An often unknown/un- or miss-managed legal issue. In the context of this activity, an operator in international trade must, in his relations with Customs, perform certain customs formal operations
For one year (as of 1stof July 2017) new, additional and far-reaching requirements now apply to customs representation. In practice, however, it is not clear to everyone what these new requirements directly mean in practice.
Those requirements are not only meant for freight forwarders and logistic service providers who make customs declarations for third parties, but also for departments within a group that provides customs documentation for a sister company who also must comply to these rules as well. In all cases of representation this is only possible with due regard for a whole set of conditions.
The most important differences compared to the past
There are 3 different ways to prepare customs documentation for another party:
In case of direct or indirect representation you act as a customs representative, with the most important differences listed as follows:
What are the conditions for admission?
In the Netherlands, all customs representatives must comply with the AEO (Authorized Economic Operator) criteria to represent another party directly or indirectly with:
In consultation with the branch organizations, the AEO criteria have been elaborated specifically for customs representatives. The demands placed on a trade and transport administration and practical professional competence have been worked out and published in the ‘Handboek Douane, chapter 2.00.00’. The customs authorities have been busy carrying out the reassessments for a while now, and it is partly due to the reassessment (when applicable for your company) of the AEO Certification for companies who already have this Certificate will be converted into a License AEO. So, do not wait for the implementation of the AEO criteria.
Checklist requirements for customs declarations
The legal deadline for checking customs documentation by customs authorities at client and direct or indirect representative is 7 years(the so-called CNI) and will therefore always have to be treated with the utmost care. Without complete and proper information from the client, its impossible for any customs broker to make high qualified customs documentation.
However, despite how experienced and knowledgeable you and your employees are, it is the client itself who is obliged by the legal representation (Direct or Indirect Representation) to ensure, always, a timely and correct delivery of data to the customs representative to be able to prepare compliant and correct customs declarations.