Balance between supervision and trade facilitation

Speed and predictability are very important in facilitating international trade. We are very much aware of the task we have as Dutch Customs in promoting the competitive position of the Netherlands and the EU. Recent scientific research has even shown that there is a significant relationship between the performance of a customs organisation and the growth of a country’s trade and economy.

Our aim is to perform proper checks but with as little administrative burden as possible for the business community and with minimal disruption to the logistics flow. For example, Dutch Customs already makes a selection of the cargo to be checked via data management, before a ship or aircraft arrives in the Netherlands. This can already be taken into account when unloading the goods. Goods that do not need to be checked can then continue on their way in the logistics process immediately after unloading without delay. In this way, Dutch Customs plays an important role in maintaining the competitive position of the Netherlands and the EU.

Our regular customs declaration process is now fully automated. Although this has minimised the amount of paper used, special non-fiscal legislation, based on international treaties, sometimes still requires paper documents, such as a certificate. We realise that in a digital environment this can be a hindrance to logistics. That is why we are currently investigating, in collaboration with other services, whether further digitisation is possible. In doing so, we are sharing our knowledge with the other enforcement agencies.

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