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AWA Customs Specialist 
Customs training for customs practitioners

In foreign trade and especially in customs and export control, employees, employers and authorities are attaching increasing importance to certified professional competence in foreign trade with a particular emphasis on customs and export control.

The “AWA Customs Specialist” offered by the AWA FOREIGN TRADE ACADEMY (AWA) is a training course specifically developed for customs practitioners in the private sector who wish to acquire, deepen and certify their specialist knowledge in customs and foreign trade. On completion of the course, participants obtain a certificate from the AWA, thereby proving their expertise.

By a continuous process of training you will be able to prove your customs expertise to the customs administration. This also ensures compliance with the Union Customs Code, which requires evidence of practical or professional qualifications directly related to the activity carried out. Currently, there is no European quality standard for customs education, which means the European Union and the customs administration have yet to develop binding requirements in this respect.

In Germany, this criterion requires evidence of three years of practical experience in the field of customs.

However, there is currently no requirement to prove vocational qualifications because neither an educational institution nor a professional and trade association have yet been recognised and/or accredited. In this respect, the customs administration merely refers to the updated guidelines for the AEO. These guidelines state that private educational institutions can also base their courses on the European Union's customs competency framework for the private sector. This framework is based on core values that a company should demonstrate when dealing with customs administrations in the EU.

The “AWA Customs Specialist” is based on the European Union’s customs competency framework.

AIM of Training

By completing the training course “AWA Customs Specialist”, you will acquire and deepen your specialist knowledge in customs and foreign trade. You will also be able to prove your acquired expertise vis-á-vis your employer and authorities.

How do i obtain the certificate?

In order to receive the certificate “AWA Customs Specialist”, you must complete 15 days of seminars at the AWA FOREIGN TRADE ACADEMY. Other forms of training are taken into account as follows:

One day / 0.5 days of AWA in-house training = one seminar day / 0.5 seminar days
One unit of distance learning = 0.7 seminar days
One webinar = 0.1 seminar days

You can select distance-training courses, in-house training, webinars or seminars, which relate to EU customs law. In addition, we recognise five seminar days relating to export control. You can choose from the following: "Beginner" and "Advanced" seminars and the distance-learning course on export controls.

You are free to decide which courses you wish to complete in order to attain the AWA certificate. Thereby, you can take your existing and desired level of expertise into account when making your selection.

Please note that special events such as conferences, the Insider Forum, International VAT Summit, discussion forums, etc. cannot be recognised for the “AWA Customs Specialist” certificate.

Can courses already attended be recognised?

Courses you have already attended can also be recognised for the “AWA Customs Specialist”.

However, attendance can only be recognised if the courses were based on the Union Customs Code. You will satisfy this requirement if you attended the course from 01.05.2016 or if the attendance certificate shows it was based on the UCC. Otherwise, you can acquire the necessary knowledge on the UCC by visiting the relevant courses.

You can attend the following two AWA seminars on the UCC:

Compact course on the Union Customs Code (1 day) and
Intensive Workshop on the Union Customs Code (2 days)

Alternatively, you can opt for the refresher course on customs:

Refresher Course in Customs (3 days)

Why? For those working in customs, it is imperative they are up-to-date on the UCC! By proving you are attending or have attended AWA seminars on the UCC you also prove that you are know the applicable law.

Do I already satisfy the requirements?
Please submit copies of your AWA certificates online here.

We will then check whether you satisfy the conditions for the qualification “AWA Customs Specialist”.

If everything is in order, you will receive your certificate at no additional cost.

Target Group

The AWA offers training to customs specialists in the private sector who wish to acquire, deepen and certify their customs expertise to employers and authorities.


Upon completing the “AWA Customs Specialist” training, you will be awarded the AWA’s own qualification. This training is based on the standards of the European Union’s Customs Competency Framework.

The certificate is valid for three years from date of issue. In order to maintain this status, you must update your knowledge by attending two update seminars and a special seminar in a customs area of your choice within the tree years. You must then send us the attendance certificates. Ideally, submit the new certificates shortly before the expiration date so that you can benefit from the full three-year validity period.

Questions & Answers

Do you have any questions? You can find further information about the “AWA Customs Specialist” in our Q&A Section.

Compact information

Leaflet on the AWA Customs Specialist 

Fact sheet on the AWA Customs Specialist

Q&A Section

Submit AWA Certificates

AWA training courses you have already attended may count towards your certification as "AWA Customs Specialist". The condition for this is that the training courses attended reflect the legal requirements of the Union Customs Code (UCC). Please send us copies of your AWA certificates with the reference "AWA Customs Specialist" by e-mail or post. We will then verify that you meet the requirements for certification as "AWA Customs Specialist". We will send you the certificate at no additional cost.

Apply for the certification here

Contact for questions

Tanja Glaß

Head of Free Seminars
Customs - Origin of goods and preferences

T +49.251.83 275 06