

With its centralized position in the EU, Belgium, has become a real e-commerce hub and has led to a heavy increase of customs audits particularity as it pertains to undervaluation issues... meaning potential heavy fines and criminal prosecution... 

Of course, next to e-commerce, we will also look to assess how the ongoing war will impact trade for years to come and provide you insights in terms of best practices on how to manage and mitigate such risks. 

Target audience

This advanced module can be taken by participants who have already passed the basic programme or can prove that they have obtained an equivalent degree of experience.

Course information

This module consists of three days of classes on 22, 23 and 25 April 2024:
9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. and 1.45 p.m. - 4.45 p.m.

All classes are taught in English and involve a high degree of interaction. 

All classes are offered online and are recorded as well. Participants can listen to the recordings afterwards in preparation for the exam.

In online settings: a minimum individual attendance rate of at least 75% was achieved (digital in real time) and a maximum of 25% participation in delayed relays (force majeure situations included)

In a physical setting: a minimum individual attendance rate of at least 75% was achieved (force majeure situations included);

Participation in the exam is only possible after meeting the minimum attendance requirement.


The exam will take place on the Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.

Foreign participants are offered the opportunity to take the exam from a distance.

Competence level

This advanced module is designed to ensure participants achieve an advanced level of competence (Level 3 of the EU Customs Competency Framework).

Course materials

Digital course materials are provided (e.g. PowerPoints, court bundles (legal doctrine, case law)). These digital course materials will be made available through the university’s electronic learning environment.


Online or physically on the Stadscampus. The format (digital of physically) will be reported later. 

The exam will take place on the Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.

Tuition fee

The price depends on the format (physical or digital) in which the lessons will be given.

  • online: EUR 1325 (covers registration, study material and exam).
  • physically: EUR 1535 (covers registration, study material, exam, catering and lunch). 


Electronically only through this webpage.​

The registration fee is paid within 30 days of receipt of the debit note to KBC account number BE91 7360 6389 5176 of Nexus, CST-UAntwerp, Venusstraat 23, 2000 Antwerp. Each application/registration is binding and cannot be cancelled. Replacement by a colleague is possible with simple written notification to the organizers.

The prices stated are prices exclusive of VAT (Exemption VAT due to article 44 §2 4°), because Nexus/ATA is a non-taxable legal person in the current state of the legislation. The legislator can change this and Nexus/ATA therefore reserves the right to charge this VAT in case the legislator decides to do so.

Nexus is recognised as a training provider in the SME Portfolio (KMO portefeuille) system. Using this system could enable participants to save up to 30% of the registration fee. SME Portfolio applications must be submitted no later than 14 days after the course start date. The participant undertakes to respect the rules set out by the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The accreditation number for Nexus Antwerp’s SME portfolio is DV.O100321.


Recognitions requested: IBJ, ITAA and IGO  

  • The training is eligible for the Flemish training leave and training cheques. 
  • Recognition paid educational leave under the PC226 is applicable. 
  • Training premium (PC336): after you or your employee(s) have followed a training course, you can apply to Liberform for a training premium. The premium is a financial intervention to employers or companies that pay for the training: more info and application.
  • It is required that participants are effectively present. Replacement by a colleague is possible; the organization will be informed in writing in advance. 


The module is taught by a team of lecturers with relevant expertise from the academic world, the government sector, the private sector and the legal profession. The module will be supervised by Lionel Van Reet, Principal,  Customs and International Trade Lead, Baker McKenzie.

Programme (tentative)

22 April 2024

SESSION 1: Introduction to the General Principles of Risk & Compliance Strategy - 9.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.


  • Lionel Van Reet – Baker McKenzie - EMEA Customs & International Trade
  • Thomas Kukanza - Baker McKenzie

In this session, the general principles of export controls and sanctions will be set out. After being introduced in the regulatory framework at an international level, the participants will learn more about the EU regulatory framework governing dual-use trade controls, other trade controls upon export, and sanctions.

Next to the traditional regulations governing export controls and sanctions, also new regulations. A comparison with the systematics of export control regimes in other jurisdictions, most notably in the U.S., will be provided.

SESSION 2: AEO & SBA - Addressing the risks & compliance framework through the AEO (& SBA) Certifications - 13.45 p.m. to 16.45 p.m.


  • Stef Debeuf - BE Customs Authorities
  • Lionel Van Reet – Baker McKenzie

In this session, the developments of the AEO programme, its challenges, its concrete benefits will be brought forward by the various speakers. AEO is not a single act or moment, it is an ongoing process of mutual trust with the focus on helping each other to face a continuously changing and challenging environment.

The key attention points, the necessary steps and actions will be outlined by the speakers both from the Belgian Customs & Excises Authorities viewpoint as from the side of operators.

23 April 2024

SESSION 1: Risk Assessment Procedures & Audit Trade & Risk - 9.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.


  • Yves Melin, international trade and customs lawyer at Reed Smith law firm
  • Philippe Heeren, international trade and customs lawyer at Reed Smith law firm

This session will aim at outlining the broad range of risks & issues that derive from non-compliant operations & structures.

This session will also be focused on the new European Public Prosecutor Office (i.e. EPPO) and the massive undervaluation inquiries that are taking place in the EU. Review of enforcement trends (role of OLAF, the Commission’s DG Taxud, and customs authorities); risks for operators and how to mitigate those risks.

SESSION 2: Risks incurred in the course of the daily operations based on the practical cases and examples - 13.45 p.m. to 16.45 p.m.


  • Roberto Soprano – Firmenich 

  • Jurgen Delbare – EMEA Trade Lead at Hologic

  • Karolien Vandenberghe – FN Herstal - Senior Counsel

This session will aim at outlining the practical and operational risks associated with the daily Trade operations. How to frame the incurred practical risks, What are the possible mitigation strategies & attention points?

This session will also touch upon the set-up a Trade & Risk mitigation Strategy within an International Group.

25 April 2024

SESSION 1: Situation in Russia & Ukraine - US-EU-CH Sanctions and their Customs & Operational implications – 9.15 a.m. to 12.15 p.m.


  • Olof Konig - Baker McKenzie - International Trade & Commerce
  • Paul Amberg - Baker Mc Kenzie - International Trade & Commerce
  • Philippe Reich - Baker Mc Kenzie - Internional Trade & Commerce

Overview and Impact of the US, EU, CH sanctions against Russia. We will unravel the multiple layers of primary and secondary sanctions. The Russia sanctions landscape continues to evolve in many significant ways. During this unique session, we will navigate the Russia Sanctions complexities to help you stay abreast of current developments, understand how they will impact businesses, and highlight the possible mitigation strategies.

These controls primarily target Russia’s defense, aerospace, and maritime sectors and will cut off Russia’s access to vital technological inputs, atrophy key sectors of its industrial base, and undercut its strategic ambitions to exert influence on the world stage.

SESSION 2: Best Practices in Risk Management & Mitigation – 13.45 p.m. to 16.45 p.m.


  • Nicolas Urien - Partner - Dojo Consulting
  • Lionel Van Reet - Baker McKenzie - EMEA Customs & International Trade

Based on their large experience with respect to Risk Management & Mitigation Strategies, the speakers will aim at providing the audience with concrete and operational best practices.

This session will aim at outlining the practical and operational strategies to be implemented with the daily Trade operations. How to implement a practical & operational risk mitigation strategy from scratch? What are the possible attention points & pitfalls?

June 2024 - Exam

The exam will take place in June 2024.  

Location: Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.