Team spotlight – Elizabeth Davies, Customs Systems Manager

Blog 4 mins


This month it’s our Customs System’s Manager, Elizabeth Davies, taking a turn in the hot seat and telling us a bit more about herself. Many of you will know Elizabeth for running our team of customs classification experts and will most likely have met her at many of the industry events and conferences we attend.

She has worked in logistics and procurement her whole career, both in industry and since 2021 at TariffTel, and has a lot of expertise to share. She’s always up for a challenge in work and at home and has even pushed herself to compete in a strong woman competition. She’s our strong woman at TariffTel, so let’s get to know Elizabeth a bit more.

Can you tell us more about your journey to becoming a Customs Systems Manager at CORE? 

I joined TariffTel in 2021 as a Customs Classification Specialist and quite quickly extended my role to take on a management position becoming the Customs Systems Manager. My experience working at Siemens prior to this played a part in this as I had a vast amount of experience that was relevant across the whole logistics sector and helped me quickly understand our customer’s challenges and how we could help. Previously, I’d held the roles of Logistics manager, Change Manager and Project Manager at Siemens implementing huge projects that required a lot of concise organisation, communication and planning.

When I had my two children I took a career break and then started my own business in consultation before deciding it was time for a new challenge. That’s when the opportunity at TariffTel came up and I was keen to become more specialised and focused purely on customs which had always greatly interested me. I was able to put my qualifications at the Customs Academy as well as a Diploma in Customs Compliance to good use and work with some fantastic businesses in transforming their classification operations with our unique system and expertise.

What does a typical day look like for you? 

A typical day can be very varied. Our primary focus is to efficiently and effectively support our clients requests and sometimes they can be complex and challenging. The team and I have built strong working relationships with our clients so we can best support their needs and solve the problems we come up against together. For us to do our jobs to our best abilities, it has to be a partnership with our customers and we pride ourselves on being on hand when they need us.

On a day to day basis this manifests itself in different ways. I can be working closely with one customer on a specific topic and supporting the team on research. Or we will regularly all get together in the office as a team to spend valuable time discussing complex classification queries and working out solutions for our customers. The consequences of misclassification can be an inconvenience at best, or at worse, have severe consequences for a business, and we’re the first line of defence for our customers in ensuring they don’t face any of the repercussions when things go wrong.

It’s important that I regularly attend industry events to hear from peers on the challenges they are facing, and share our own perspective on the ever changing world of customs and trade. I recently attended the Customs Compliance Conference which discussed all the big topics in compliance at the moment and we are currently planning to get involved in the Institute of Export & International Trade events this year, as we have done for the last few years.

No day is the same, it keeps me on my toes and makes life interesting. Every day is a school day in classification, we are constantly learning.

What has been your biggest accomplishment while working at TariffTel?

In the last few years I pleased to say I have recruited and developed one of the best, most specialised customs classification teams there is. We have developed strong processes and procedures within the department to ensure our customers’ requirements are always met and exceeded.

And we have some happy customers I’m pleased to say, who have transformed the way they classify products for the better. Boohoo Group PLC is just one of the them and that particular project involved a lot of understanding of the complex US customs regulations which varying significantly to the UK/EU customs controls.

Our team achieved a 100% compliance record on 20,000 SKUs in a short period of time for boohoo. That is something we are very proud of as a team.

What skills do you need to work in customs classification? 

It is essential to have a methodical approach when it comes to classification. It requires someone who is detailed and accurate. Lots of complex reading can be involved and interpretation of data.
It is also essential to be a team player and a good listener as some classification decisions are best reached when discussed at length with others. You must have a detailed understanding and be able to explain your classification opinion.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received and how has it impacted your career?
That learning never stops and change must be embraced. We must never think we know it all, I am continuously learning every day which makes me more flexible and adaptable. In customs, learning never stops. The regulations and rules are constantly changing so we must change with them and learn to adapt the way we work to encompass them into our thinking.

What do you do out of work for fun?
I am a big fan of the outdoors and fitness. I love to be outside walking or running with my cocker spaniel Henry or paddleboarding down the river with friends. I also like throwing heavy weights around in the gym , I recently did my first Strongwoman competition and have competed in a variety of fitness events over the last 10 years.

We look forward to sharing more stories from our talented team. Follow us on LinkedIn to hear more from our team and what they get up to.

Want to hear more from our team? Here’s our Customs Classification Specialists Julia Granada’s-Gillow talking about her life in and out of work.


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