Gregory Nichols

With over ten years of global trade project experience in countries throughout Asia, Gregory assists companies in navigating the complex and ever changing Asian trade environment with practical advice and proven solutions. Prior to joining Tradewin, Gregory led trade & customs consulting practices at a Big 4 accounting and tax firm in both Singapore and China. He has managed over 150 projects in Asia covering a wide range of industries and trade topics including; bonded operations, Free Trade Agreements (FTA), Free Trade Zones (FTZ), import/export compliance programs, customs disputes, tariff classification, and customs valuation. Gregory maintains close relationships with Customs and other trade authorities throughout the Asia region. Gregory began his career in the logistics world with two leading third party logistics providers. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in Political Science.

Recent Posts

Our Thing in Asia: Complex Compliance

Asia Compliance

I’ve just joined Tradewin Asia from a large European industrial and consumer company where I was responsible for regional Asia trade compliance.  Almost every week, I would receive emails or telephone calls which required immediate attention. Common inquiries included: “URGENT! Cargo stuck at port!”; “No FORM D/E”; “The business is asking why we have to pay extra duties now.”; “Why nobody is telling us we need special licenses?”

Those were the days, when we didn’t have any compliance regime in place. No internal trade policies or standards, and everyone was doing whatever they felt was right. Norms and bad habits just continued on. Occasionally, I was praised for implementing good practices. Sound familiar?

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Topics: Asia

Springtime in Seoul?

Springtime in Seoul

I’m from Massachusetts. I grew up with snow and ice. However, I guess I have lost my edge since I have been living in Singapore for the past six years. At the moment, I am in Seoul Korea celebrating the opening of Tradewin Korea and it’s cold…! It is about 25°F (-4°C), which my head tells me is really not that cold but my body tells me differently. My boss (Boston based) says I’ve developed ‘thin blood’ living in the tropics…maybe so.

Last April I wrote a blog post, ‘Springtime in Shanghai’, celebrating the opening of Tradewin China. I thought it would be appropriate to do the same now that we are opening Tradewin Korea! 

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Topics: Asia

Free (Trade) Lunch

Free (Trade) LunchWhen I was growing up my father had a few signs posted on the door of his office and one that said ‘There is no such thing as a free lunch’. As a young child, I remember being confused by it and once I understood its implication as a teenager I was annoyed by it. It implied that I was going to have to actually do something to get something good. When seeing what often happens with Free Trade Agreements (FTA) usage in Asia, I sometimes think of that phrase and wonder how companies, and trade compliance officers, forget that they have to actually do something to reap the benefits of the FTA. 

In the past couple months there have been a few public announcements by Customs agencies in Asia related to investigations into misuse of some of the FTA in the region as well as other preferential duty programs. In Thailand, a special investigation is trying to collect over $400 million USD in retroactive duties and penalties from a couple of global automotive companies. This is an unprecedented amount of money. In India, a global consumer electronics company is on the line for over $45 million USD due to apparent violations of the ASEAN-India FTA. 

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Topics: Best Practices, Risk

Springtime in Shanghai


It is a very exciting time of year for Tradewin as we open up our new Tradewin China practice based out of Shanghai. Tradewin China is led by Mr. Johnny Xie, a very experienced consultant with over 15 years of China trade & customs expertise. Johnny will no doubt be contributing blog posts soon!

In honor of the official opening of Tradewin China, I thought it may be good to spend a couple minutes on two current ‘hot’ topics in the world of China trade compliance.

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Topics: Asia

'Managing' Trade Compliance in Asia

compliance-asia-111814First I would like to say ‘Hello!’ to all of the TradeLane readers, this is my first post here but will certainly not be the last. I joined Tradewin as Principal in Asia just recently and am really excited to be here!

When I travel to the US or the EU I am often asked to provide some thoughts on managing trade compliance in Asia. This is a bit difficult thing to do because there are of course an awful lot of countries in Asia (anywhere between 25-75 depending on what you count as ‘Asia’). And of course each country has its own unique set of trade regulations and practices that may or may not be similar to what exist elsewhere in the region or in the world.  Still, if we limit ‘Asia’ to the larger trading countries (say, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam), and exclude India, there are some general points that can be made that describe the environment as we experience it.

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Topics: Best Practices