About Us

Our primary goal here at Customs Connect is to deliver real, measurable saving opportunities to all of our clients.

No matter the size or location of our client, or the challenges they present us with – the Customs Connect ethos stays the same:

We focus on unveiling hidden opportunities to save your business money

We achieve this through a variety of specific professional advisory services including Automonus Duty SuspensionsClassification & Duty Reclaims, Planning and Compliance, Export Controls and VAT to name just a few of our services 

Customs Connect is a specialist advisory company, providing advice on customs, export controls, VAT and trade compliance. By focussing on our core speciality, and with our experiences in Big 4 consulting firms and within industry, we provide personalised and practical advice and services to not only comply with trade regulations, but also find the most efficient methodology which supports your individual business needs.

We develop close working relationships with our clients to obtain the cost saving benefits over a period of time.

Each of our specific services have been developed in partnership with our clients and are tailored to match the needs of each business we work with.

We focus on what’s most important for you and for this to happen, we understand that an ongoing and regular dialogue is essential. Nurturing these business relationships in conjunction with our continued investment into cutting edge customs technology is how we achieve our end result.

View case studies from our existing clients to understand how we have helped companies such as Jaguar Land Rover identify and take advantage of money saving opportunities within their supply chain.

Many of the services we provide are offered on a contingent, success-based fee structure. This means there is minimal initial investment cost when working with us and fees are only ever due when our work delivers actual savings for our clients.

Meet the team

Board Members

John Barnsley

Chairman

John became Customs Connect’s Chairman in 2016 to steer the company through its ambitious plans for growth. A highly experienced director, John was at PwC for over 30 years where his roles included senior partner and Joint Global Director of Operations. John has acted as Non-executive Director and Chairman for a number of private organisations in the US and UK.

Neil Sheppard

CEO

Neil founded Customs Connect in 2009. He has comprehensive knowledge in all areas of UK and EU customs planning with particular focus on classification and autonomous/temporary duty suspensions. With time served in logistics, industry and Big 4 professional services firms, Neil has built a loyal client portfolio across a number of industry sectors. He has been instrumental in the Customs Connect’s recent expansion across Europe.

Neil has two daughters and will soon celebrated his pearl wedding anniversary. He enjoys walking his two maltipoo dogs and travel (preferably somewhere warm) when he is not sitting with the prawn sandwich brigade at Old Trafford!

Gavin Tucker

Director of International Trade

Gavin joined Customs Connect in 2017, having spent most of his VAT and Customs Duty advisory career (now exceeding 20 years!) in the Big 4 professional service firms. Prior to this, Gavin qualified as an Auditor. During his career, his relationships have allowed him to work with a wide portfolio of clients from multinational corporations and owner managed businesses shipping goods and supplying services around the globe, to not-for-profit organisations. Gavin’s work encompasses both day to day compliance advice to more complex and strategic transactional advice on supply chains, Brexit, mergers and acquisitions and property.

Gavin is still reluctant to give up playing football and when he is not playing, or injured, he enjoys throwing himself down mountains on two wheels or skis!

Team

Head of Customs and Export Control Strategy

Alexandra Turner

Head of Customs and Export Control Strategy

Alexandra joined Customs Connect in 2017 from a global aerospace manufacturer, and has over 10 years’ experience in industry and Big 4 professional services advisory both in the US and the UK. Alexandra has a comprehensive knowledge of US, UK and EU customs, export controls and sanctions laws and regulations (including extra-territorial application) as well as supply chain security requirements. Alexandra has worked with many industries including aerospace, defence, oil and gas, metals and general manufacturing and specifically focuses on developing and maintaining comprehensive trade compliance programs whilst ensuring lean and efficient controls. Understanding the challenges that companies, both large and small, face with trade requirements and the delicate balance required to remain compliant whilst focussing on business growth, expansion and cost savings, Alexandra tailors advice and solutions for each client which is practical and applicable for their specific business activities and goals.

A US native, Alex has now been living in the UK for over 10 years and during this time has developed a passion for watching cricket, especially whilst enjoying afternoon tea!

Jo Bowman

Customs Consultant

Jo has been a team member of Customs Connect since October 2011. Based in our Surrey office, she primarily deals with all aspects of duty repayment, classification and autonomous duty suspensions work for our clients.

Carrie Khan-Stevens

Customs Consultant

Carrie started life as a member of our finance team in November 2017. As our Financial Controller, Carrie’s appetite to push her knowledge further has allowed her to become a valued member of the Customs Advisory team. We have embraced her desire and set about tailoring a hybrid role of Financial Controller and Customs Consultant. Working alongside the Customs Connect Team, Carrie can now utilise her 15 + years of experience in industry to help our diverse range of clients.

Samya Jahangir

Customs Consultant

Samya joined us as Customs Consultant in October 2020 from Manchester Metropolitan University, as a hardworking and dedicated person who never wants to stop learning. As an MSc FinTech Graduate, Samya brings her analytical skills, and a keen desire to leverage these in the customs advisory arena, as Customs Connect and the tax world in general move towards a more analytical and automated environment.

Rebecca Ives

Customs Consultant

As a new economic era is emerging out of Brexit and the Pandemic, which no doubt will be challenging, we see new opportunities and exciting times ahead. Rebecca joins us from Boots bringing a wealth of experience gleaned from 25+ years in the imports industry in roles as an Import Broker, Imports Christmas Planning Manager, Assistant Development Manager and Assistant Foreign Trade Compliance Manager. Rebecca has a desire to keep on learning from her peers and develop solutions for our existing and new customers.