Christian Schmidt brings customs and technology expertise to the leading customs software company
Customs4trade (C4T), the Belgium-based pioneer in digital-first customs management, welcomes Christian Schmidt as VP Customs Excellence. He will work closely with the Chief Executive Officer, Pieter Haesaert, to achieve the company vision of simplifying and automating the customs declaration management process, generating significant savings for international traders via the company’s cloud-based customs management platform, CAS.
In tandem with the recent appointment of Oliver Conze as Chief Product Officer, Christian is a mindful addition to the executive management team, bringing deep knowledge in C4T’s two core competencies: customs compliance and technology. “Christian is passionate about automating customs and this type of fit is quite rare in such a niche market as ours. He is also fully aligned with Pieter’s vision, which is critical to our journey,” said Ilse Vermeersch, Chief People Officer. “In our current high-growth phase, it is important that our leadership team demonstrates complete buy-in to our mission of becoming the #1 global customs solution, as well as consensus on how we plan to achieve that.”
Christian comes to C4T from Adient, where he was the Director Global Customs Trade Compliance EMEA for six years. With 202 manufacturing and assembly plants worldwide, Christian instituted best practices and operational efficiencies to optimise trade using specialised customs regimes. Prior to that, Christian spent six years as the Head of Foreign Trade for GE Power, responsible for trade programs, customs operations, and export control. Christian earned his Bachelor’s degree in Procurement & Logistics and a Master’s from the Business School in Frankfurt am Main as well as a Master’s degree in Management & Leadership from Buckinghamshire New University. He also holds Master-level professional certificates from Boston University in Digital Leadership and Arizona State University in Global Business Leadership and Management, and attended the Babson College Executive Leadership program.
“Christian brings a rare combination of deep customs expertise and concrete skills of how to productise the complexities of customs management,” explained Pieter Haesaert, CEO. “On top of that, he has a wealth of leadership experience, applying diverse strategies to achieve goals. This makes him a real team player and effective manager who can take a hands-on approach yet pull back and allow the team an opportunity to share new ideas for innovation.”
In his role as VP Customs Excellence, Christian will lead C4T’s Legal Content team, responsible for keeping CAS product developers up to date with global compliance regulations, as well as direct C4T’s customs experts and specialists who serve as subject matter experts, both internally and as resources to C4T’s customers. As built-in legal compliance is a key differentiator of the CAS customs management platform, Christian will work closely with CPO Oliver Conze to align product development with regulatory changes and market needs. Both new executives are based in Germany and will further focus on extending CAS to the German-speaking markets.
“I have a passion for leadership and deep interest in digitisation and trade compliance technology, a unique combination that makes C4T a perfect fit. I look forward to applying my knowledge of the customs domain and experience leveraging technology to provide valuable direction for software development so we can meet and exceed customer needs,” shared Christian.
Customs4trade’s (C4T) unique team of customs experts and best-of-breed technology engineers has developed CAS, a one-of-a-kind software solution that automates customs and trade compliance.
CAS is a collaborative hub, designed to manage regional and worldwide customs and trade compliance quickly and accurately, within one single platform. By automating all import and export processes, C4T customers experience faster time to market, eliminate customs duty and administration costs, and gain strategic visibility into their customs operations.
Built on the Microsoft Azure platform and delivered as a Service (SaaS), CAS provides customers with continual updates and feature enhancements, including the incorporation of any changes to legislation and compliance regulations—along with Azure’s signature accessibility, scalability, and security.