An Exploration of FileMaker Platform for Customs Compliance and Reporting

Document Type


Lead Author Type

CIS Masters Student


Dr. D. Robert Adams, adamsr@gvsu.edu

Embargo Period



This project aims to build a customs application named “CustCreator”. The customs process must first be explained to describe the function that the “CustCreator” provides.

When foreign merchandise reaches the United States territory, those goods must be cleared through the U.S. custom authorities in order for them to be released and removed from the U.S. Customs warehouse. Every arrival of merchandise within U.S Customs territory must be supported by a form of evidence of the right to make an entry. The process of entry is addressed by the submission of a unique import/export customs package that includes the Bill of Lading (for ocean shipments) or Air waybill, invoices, and duty forms. Documentation must be precise. Any slight discrepancies or omissions may prevent the merchandise from being cleared which results in a nonpayment, or may even result in the seizure of the importer’s goods by U.S Customs or foreign customs officials.

The steps involved in designing the “CustCreator” platform begins with analyzing and comparing current customs technologies followed by a brief examination of several RDBMS packages namely, MySQL, PostgreSQL, Microsoft SQL and SQL Server. In addition, an assessment methodology was used for this project: Acceptance Criteria, Cost, IT Implementation, Assumptions and Deliverables. Therefore, the main functionalities of the customs database include assisting import/export brokerage operations in transmitting data applications to US Customs, creating and generating dynamic reports, and building application forms to be processed online to a customs entity.

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