Pushing Boundaries

Dutch Customs try to find the right balance between customs supervision and trade facilitation. Speed and predictability are essential in this respect. Our aim is to implement robust controls, but with as little administrative hassle and regulatory pressure on business as possible, and with minimum delays to the logistic flow. So, for example, Dutch Customs use data analysis to pre-select from a consignment to be checked even before a ship or aircraft arrives in the Netherlands. This can then already be taken into account when the goods are unloaded. Any goods that do not need to be checked can then be sent straight on their way through the logistics process immediately after unloading. This means that Dutch Customs play an important role in promoting the competitiveness of the Netherlands and the EU.

Declarations may only be accepted once the goods have been presented to Customs. In the Netherlands, however, declarations can be submitted in advance of the goods arrival and are then already accepted in a technical sense. Numerous checks are already carried out at the time of technical acceptance. If the declaration contains errors, it will be rejected. The declarant can then correct their declaration before the goods arrive, so that a correct declaration is always accepted in the Dutch Customs’ system when the goods are presented. A risk selection is already carried out on any declaration accepted before presentation of the goods and Authorised Economic Operators (AEOs) are even informed before the goods arrive whether their shipment will be checked on arrival. All of these steps make the process of importing goods into the Netherlands very transparent and predictable for business.

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