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What do you need for doing customs clearance?

List of essential requirements for filing your customs clearance declarations

If you import or export goods to and from a country outside the EU, you must make a customs clearance declaration with Customs and usually pay import duties. You can either arrange the clearance through a customs broker or do it yourself. But what do you need to file a customs declaration yourself? We will explain it to you in this article.

Make a customs declaration with customs software

Apply for an EORI number

When you want to file a customs declaration yourself, you must have a business presence in the Netherlands as the declarant. You can register your business at the Chamber of Commerce (KvK). Although this can also be elsewhere in the EU, establishing outside the Netherlands brings additional complexity.

Furthermore, you need to apply for an EORI number. The EORI number is an essential identification number for exchanging data with Customs. EORI stands for Economic Operators Registration and Identification. You need an EORI number when contacting Customs. With this number, your data is exchanged more quickly with other countries.

Apply for AEO status

AEO status is not mandatory for making customs declarations. However, for companies active in international trade, the status of Authorised Economic Operator (AEO) can offer significant benefits. As an AEO license holder, you are considered reliable in customs transactions throughout the Union, making it easier for your goods to pass through customs checks, and you are subject to fewer inspections. You can apply for AEO status at Customs.

Determine import or export duties

When importing and exporting goods, you pay tax on the customs value. The customs value is what the goods are worth when they enter the EU. This includes both import and export duties, the amount of which depends on various factors such as the country of origin and the type of products. The customs value of goods is the same in all EU countries. In addition to import and export duties, other taxes may apply, such as VAT and excise duties. You can find all tariffs in the Customs Tariff (DTV) platform. The Customs Tariff is a platform of Customs where you can find the rate of import duties and other regulations applicable to the import and export of goods.

Classify commodity codes

To file an accurate customs declaration, you need the correct commodity code. These codes, found in the DTV, are used by Customs to determine import duties, VAT rates, and possible measures for your goods, such as an import license for medicines or certain plants. Through the Customs Tariff, you can also search for the commodity codes of your goods. You will also find a description of the goods, the duties and other taxes on import that you must pay, and other customs regulations that you must take into account.

If you want to know more about goods codes, read this article: What are HS codes, GN codes, and TARIC codes?

Electronic messaging registration

Digital customs declarations are processed through the customs declaration system DMS. For those with no experience, a carrier or customs broker can handle customs clearance. If you are going to file customs declarations yourself, you must submit an Electronic Message Exchange Registration to Customs in advance. In the application form, you must also indicate which customs clearance software you will use. If you have questions, you can reach Customs by phone for assistance.

Apply for customs permits

If you are filing declarations as an agent for your clients, you must apply for the Customs Representation Authorization permit. For the periodic payment of import duties and taxes by using the monthly credit, you must also apply for a Deferred Payment (DPO). If you want to file declarations for a customs procedure that requires a permit, such as customs transit, bonded warehouse, and temporary import, you must have the necessary customs permits to use these procedures.

If you have little experience with Customs, we advise you to contact a customs consultant who can guide you through the application process.

You will also find an overview of customs permits here.

Excise and Consumption Tax

For certain products, such as spirits or tobacco, excise duty must be paid. Consumption tax may also apply to other goods. To trade in excise goods in the EU, you must also have an EORI number and the relevant customs permits.

Choose the Right Customs Software

Modern customs declarations are all processed electronically, requiring the use of specialized customs clearance software. Gateway is a leading provider of customs software that offers SaaS solutions for handling various customs formalities. From import & export to customs warehousing, from e-commerce and excise duties to various associated procedures and certifications, Gateway is an ideal software solution for all your customs processes. Contact us via our contact form or call us directly.

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