SILS passes stringent reassessment of customs licenses without any problems

On 1 May 2016 the Union Customs Code (UCC) came into force. This new legislation meant the starting point for the Dutch Customs to reassess all previously issued customs licenses. Not some administrative formality, but this time an intensive and far-reaching audit process. The good news is that SILS endured this profound test on every front. The various customs authorizations that we need because we are customs agents, newly designated as customs representatives in the new legislation, have been renewed and comply with the latest legal requirements. SILS is your ultimate customs specialist, regardless of whether you want SILS to carry out these activities or to be advised on this because you do this yourself (in part) on the basis of your licenses.

Due to the new UCC legislation, customs licenses have to be adapted on many points. A more or less automatic extension of these licenses or the holders, as was sometimes the case with past legislative changes, was not the case this time: the many changes in the UCC were too far-reaching. Existing licenses could not be converted one-on-one this time in accordance with the new format. Hence an intensive process of re-assessments in which SILS has also been screened. This audit was tough and deep, we can say. Even for an experienced customs specialist like SILS!

Advantage of AEO certification

What helped with this audit is that SILS has been AEO certified for years. AEO stands for Authorized Economic Operator. We were one of the first companies in the Netherlands to receive the AEO certificate in 2008. From the beginning SILS has invested in maintaining the AEO status by developing a system of monitoring and keeping knowledge and expertise up-to-date at all times. From the very start, we have carried out this monitoring very seriously and we also managed it organisationally within SILS. Every year since 2008, we have had field or desk audits from the customs office and successfully completed them.

Pre-work from AEO helped enormously

As a customs agent, we are still AEO compliant and keep our system of monitoring up-to-date. All this ‘preliminary work’ has helped SILS enormously in the recent audit we received from the customs authorities to determine whether our processes and procedures comply with the new legislation. For the sake of clarity: you do not have to be AEO certified in order to qualify for customs authorizations. Working according to AEO criteria is sufficient. All our work in this has indeed helped us to pass the heavy reassessment gloriously. We not only work in accordance with the AEO criteria, as required at least, but have the certification in place and keep it up to a high level.

Extra depth

The depth during the recent customs audit in the light of the UCC was remarkable and we have not seen such a depth before. Up to the level of detail, we have not only handed over AEO related information, but this time, for example, also detailed documentation of assignments. Note: per issued customs license. During the physical check from the customs, very specific questions were asked about this. In the end we passed the reassessment gloriously, we got a positive final interview with compliments from the customs authorities and all our existing customs licenses were continued. A reward for our work in recent years! Of course we continuously analyze our customs processes and, where necessary, improve these.

Customers benefit

For you, this official reaffirmation of our quality in the customs area means that we can continue to carry out our profession as customs representative in accordance with the latest legal requirements. Such as the storage of customs goods (customs warehouse) and import, export and the preparation of T-documents.

SILS advises

In the meantime, the customs authorities have indicated that they can not reassess all companies within the set period. These licenses are (temporarily) replaced until the same audit has been successfully completed. If companies need help with the reassessment, or want to outsource the work due to the heavy customs requirements, they can contact SILS.


Jens Stevens