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Dutch Customs supports companies in Covid-19 crisis


On 26 March 2020, the Dutch customs authorities have officially announced a package of measures to support companies which are facing challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic. Affected businesses can be granted more time to pay their duties, penalties are eased and tailormade solutions will be made available regarding legal terms and licenses.

Deferred payment

  • The Dutch customs authorities will grant companies deferment of payment of import duties. A company needs to file a formal request if it wants to defer the payment. The deferment will ultimately apply until the 15th day of the month following the month in which the installed measures to deal with the coronavirus are terminated. 
  • Payments of customs duties are generally made by your logistic service provider after which the duties are charged on to the company for whom the service is provided for. In order to be able to make use of the deferment, timely execution of precautions is advised. Reach out to your logistic service provider as soon as possible to discuss next steps and align on the best approach.
  • Deferment of payment of excise duties and consumption tax can be requested after the (excise) tax assessment (‘naheffingsaanslag’) is issued.

Penalties and fines

  • The Dutch customs authorities will take on a flexible approach in dealing with companies who are not able to comply with customs obligations in time if this is caused by the coronavirus.
  • If no violations or criminal acts and/or no intent or blame is in play, no penalties will be imposed.


Legal terms

  • The Dutch customs authorities will provide tailored solutions for companies that cannot comply with strict legal deadlines (f.e. the submitting of the supplementary declaration).
  • File applications for repayment or objections in a pro-forma manner (i.e. without detailed information on why the request is filed). In case of exceeding of the legal term the special circumstances will be taken into consideration and one will be allowed to further substantiate the request / appeal at a later stage.
  • Non-compliance in legal terms in relation to transit procedures resulting from installed measures necessary to deal with the coronavirus will be regarded as acceptable failure to comply with the time limit. 


  • The Dutch customs authorities will provide tailored solutions for companies that cannot comply with financial solvency requirements in relation to their AEO-status, the appointment of the customs representative or the reduction or exemption of the guarantee on the basis of the comprehensive guarantee authorization.
  • The terms for pending license applications which cannot be completed in time as a result of the coronavirus shall be suspended (in case of electronic filing one is asked to report the delay themselves).

Practical points of interest and next steps

At PwC we see opportunities for companies to cope with problems they are facing as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. This package of measures installed by the Dutch customs authorities endorses the willingness of the Dutch government to assist companies in these challenging times.

On another note application of these measures in practice will prove to be a big challenge. Align with your business associates to make sure all necessary precautions are taken into consideration. In case you wish to discuss this package of measures in more detail or require assistance on these matters, please feel free to contact us.

Contact us

Claudia Buysing Damsté

Claudia Buysing Damsté

Partner, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 103 04 63

Jos Verstraten

Jos Verstraten

Senior Tax Director, PwC Netherlands

Tel: +31 (0)65 329 63 07

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