TTEK: Delivering Enhanced Risk Management Solutions for Customs Administrations

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Mike Squirrell, Chief Technology Officer
In the modern global economy, Customs administrations face complex challenges when it comes to protecting sovereign interests from fiscal and non-fiscal threats. These demanding tasks must be performed effectively and efficiently, and TTEK designs and deploys technology to accomplish this.

Over the last three years, the innovative and disruptive start-up TTEK has built and delivered next-generation technologies for Customs and border management. Utilizing modern risk management principles, TTEK’s analytical solutions have established a unique ability to identify potential threats and flag high-risk people, goods, and conveyances for closer scrutiny or inspection; all the while simultaneously promoting the movement of pre-approved and/or low-risk trade. This balanced approach is widely seen to result in increased revenue, improved border controls, and economic prosperity. This is why intra-governmental organizations, including the World Customs Organization and the World Trade Organization, embrace risk management as a guiding principle for border management.

Revenue risks are key to national interests and, unfortunately, importers can (advertently or inadvertently) avoid duty by misclassifying, undervaluing or applying inappropriate exemptions to goods. TTEK solves this by analyzing historical import transactions from a post-clearance audit (PCA) perspective and identifies areas of under-collection of duties and taxes. The firm typically analyzes two years of historical data using a combination of deductive, inductive, and predictive analytics.

TTEK has now standardized these PCA analytics with a newly developed application called RiskLab BI (Business Intelligence). The application includes a set of customized dashboards, designed by expert investigators with extensive experience with post-clearance audit, anti-smuggling and national intelligence roles in Customs administrations over many years.

“Revenue leakage continues to be a major concern among customs administrations, and with just a three-month assessment, we can identify evaded tax revenue of hundreds of millions of dollars that Governments can recoup from the trading community.”
--Mike Squirrell, TTEK Chief Technology Officer

Revenue leakage is a growing concern, and with just a three-month assessment, we can identify tax evasion in the hundreds of millions of dollars

Identifying anomalous transactions across the vast number of importations that enter the border each year is difficult, but RiskLab BI is up to the challenge. Recently, a deployment of Risk Lab BI in a large GDP trading nation identified well over USD100 million worth of duty and excise evasion in tobacco products, and a total revenue evasion of USD 650 million across just 20 types of commodities in one year. Following the analysis, TTEK provided a set of sensitive reports which identified major causes of revenue leakage including precise details of commodities, importers, methods, and locations involved. In addition, recommendations to address integrity issues within the organization itself were provided.

RiskLab BI forms part of the “RiskLabSuite” of products, consisting of RiskLab Analyst (to identify threats in real-time utilizing a set of over 10,000 proprietary risk rules), RiskLab BI (to identify revenue leakage post-entry), and RiskLab Inspector (coordinating and accurately recording multi-agency inspections, and providing a feedback loop to improve a nation’s risk assessment automatically over time).

Having grown by over 1700 percent in the last 12 months, TTEK has evolved from a disruptive start-up into an emerging growth story that continues to scale and gain the confidence of the global customs community.

“Building adaptive models to identify fiscal and non-fiscal threats using our targeting algorithms are proving to be more effective than traditional sources of intelligence and insight. This is an area of business where we anticipate significant growth in the next 12 months.”
--Mike Squirrell


Christ Church, Barbados

Mike Squirrell, Chief Technology Officer

Headquartered in Barbados, in the US; the company specializes in developing and deploying technology for the optimization of customs and border processing. With many years in technology development, bridging the gap between business needs and technical needs is second nature, TTEK promotes a fusion of leading edge products with operational and academic subject matter expertise to help assist nations with modernizing their border processing systems and methodologies. TTEK also creates innovative and disruptive border management technologies using machine learning and predictive analytics -drawing upon artificial intelligence and blockchain methodologies.