Drawing on a wealth of knowledge and experience, Bethan’s MD, Nicola Alexander, is passionate about working in partnership with businesses to guide them through their customs and compliance obligations.
Nicola has held a number of key roles during her career including Customs Supervisor and Customs Consultancy Manager. She established Bethan Customs Consultancy in 2015, driven by the conviction that there was a better way of helping businesses to navigate the ever-evolving world of importing and exporting.
Since then, Nicola has built a strong reputation for providing clear, practical and impartial advice to businesses in relation to their customs compliance and supply chain requirements.
Nicola’s sweet tooth is the stuff of legend – her dedication to customs legislation is exceeded only by her love of awesome tunes and sweeties!
Aby joined the team in 2017, initially as a Customs Administrator, before taking up her current role. Before this Aby studied law at the University of Edinburgh, and gained valuable experience across a number of roles in the oil and gas, and other private sectors.
Aby’s role at Bethan is essentially to ensure the smooth running of the business. She acts as the first point of contact, dealing with correspondence and phone calls, keeps detailed records for invoicing purposes and arranges our training courses. This crisp-sandwich aficionado also dabbles, very successfully it has to be said, in social media, establishing and maintaining our presence online and across a number of social platforms.
Aby is also very proud to be a trustee for a national children’s charity.
Elaine puts the cool into customs! With over 25 years’ experience working for HM Revenue and Customs, there is little she doesn’t know about customs compliance, authorisations and audits.
Elaine joined the team in 2018 as a Customs Consultant, before being promoted to the role of Customs Manager just a year later. Elaine leads our team in providing customs support to our clients. She is also involved in supporting clients with their dealings with HMRC.
When she’s not working hard on our clients’ behalf, Elaine has a busy time of it looking after her two gorgeous pooches Woody and Daisy.
Account Manager / HSEQ Representative
New Pitsligo born Stuart became part of the team in 2018. A strong industry background in a number of disciplines, combined with his customs and logistics experience, has made Stuart indispensable to our clients.
Stuart’s role involves carrying out reviews of supply chain procedures to ensure that they comply with the legislative requirements, identifying cost-saving customs regimes, managing client customs records to HMRC expectations, and assisting clients in their direct or written communication with customs.
When he’s not wrestling with the demands of customs compliance, Stuart is a huge fan of professional wrestling, but would secretly love to play for Aberdeen Football Club!
Customs Administrator Fiona came on board in March 2021. She provides customs administrative assistance to the team, supporting them to deliver the top-notch service our clients have come to expect.
Fiona has spent the last 34 years working for HM Revenue & Customs, latterly as a VAT adviser specifically for overseas businesses. Fiona’s in-depth knowledge and vast experience means she is exceptionally well-placed to support our team and their clients.
With a menagerie of pets to keep her busy, Fiona’s dream superpower of talking to animals could prove very useful!
THE BETHAN STORY
Following a career working in supply chain, logistics and customs consultancy settings, Nicola Alexander established Bethan Customs Consultancy from her spare bedroom in 2015.
Since then, Bethan (as it’s affectionately known) has grown considerably – both in scale and reputation. The team has expanded to meet demand, and long since moved from a spare room to a stunning, purpose-built office in Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire.
The Bethan team have worked hard to build a stellar reputation for providing clear and practical advice, as well as training and on-going support to businesses in relation to their customs compliance and supply chain requirements. It’s a track record that has secured them UK-wide contracts with clients across a diverse range of sectors, from oil and gas to food and drink.
From the outset Nicola was determined to provide independent customs advice and support, and Bethan remains true to that vision, offering completely impartial, unbiased advice driven solely by your best interests.
Teamwork is also a cornerstone of the Bethan philosophy. Staff members work closely with each other to support and advise clients. They also work in partnership with those clients – after all, getting to know a business and its people is the best way to determine the most suitable customs and supply chain solutions.
How We Work
We are first and foremost a family business. Everything we do is underpinned by the core values that go hand-in-hand with that – honesty, integrity and reliability. Our relationships are based on mutual trust and professionalism.
Working in partnership with our clients, delivering the service you need in the style that best suits your business – that’s our tried-and-tested formula for success.
We work closely with you on a day-to-day basis – think of us as an extension to your team. So whatever your challenge or customs requirement, we’re on hand to help you along the way.
From the outset, our independent status has been a source of pride. It sets us apart. It means we can offer you completely independent and impartial advice and guidance, based solely on the best interests of your business.
Every service we provide is tailored to the needs of each individual client. Need support with a one-off customs authorisation application? We can help. Or longer-term customs support? That’s our bag too. From in-house secondments and remote support, and even our training courses - they can all be customised to suit you.
We approach each and every project with a forward-thinking, solution-driven mindset. Whether we are helping you to ensure compliance with HMRC regulations by streamlining customs processes to minimise risk, or applying for HMRC authorisations, we actively look for the most efficient and proactive solutions.
Clarksons Port Services turned to Bethan Customs Consultancy for support with our AEO renewal application to the HMRC. The Bethan team were fantastic during our engagement discussions, listening to our requirements and developing the scope of work.
We were successful in receiving our renewed AEO authorisation, and the support we received from Bethan exceeded our expectations, making this a streamlined process for us. We were so pleased with the service we received from Nicola and the team that we have built up a long-term relationship between the two companies and have a call-off agreement for when we need further customs assistance. We now regard them as one of our high-profile suppliers, which is down to their superb communication, co-ordination of tasks and professional manner – thanks Bethan!
We have developed a close working relationship with the Bethan team over a number of years now. Following a request from HMRC to carry out a Customs System Audit, we initially requested that Bethan assist us through what could be a daunting process. The extensive experience that Bethan have of both customs procedures and dealing with HMRC meant that the technical questions could be addressed fully and accurately. Having them act as an intermediary also ensured that the audit ran smoothly. As a result, we had a very constructive dialogue with HMRC, with several positive actions being implemented that have made our customs systems more robust.
The Bethan team also supported us through the application process for Authorised Economic Operator status for customs simplification (AEOC). Thanks in no small part to the team’s ability to marry our business objectives with the compliance and documentation requirements of HMRC, the process was extremely efficient, and we were successful in achieving AEOC status.
In a word, yes! We have a strong track record of designing training courses and packages that are tailored to the individual needs of businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Yes, we are happy to work on a bank of hours basis – we always deliver our services in the format that suits our clients best.
Yes, as a family business that is very much part of the community, we are committed to supporting a number of local charities which are close to our hearts. Our founder and MD, Nicola Alexander is a trustee of Kayleigh’s Wee Stars, which provides financial support for families where a child has a terminal diagnosis. We also support A Bear Named Buttony, which helps children and young people who have a stoma, and the Junior Diabetes Research Fund (JDRF), which funds medical research into Type 1 diabetes.
This is not a service that we provide. However, we work with a number of reputable agents who do offer this service.
No, this is outwith the remit of Bethan.
No, this is outwith the remit of Bethan.
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Upcoming Training Events
We offer a range of general customs related online courses throughout the year, as well as bespoke training packages designed around the topics that best suit your team.
Points to ponder as we reach the end of the deferment period
Since the 1st January 2021, HMRC have allowed UK businesses to defer making import declarations, in a bid to help them adapt to our new trading relationship with the EU and the inherent additional requirements.