Miles Vartan

Five minutes with…

Miles Vartan

Managing Director

VARTAN Consultancy

Firstly, how did you first get involved in the world of logistics?

Having wanted to be (and still do!) a Lawyer, I was offered a conditional place at Trent Polytechnic to do a Degree in Legal Studies. Exam results did not work out, so after taking a year to do re-takes and think about what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, I enrolled at UWIST in Cardiff for a three-year degree In Maritime Studies, reading International Transport. ‘Logistics’ was not a career on offer in the early 80s; I completed my degree and secured a job with Freightliner, becoming Depot Manager at Hull.

As experts in customs compliance, do you believe exporters will be ready to meet the November deadline to transition from CHIEF to CDS?

A local mentor of mine once said to me, as we were mulling over how the UK would cope with the onset of Brexit, ‘Miles, we are in Logistics; we always find a way of getting things done!’. As a country, we made faltering steps to eventually learn how to cope with the imposition of full Import Controls. I anticipate that the same will likely happen with Exports. We have a range of clients encompassing Manufacturers, Ports, Customs Agents and Hauliers who will ask us to help to guide them across the various hurdles that will be put in their way. My key tip for any organisation is to check to ensure your processing is compliant. In a post-COVID environment, various regulatory authorities will be out and about ensuring that this is the case – do not get caught out.

Listening to the diverse range of companies that VARTAN Consultancy supports, what are the key issues currently concerning your clients?

Our clients are often looking for opportunities to improve and become more compliant along the way. We offer full Risk Management advice; know what could happen that would affect your company’s ability to deliver the level of service that you have promised to a customer and design mitigating controls that will reduce those risks. A thorough risk analysis will encompass subjects such as Health & Safety, unforeseen supply-chain issues that create serious delays but also opportunities for improvement such as securing AEO & ISO certifications, securing a Customs Warehousing authorisation for your warehouse or ensuring that your Operator’s Licence is 100% compliant – reduce your risk profile and add to your bottom-line performance.

And turning from frustrations to opportunities, Sizewell C potentially brings a host of projects to regional businesses of all sizes. What role do you provide in supporting those keen to be involved?

I have been telling people that EDF will be building a new nuclear power station in Suffolk for the last 14 years. As a result, VARTAN Consultancy has been developing an assistance model called ‘The VARTAN Way’. By working with a carefully selected group of trusted Associate Companies and us, we will take your business through a managed process where you will be able to demonstrate that your business, or your business working with others, will be able to supply a compulsive Local offering, meeting all the commitments that were included in the submitted and approved Design Consent Order.

What are your views on Freeport East? Will it play a significant role in attracting new business to the region and furthering the success of our logistics sector?

The effectiveness of the ‘Freeport East’ offer will directly relate to how the benefits of creating new opportunities can be demonstrated. By setting up in one of the Taxation sites, companies shall be able to benefit from a reduction in National Insurance payments and Business Rates. Businesses will be able to experience ‘Customs’ related benefits by being given access to duty suspension, duty exemption on re-exports and flexibility on how duty is calculated through one combined Freeport East Customs Procedure instead of having to secure multiple authorisations. The Government’s strategy is to attract new businesses into Freeport areas – if companies relocate, or try to, then the net effect could be that they leave problems and issues behind them.

Very well-known across Felixstowe and the industry, can you share a guilty pleasure that would surprise colleagues, clients and friends?

It’s not a guilty pleasure, but I really enjoy horse riding and would love, one day, to have my own horse.