Netherlands: New customs declaration system, phased implementation by 2023

Introduction of a new customs declaration system (DMS) must be completed before 1 January 2023.

Phased implementation by 2023

Under the Union Customs Code, introduction of a new customs declaration system—the Customs Declarations Management System (Douaneaangiften Management Systeem—DMS)—must be completed before 1 January 2023.

Dutch Customs in 2022 started preparations to replace the Aangiftesysteem (AGS) declaration system, the Automated Periodic Declaration (Geautomatiseerde Periodieke Aangifte—GPA), and the Written Periodic Declaration (Schriftelijke Periodieke Aangifte—SPA).

  • It is possible to request an extension of the deadline until 1 July 2023 with regard to GPA.
  • Dutch Customs has not taken a position on whether an extension is permitted with regard to SPA.

Implications for customs processes

With the transition from the current declaration systems to DMS, changes will also be made to customs processes that could have implications for company’s customs processes. For example, the data sets for the import declarations will change when DMS is introduced. All companies that import or export goods via the Netherlands will be affected by this change. This also applies to the large group of companies that outsourced the filing of declarations to Dutch Customs representatives. Depending on the type of customs activities and the manner in which declarations are filed, the transition to DMS could, to a greater or lesser extent, result in additional costs being incurred. 

Under the current declaration systems, the majority of Dutch companies that file their declarations themselves use existing software applications to establish a connection with Dutch Customs. Dutch Customs representatives also often use these software applications. In the past, a small number of companies opted to develop this connection themselves. The companies that still use their own application must now either opt to develop a new application for their own use or in future make use of the services of software providers. The majority of the remaining companies is expected to again use applications from software suppliers or decide to outsource the declarations to Dutch Customs representatives.

Companies that, in addition to regular import and export, make use of special arrangements (such as inward processing and customs warehouse) will have to bring the associated customs processes in line with DMS. In this context, it is expected that Dutch Customs will carry out a review inspection, which will also involve a reassessment of the changes to the customs processes, including a revised description of the administrative organization and internal control measures. Individual arrangements will often be made with this group of companies.

Phased implementation

In principle, there are three distinct stakeholders in the customs process—i.e., Dutch Customs, the software supplier, and the declarant. The declarant can be the company itself or its Dutch Customs representative.

The transition from the current systems to DMS is expected to lead to major capacity problems for both Dutch Customs and the business sector. Accordingly, Dutch Customs, in consultation with the business sector, has decided on a phased implementation for 2022. This means that not all companies will transition at once, but this will take place over the course of 2022. The three stakeholders will as much as possible mutually decide when the transition can take place.

Read a January 2022 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in the Netherlands

 

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