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You must declare goods to Customs if you import or export these goods from or to a country outside the EU. 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.
Customs prefers electronic declarations. If you do not have much experience of importing and exporting, 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. Criteria:
- You have an authorisation from Customs.
- You have an approved software package.
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. Since 2010, an EORI number has been issued to all Economic Operators established and active in Europe.
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 some products such as alcohol and tobacco.
If you hold Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) status, this offers you various advantages in international trade. 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.