The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Robert C. Vackar College of Business & Entrepreneurship Division of Academic Affairs

Courses Offered

CUST 6320 International Customs Law

Course Description

This course introduces students to the relationship between the domestic responsibilities of customs and border regulatory administrations and the international legal obligations to which they give effect. The course addresses customs and national sovereignty, the relationship between domestic customs law and international law, and territorial jurisdiction & border concepts. The course also examines the international organizations, treaties and conventions that impact on customs activities, with particular focus on the impact of the of the World Customs Organization (WCO), the World Trade Organization (WTO) and the United Nations. Students will become familiar with the Convention establishing the Customs Cooperation Council/WCO, the Revised Kyoto Convention on the Simplification and Harmonization of Customs Procedures, the WCO’s Framework on Supply Chain Security, and the UN Drug Conventions and other border-related treaties and conventions.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify and critically assess the sources of international customs law including key international instruments affecting Customs operations and particularly be able to:

  1. Apply the principles of international customs law to situations that they may face in conducting cross-border business, or in a governmental role, for example as customs officials
  2. Analyze critically issues that may arise in the cross-border environment in the context of international legal requirements
  3. Make advanced level, independent judgments concerning the administration of national customs procedures in conformity with the rules of international law
  4. Demonstrate an ability to contribute to policy-making processes which impact on cross-border regulatory practice and procedure with appropriate reference to relevant international conventions
  5. Identify and evaluate critically cross-border issues and their implications for regulatory practice and business operations
  6. Formulate appropriate and well-developed administrative and business-focused approaches to national regulatory policy, practice and procedure in accordance with international legal requirements and obligations and be able to communicate those approaches to others

CUST 6270 International Commercial Transactions Law and Policy

Course Description

This course introduces students to the commercial issues associated with business transactions involving the movement of goods across international borders and the ways in which such commercial issues impact customs and border regulatory requirements as well as supply chain cost and efficiency. Students will become familiar with international transportation processes in multiple modes, examine commercial and legal aspects of the international sale and carriage of goods, terms of trade (INCOTERMS®) and apportionment of risk, the financing of international transactions (including letters of credit), liability, insurance and related matters. Students will also learn how to identify sources of information about international business transactions and apply their knowledge to their work as administrators or compliance managers; in particular they will learn how to increase their ability to deal effectively with key issues of international trade contracts, terms of trade, and associated matters as they relate to business management and the regulatory management of the cross-border movements of goods.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify and critically assess the sources of International Commercial Transactions Law and Policy including key international instruments affecting Customs operations and particularly be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the terminology used in international trade, with particular emphasis on international commercial terms of trade or Incoterms
  2. Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of the key commercial documents generated in an international sales transaction
  3. Discuss the importance of particular commercial documents to effective border management and regulatory compliance
  4. Discuss key aspects of international trade contracts, including the relevant documents and the associated commercial risks facing the various members of the international trade and transport community, and their mitigation
  5. Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the underlying legal framework that supports international trade transactions
  6. Discuss the contractual relationships formed in international trade transactions
  7. Evaluate the commercial and regulatory benefits of import and export declarations, Carnets, and transit documentation

CUST 6210 United States Customs Law and Border Regulation

Course Description

This course examines the legal underpinnings of US Customs Law in the Constitution and federal law, key statutory developments in the 20th Century through the present day, and follow the historical development of US Customs from its founding in 1789 to its present-day status as US Customs and Border Protection, a unit of the Department of Homeland Security. Students will be given a comprehensive overview of US obligations to declare goods on import and export and the roles and responsibilities of commercial parties, carriers and service providers in the cross-border environment. Customs duties and fees will be examined, along with US trade remedies, duty relief and deferral programs, and preferential trading arrangements, including NAFTA. Post 9/11 supply-chain security related measures will be reviewed, as will key import safety-related restrictions and reporting requirements. The course will cover issues related to the filing of export declarations and provide an introductory overview of US export controls.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  1. Understand the constitutional, legislative and regulatory basis of US federal requirements affecting the cross-border movements of goods
  2. Identify the primary executive departments and agencies granted authority for border processing and enforcement
  3. Demonstrate an ability to identify key data requirements and procedural steps required to import goods into or export goods from the United States
  4. Understand the roles of both public and private sector stakeholders in facilitating US cross-border trade
  5. Become familiar with the mechanics of the NAFTA and other US Free Trade Agreements and understand their effective application in a border and post-clearance context
  6. Analyze opportunities for cost and process optimization in the US cross-border environment and be able to effectively advocate those approaches in a government and business context

CUST 6250 Principles of Compliance Management

Course Description

This course introduces students to contemporary methods of regulatory compliance management and the use of risk management principles in ensuring regulatory compliance from the perspective of government regulator as well as from the perspective of business. Students are introduced to compliance management policies and practices that achieve an appropriate balance between facilitation and regulatory control in the government context, and cost-effective compliance in the business context. This includes an analysis of international trends that impact on regulatory compliance management, such as emerging technologies, commercial imperatives and security- and safety-related concerns. Comparisons are drawn between the compliance management strategies employed by customs authorities in leading economies as well in corporate environments, including through the use of case studies. Compliance metrics and reporting methodologies are analyzed in the public and private sector context of the course participants. From a government perspective, issues related to intra-agency, international, and private-sector cooperation are introduced; in the business context, best practices for intra-departmental cooperation and building management support for compliance initiatives is a subject of focus, as is effective interaction with government.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this course, students will be able to identify and critically assess the sources of Principles of Compliance Management including key international instruments affecting the cross-border movement of goods and particularly be able to:

  1. Identify risk-based strategies to effectively manage compliance with customs and tax regulatory requirements
  2. Assess the appropriateness and effectiveness of operational compliance management strategies from both a government regulatory and an operational business standpoint
  3. Critically analyze the compliance management framework of customs and tax authorities against established international standards