Customs representation

There are three different ways to make declarations for someone else:

  • as the declarant (status code representative: 1)
    You make the declaration in your own name and on your own account.
  • as the direct representative (status code representative: 2)
  • as the indirect representative (status code representative: 3)

You act as a customs representative when you make a declaration as a direct or indirect representative.

The rules governing customs representation have changed. The Union Customs Code (UCC) took effect on 1 May 2016.

What are the most important differences?

  • The customs representative must be established in the customs territory of the European Union.
    He or she can also act as a representative in other countries of the customs territory of the Union.
  • Countries of the customs territory of the Union must admit customs representatives from other countries of the Union when these representatives fulfil the AEO criteria.
  • Conditions that a customs representative must fulfil can be provided domestically.

What are the conditions for admission?

In the Netherlands, all customs representatives must fulfil the AEO criteria in order to be able to represent parties directly or indirectly in:

  • making a customs declaration
  • making a declaration for temporary storage
  • making an entry summary declaration
  • making an exit summary declaration
  • making an re-export declaration
  • making a re-export notification

The AEO criteria pertain to:

  • compliance
  • efficient system of managing commercial and transport records
  • financial solvency
  • practical standards of competence

The AEO criteria have been further elaborated specifically for customs representatives in consultation with the sector organisations, including FENEX. The requirements imposed on systems of managing commercial and transport records and the practical standards of competence have been detailed and published in the Customs Manual, Chapter 2.00.00, paragraph 5 (only available in Dutch).

I possess an old ‘Customs Agent Admission’

Do you have an old ‘Customs Agent Admission’, issued prior to 1 May 2016? In that case, this admission will remain valid until Customs assesses whether or not you fulfil the AEO criteria (including their further elaboration). This assessment will take place ultimately on 1 May 2019. You will be admitted as a customs representative in accordance with the new provisions if you fulfil the conditions.

I do not possess an old ‘Customs Agent Admission’

You must submit an application pursuant to the new provisions by means of the Application for Customs Representative Admission (only available in Dutch) if you want to represent others directly or indirectly in making customs declarations and you do not have an old ‘Customs Agent Admission’ issued prior to 1 May 2016. You must fulfil the AEO criteria (including their further elaboration).

Please evaluate critically whether you want to continue to act as a customs representative before submitting an application. It is e.g. possible that you act only occasionally as a direct or indirect representative. You can also make a declaration for yourself or someone else in your own name and on your own account.

See also

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