VGEM - tasks and responsibilities Dutch Customs

The Dutch Customs Administration has different tasks and responsibilities in the field of safety, health, economy and environment (abbreviated as 'VGEM'). For example, Dutch customs officers monitor the import, export and transportation of goods. For this purpose, Customs checks whether taxes due at the time of import are paid and whether goods meet the requirements at the time of export.

Customs also supervises compliance with VGEM legislation. This legislation stipulates that importing, exporting or transporting certain goods within the Netherlands and/or the European Union is prohibited, or is only permitted if (strict) conditions are met, or if the goods meet certain requirements. On account of its VGEM responsibilities, Customs carries out a large number of inspection, observation and investigation tasks at the request of various ministries.

General Customs Act

The (inspection) powers of Customs are regulated in the General Customs Act. The Annex to the General Customs Act lists special acts to which the General Customs Act applies. Customs supervises compliance with the VGEM acts and regulations using powers based on the General Customs Act. In addition, Customs officials are often appointed as special investigators. Customs uses this investigative power if it encounters violations or records punishable offences in the performance of its inspection tasks.

The extent of Customs involvement in monitoring and supervising compliance with the VGEM-legislation is regulated in a covenant or framework agreement in consultation with the ministry in question.

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