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Declaring goods to Customs

This information is provided by:Netherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONetherlands Enterprise Agency, RVONederlandse versie

Do you import or export goods from or to a country outside the EU? You must declare these goods to Customs. Based on your declaration, Customs will calculate the import or export duty. Customs will also decide whether any other Customs regulations are applicable, for example in relation to safety, health, the economy and the environment.

Digital declaration

Customs prefers electronic declarations via the DMS system (in Dutch) for the import or export of goods.

If you do not have much experience of importing and exporting and customs clearance, it would be a good idea to have the customs declaration made by a shipper, logistical service provider or customs agent. If you regularly import or export, you can submit your own customs declarations. Please contact the National Helpdesk Dutch Customs to do so. You will need:

Container Release Message (CVB)

Do you import goods from outside the EU through a Dutch port? You will need to use a Container Release Message (Container Vrijgave Bericht, CVB). As a result of the CVB procedure, it will no longer be possible to submit an import declaration before the goods have been unloaded. The CVB applies to containers, trailers, general cargo, and bulk cargo.

Using an EORI number

You must use the EORI number as an identification number when exchanging data with customs (mandatory). EORI stands for Economic Operator Registration and Identification number. You mainly require the EORI number when you trade with countries outside the EU. You also need the EORI number when trading with countries within the EU for products such as alcohol and tobacco.

AEO status

If you hold Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, this offers you various advantages in international trade. It is more and more often a necessary status in international trade, to prove your company is part of a safe logistics chain. With this status, for example, your goods will pass through customs inspections more easily, or will be inspected less frequently. You can apply to Customs for AEO status free-of-charge.

Trade within the EU

Export to other EU Member States is called intra-community supply. Import from other EU member states is called an intra-community acquisition. In such cases, declaration of goods to customs authorities is not required. For some products, such as liquor or tobacco, an EORI number is also required for trade with other EU countries.

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