Data protection and your travel details used for customs supervision

Millions of tons of commercial goods and travellers’ luggage leave and enter our country, which is the gate of Europe, every day: by land, sea and air. It is obvious that these goods are supervised and inspected by the Customs Administration. This is the work field of the Dutch Customs Administration.

Travel details

Customs inspections are carried out on the basis of risk analyses. For this purpose the Customs Administration collects and analyses information. The Customs Administration uses Passenger Name Records (PNR) for supervising the travellers’ luggage. These are details that airline companies record for each traveller who books a flight. For example, the date of reservations, travel route details and luggage information.

These PNR details are sent to the Customs Administration through a secured connection by airline companies. This in any case regards the PNR details of:

  • all flights from outside the European Union (EU) which arrive at a Dutch airport
  • all flights which depart from a Dutch airport to a destination outside the EU

The analysis of all required information is done as soon as possible, so that the inspections can take place as effectively and efficiently as possible, with as little inconvenience as possible.

Also on the basis of this information the Customs Administration decides which flights will be inspected and the travellers flow is subdivided into various risk degrees.


The Customs Administration will have the legal competence to demand traveller information on the basis of article 15 of the Customs Code of the Union (EU regulation 952/2013 - Customs Code of the Union - UCC).


Processing travel details by the Customs Administration is done in conformity with the General Data Protection Regulation - GDPR (in Dutch: Algemene Verordening Gegevensbescherming - AVG).

The PNR details are kept by the Customs Administration for 48 hours after the arrival or departure of a flight; in specific cases they are kept for 28 days. After this period the personal details are destroyed. The other details, which have been anonymised, are used by the Customs Administration for trend analysis purposes.

Right of inspection and right of correction

You have a right of inspection and a right of correction. If you make use of these rights, you can inspect the PNR details about you which the airline company has supplied to the Customs Administration. Your airline company supplies details with each trip. You will not be offered insight into details regarding the inspection strategy.

Would you use your right to correction? Then please contact your travel provider or the Customs Information Line.

Would you use your right of inspection? Then please contact your travel provider or the Customs Information Line.

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