Control 2 Control
Customs Partners BV is an independent customs consultancy firm which was established in early 2008 by Hans Kienstra following years of experience working at Customs and, in the capacity of senior manager, the International Trade and Customs group of Arthur Andersen and Deloitte.
The services we provide can best be described as ‘Andersen with a Twist’: the same high levels of quality, but with a more personal and accessible approach. Our services are rendered on the basis of mutual trust.
We feel that in addition to our approach with its strong emphasis on personal involvement and accessibility, it is especially the experience we can boast in terms of working for both the actual Customs authorities and one of the Big 4 that constitutes our ‘unique selling point’.
Customs in Control
Needless to say we can advise and support you in matters pertaining to ‘traditional’ customs subjects such as: Classification, Customs Value, Origin, Customs Arrangements and Objection and Appeal.
We however feel that our greatest strength lies in the setting up of an optimum ‘customs infrastructure’. This infrastructure does not just encompass systems and software, but the tailor-made implementation and, where possible, simplification of customs arrangements as well.
Based on years of experience, we have developed a method to efficiently assess your situation and offer proposals for simplification which fit in with your possibilities. Customs makes a great number of requirements on your organisation, requirements which we can assess for feasibility and implementability together with you. Wherever possible, we aim to build upon what has already been done within your organisation in terms of internal process control.
Our distinctive strength lies in the manner in which we approach the task before us. For example, from the actual application of a license to operate a bonded warehouse to the factual follow-up. Making sure that the organisation starts operating as laid down in the Administrative Organisation description, by means of training sessions and evaluations of the measures aimed at Internal Control.
For this, mutual trust and the proverbial ‘click’ are necessary. Because we value this extremely highly ourselves, no costs are attached to this first orientation.
Particularly in economically ‘turbulent’ times, it is important to critically assess a number of areas which allow you to limit your costs and in regards to which you can obtain closure so that you will not be confronted with unpleasant surprises. We can advise and support you in matters pertaining to ‘traditional’ customs topics such as:
- Customs Value
- Customs Arrangements
- Objection and Appeal
aimed at defining and implementing various cost-saving measures in consultation with you. But always with our familiar approach as a starting point. We feel that only the best is good enough for you! In our opinion, the experience we can boast with working for both the actual Customs authorities and one of the Big 4 is what makes us unique. And should a situation arise in which we feel that we cannot be your optimal partner, then we will not hesitate to refer you through our network. A network which by the way exclusively comprises customs advisors who at least have experience working for Customs and one of the Big 4 and who share our strong sense of commitment and passion. This network also guarantees that both you and we have the necessary continuity and reflection.
“The Customs Advisors”
Customs Partners BV is part of the international ‘The Customs Advisors’ network. Through this network, we can guarantee constant quality and continuity.
For more information, please visit our joint website.
Currently, it is not easy to find knowledge and experience pertaining to customs matters. As a result, it often proves difficult to fill the position of ‘customs manager’. A possible solution for this could be to temporarily fill this position on an interim basis, making it possible to link our broad range of experience with the talent available within your organisation.
During a specified term, we take on the role of customs manager while at the same time schooling your staff by means of on-the-job training.
In order for a company to properly function, it is important that all employees are properly trained. Only the level varies, of course; an employee in the customs warehouse must for example have other specific customs knowledge at his disposal than the purchasing manager responsible for calculating the cost price of products.
Our years of experience working for Customs itself and in the rendering of business services have enabled us to develop a number of training sessions for all levels. Especially the so-called ‘customs basis’ training is an outstanding instrument to make sure that everyone reaches the same basic level. Once this level has been achieved, it is possible to offer more specific training sessions. Feel free to contact us for a consultation – no strings attached.
‘The tone at the top’
Since the 1st of January 2008, it has been possible for you to apply for a so-called AEO certificate; this certificate demonstrates that you are a reliable trade partner to both Customs and other market links in the supply chain.
The first step in the procedure for obtaining an AEO certificate is the carrying-out of a self-assessment. This is a new phenomenon for Customs in the Netherlands and one that will be used much more frequently in the future. You yourself need to check beforehand whether you meet certain standards and criteria and, based on the outcome of this, make adjustments to your organisation if necessary.
Practice has shown that many companies have difficulties in carrying out this self-assessment in an efficient and objective fashion. We are happy to offer you a proposal as to how we can support you.
Horizontal Supervision Customs
Horizontal Supervision Customs (Horizontaal Toezicht Douane or HTD in Dutch) is an enforcement methodology in which a company (or chain of companies) and Customs share the responsibility for the system of supervision, based on equality, cooperation and proven trustworthiness. Together with the business community, Customs is currently further fleshing out the HTD procedure.
As much as possible, HTD aims to be a continuation of what the business community itself has already done in terms of internal process control. Self-assessment therefore also plays an important role here.
The AEO Guidelines states that an AEO certified company regularly assesses whether the conditions for certification are still met. We have developed an approach, which ensures that the relevant requirements are tested and evaluated. Based on our findings, we compose a report including concrete actions to be taken in order to hedge risks and to implement possible improvements
This report can be submitted to Customs in order to demonstrate you have performed an external AEO monitoring. By also include the action and improvements you can show that you have an ‘open’ attitude towards customs based on mutual trust.
Naturally, we are happy to do an appropriate proposal
The preservation of the AEO certificate and to demonstrate you are ‘in control’, is particularly important to maintain the licenses for simplified procedure:
- local clearance procedure placement customs warehouse
- local clearance procedure release into free circulation (import)
Prevention is better than cure
Post Clearance Audits (PCA)
In practice, we come from many situations where companies are facing administrative controls by customs. These are called ‘post clearance audits’ and are based on Article 78 of the Community Customs Code. This article describes the right of the Customs to inspect the records of importers for data included in the import declarations from which the declaration process has already been completed and after goods have been released.
Experience shows that many importers are surprised, since the declarations were handled and possible duties rights became due. Also, they are surprised by the fact that the customs just come to visit them while service providers, such as customs agents, filed the declarations. However, because they have signed a power of attorney ‘direct representative’ they are regarded by Customs as principal and therefore liable for imposed duties.
Consequences are often dramatic: large amounts of additional duties for incorrect commodity codes and customs value. We are convinced that the consequences in many situations can be avoided by regularly assess declarations that are made on your behalf by yourself. After all: ‘prevention is better than cure’
We have developed an approach that can help to regular check the declarations to avoid disappointments!