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Dealing with Customs Disruptions: Tips and Advice

Tackling Customs Challenges and Ensuring Smooth Operations

Customs processes are increasingly automated, leading declarants to rely entirely on digital systems for their declarations. Customs aims for maximum availability of these systems, but sometimes there are maintenance works or customs disruptions that interfere with the availability.

Customs system disruption

Customs declaration systems can sometimes fail, causing significant disruptions in logistics and additional work for importers and exporters. In this article, we share useful tips on how to handle customs disruptions as a declarant.

Stay informed about the customs maintenance and disruptions 

On the website of the National Customs Helpdesk (NHD, in Dutch “Nationale Douane Helpdesk”), you can check for scheduled maintenance tasks. Furthermore, you can subscribe to the Dutch customs system email alerts or RSS feeds to stay informed about all customs disruptions and maintenance on customs systems. You can also choose exactly which customs systems you want to receive updates for with your subscription.

Check the availability of customs systems

During maintenance or disruptions, the availability information is available on the NHD website. If your declarations are not being processed, you can first check the availability information on the NHD website. Here is the availability website of NHD.

Use the customs emergency procedure

If there is indeed a customs disruption and it’s pretty urgent for you handle your goods, you can use the emergency procedure with permission from Customs. Refer to the customs emergency procedures website for more information. Additionally, you can contact the staff at NHD when necessary.

Complaint procedure

Correctly reporting issues and complaints is essential for improving the Dutch Customs' service. Make sure you submit your complaint in the correct manner so that this valuable information is processed effectively. Make your complaints known by filling out the customs complaints form on the Customs website.

Emergency procedure in Gateway

If you use Gateway to make customs declarations, you can easily activate the emergency procedure in Gateway. For example, with the DECO system: when the DECO system experiences disruptions, you can easily activate the emergency procedure in Gateway. Right-click on your B2C e-commerce manifest and report your shipments by phone to Customs Declaration Handling Schiphol Cargo. After approval, you can quickly compose an email in Gateway with the necessary PDF attachment for Customs. Make sure to submit your digital declaration as soon as possible after the disruption, no later than the first working day after the disruption ends. The same applies to the DMS and other systems. If you have any questions about the emergency procedure in Gateway, do not hesitate to contact us.

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