The Dutch Customs Authorities are remaining active

The Dutch Customs Authorities are also very aware that many companies are affected by the coronavirus in these turbulent times. The Dutch Customs Authorities have introduced measures where possible to provide entrepreneurs and care providers with assistance. Based on new information this article was updated on September 30, 2020 following recent new developments.

Package of measures

The Dutch Customs Authorities introduced a package of measures on 26th March 2020, aimed at ensuring any companies affected by the corona crisis are provided with relief and assistance.

This package of measures includes regulations which cover the following subjects:

  • Legal deadlines;
  • Permits;
  • Deferral of payments; and,
  • Fines.

Different conditions will apply to each of these subjects where their application is concerned. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to receive more information, as we would gladly provide you with a more detailed explanation of the applicable measures and conditions.

Exemption for imports of personal protective equipment

The Dutch Customs Authorities have decided that the import of ‘personal protective equipment’ can be exempt from customs duties under certain conditions. This is to ensure companies wanting to donate or use personal protective equipment for healthcare workers are not hindered by customs processes and charges. This will subsequently also relieve the logistical process.  

However, the applicable European Regulation states this is only possible if:

  • There is a disaster affecting one or more EU Member States; and
  • Personal protective equipment must be imported by government agencies, relief units or philanthropic institutions; and
  • The personal protective equipment is being donated to, or used by, victims of the disaster.

An important note here is that the exemption can not be used if a party wishes to sell the relevant protective equipment.

Providing the conditions are met, companies can import the goods in their own name, without having to pay customs duties. Logistical delays will be minimised where possible, making sure personal protective equipment arrives at the required destination as quickly as possible.

Restrictions on the export of personal protective equipment

The EU has also introduced a restriction on exports of personal protective equipment through a special regulation. 

The regulation ensures the personal protective equipment mentioned in the relevant regulation can only be exported when companies have an export licence. These permits are issued by the national authority. The application form was published on the Dutch Customs Authorities’ website on 25th March 2020.

Postponement of new exporter definition

It will no longer be possible for non-EU companies to be listed as an ‘exporter’ in box 2 of the export declaration in the Netherlands with effect from 1st April 2020. The corona crisis has resulted in the implementation of the amended exporter definition being postponed. However, recently, the Dutch Customs authorities have issued a statement that the postponement will last until December 31, 2020. As of January 1, 2021, a non-EU established company would no longer be listed as an ‘exporter’ in box 2 of the export declaration in the Netherlands. 

Until such time, it’s still possible for non-EU companies to be listed as an ‘exporter’.

Would you like to find out more about the possibilities and impact for your organisation? Then please get in touch with Stevie Mols or Jayant Rakhan in Baker Tilly’s VAT & Customs Advisory team.