Declarations & representation
Declarations require expertise. Although anyone can technically submit a customs declaration, only a specialist has the expertise to take into account the variety of obligations, authorisations or product specifics and exceptions of customs law. For this reason there are organisations specialised in customs formalities, who can act as a representative, the customs broker. The customs broker translates the relevant data into the customs declaration, with or without representation. We recommend making clear agreements with all parties in the supply chain to ensure the declaration is made true and correct by the right party. We often see that when it turns out that the declaration was incorrect, a discussion starts, regarding the responsibilities of the various parties involved. Try to pre-empt this by hiring a customs broker and making clear agreements between parties and with the broker.
Excise & VAT
Taxes impact international trade. Some taxes only apply when goods cross the EU border, e.g. import duty. Other taxes such as consumption taxes apply both for goods crossing intra-EU borders and the EU border. Customs authorities play an important role in the levy of these taxes.
AEO & compliance
Nowadays, AEO and compliance are indispensable in international trade. However, this does not mean that the maintenance of the AEO authorisation and/or retaining a high compliance level is straightforward. Procedures, internal controls, audits and monitoring are key themes in this respect. Furthermore, an AEO- or Compliance Control Framework can help to ensure compliance completely.
Fines & criminal law
It could happen to anyone; you thought you had submitted the declaration correctly, but it turns out you made some mistakes. Customs and the Public Prosecution have extensive powers of enforcement. This could be an administrative penalty, fiscal penalty or prosecution at a criminal court. What are your rights and obligations here? What can you best do in such situations?
CBAM & Sustainability
Combating climate change is the order of the day currently. Whether it is installing solar panels or reducing your own carbon footprint. One of the EU’s goals is to be climate neutral in 2050. This means that a number of steps have to be taken to realize this goal. One of those steps is to limit carbon emissions. Steps already have been taken regarding production in the EU.
In customs formalities the correct commodity code is of great importance. These codes are used by customs officers worldwide to determine the number of customs duties, whether a preferential rate (lower duty) applies, and which formalities are applicable. These may be, for example, requirement of an import or export authorisation, or even an import ban. The commodity code consists of several digits or numbers, the first of those 6 numbers are (largely) harmonised worldwide.
The customs value is the base value to calculate the right amount of duties upon importing goods into the European Union. Various components affect the customs value, such as transport costs, licence fees or a discount. Determining the customs value becomes really difficult once there are several transactions in one chain or if you are working with intercompany transactions. All these components can lead to a lot of discussion with the customs authorities.
Consumers and companies alike order their goods increasingly often via e-commerce. E-commerce is an important theme also for Customs as this leads to totally different processes and risks. Media reports reveal large-scale VAT frauds with respect to this, but customs value and the correctness of the commodity code are re-occurring issues in e-commerce. There are, however, plenty of parties that do want to submit their declarations correctly, particularly within e-commerce.
The export of military goods and dual-use goods is subject to strict conditions. Also in view of various political and trade tensions there is an increasing focus on export-control measures and penalties. Violations of these regulations have far-reaching consequences. Not only criminal penalties, but the Public Prosecution Service increasingly often opts for naming & shaming.
The origin of a product is one of the base elements to determine the amount of customs duties due. Thus one of the steps is to determine the origin. When does a product get the origin of a country? Depending on the country of origin or the product’s destination, specific and complex regulations apply. We would like to help you to find your way through all the rules and to determine the correct origin.
Product & food safety
A wide range of extra conditions and formalities apply for the import and export of food and consumer items. Take for example veterinary or phytosanitary inspections, a health certificate or a CE marking. Enforcement in the area of product and food safety is important. The smallest of mistakes can have major consequences, such as the refusal of the goods in the EU, a recall or destruction.
Additional assessment (UTB)
If a customs debt arises, the debt will be levied by the Dutch Customs authorities with an additional assessment (hereinafter: UTB). If the customs authorities are of the opinion that a correction must be made based on the submitted declaration, for example regarding the classification of a product, Customs will impose a UTB for the difference. Such a UTB may come as a surprise for companies. In such cases, it is important to apply a critical view on the received UTB. After all, the viewpoints of the Dutch Customs authorities are not always correct. In a situation that Customs is or could be incorrect, companies are offered the opportunity to conduct an objection procedure and, if necessary, an appeal procedure with the court against the UTB.
Authorisations & customs planning
Paying the right amount of duties upon import. Only paying taxes if needed through an optimal use of the customs regulations – such as customs transit, inward processing, temporary import or storage in a customs warehouse. Use of authorisations requires a good administration and control of the processes.