Custom & Border Services

Better Solution, to Better You

We’ll make sure your international shipment gets to where it needs to go as quickly and efficiently as possible. As logistics experts, we fully understand the impact that delays in border clearances can have on your business.

With our extensive knowledge of customs clearance and documentation requirements around the world, we will help expedite the delivery of your shipment, avoiding costly and inconvenient delays.

We arrange export and import customs clearance across our global network, including border control formalities. We can also help you with management services.

Our global end-to-end logistics capability means we can arrange the transhipment or local delivery of your cleared goods through our integrated SKY Group network. Alternatively, we can provide you with bonded.

Whether you are an importer/exporter or an organization is needing a reliable and efficient international supply chain solution; As long as you want to make sure a piece of vital equipment is delivered internationally as quickly as possible. We will take care of the customs processes and cross-border formalities for you.

VAT & Import Duties


Value Added Tax (VAT) is due on imports of goods and services into Europe Country. The tax authorities can refund all VAT paid by companies in the various EU countries. Without specific arrangements, the applicable VAT rate has to be paid over the customs value of the goods (invoice value, freight & handling cost, import duties, and local transport). The EU VAT rate varies per country.

Import duties

If goods are imported into Europe Country, VAT and import duties have to be paid. Either when the goods are imported or at a later stage. If the products are stored in a bonded warehouse, the payments of import duties and VAT can be postponed until the goods have been sold to an EU customer.


If sold to a non-EU customer (e.g., Russia, Norway, Switzerland). The goods can be kept “in transit” this means no duties and VAT have to be paid in the EU.

Fiscal Representation

Only local companies with a fixed or permanent establishment in the respective EU countries can use the VAT deferment system. To enable foreign companies to make use of this beneficial feature, the international company needs to appoint a fiscal representative.

The benefits of fiscal representation are:

  • Delayed VAT payments: no negative impact on your cash flow due to VAT deferral
  • Easier trading in the European Union: no need to have a company in Europe as the VAT number of a 3rd party can be used
  • Easier administration: the fiscal representative will check the VAT numbers of the customers and will file the VAT returns and EU sales listings.

In some EU countries, there are two kinds of fiscal representation:

  • Limited fiscal representation
  • General fiscal representation

Ad 1 Limited fiscal representation

A foreign company can appoint a limited fiscal representative (logistics service provider, consultant, customs broker) that will take care of all VAT formalities connected to importing and distributing goods into the European Union. In practice, the VAT sub number of the limited fiscal representative is used for the VAT deferment. This way, the foreign company does not have to register for VAT purposes in the local EU country. Multiple foreign companies can be handled under this limited fiscal representative number.

Ad 2 General fiscal representative

If a foreign company in acquiring goods from one or more of the EU member states or if this company conducts long-distance sales to parties in the EU a general fiscal representative need to be appointed. A logistics service provider, customs broker or consultant, can act as general fiscal representative. In contrast to limited fiscal representation the foreign company needs to be registered as a company in the EU to make use of general fiscal representation.

In the case of general fiscal representation, the foreign company is issued a unique VAT number. Due to this it is only possible to appoint one general fiscal representative in the respective EU member state.

For both types of fiscal representation, the foreign company needs to place a deposit with the Dutch tax authorities. The height of the deposit is related to the average VAT amount to be paid during a particular period (month/quarter)

Bonded Warehousing

Goods that enter the customs territory of the EU from outside it may be stored under the supervision of (EU) Customs. When goods are stored in this manner, no import duties or other import taxes are owed. Furthermore, certain trade and agricultural policy measures, import bans, and import restrictions are not applied. This special customs warehouse is called a bonded warehouse. The storage of goods under customs control in a bonded warehouse requires a license.

When goods are shipped to the European Union (EU), they usually need to be customs cleared. This results in paying import duties and VAT. It is possible to store the goods in a bonded warehouse for an unlimited period. During this period o duties and VAT are due. Duties and VAT need to be paid when sold to the EU client. In case the client is located in a Non-EU country, the goods can be kept in transit.  the goods are transported in bond from the bonded warehouse whereas only the duties and VAT are paid in the country of destination.

The majority of the bonded warehouses are administratively controlled. This means that because of the intensive administrative control the number of physical checks is reduced dramatically.

Binding Tariff Information (BTI)

Sometimes you want to know which tariff code applies before you release your goods into free circulation. In that case, you can calculate the import duties owed in advance. If you want to determine the tariff codes in advance, you can ask local EU Customs to issue binding tariff information (BTI).

The BTI specifies which tariff code applies to the goods described in the BTI. The customs authorities of other Member States will subsequently be bound by that classification. For example, a BTI issued by the Italian customs authorities will also be binding for Customs in the Netherlands.

Applying for a BTI

SKY Group can apply for a BTI on your behalf. An application for BTI should be made on a standard application form. An application must be in respect of only one type of goods (one SKU/part number). The request, including a brochure, datasheet, and sample, is sent to the local EU customs, and depending on the type of product, laboratory research may be part of the investigation. The investigation may take 2-3 months, and the result of the investigation will be announced on an official BTI document.


A BTI is valid for six years. A BTI will lose its validity prematurely if, for example:

  • the tariff code is changed
  • the EU, by regulation, prescribes a different classification
  • the European Court rules differently in a decision

Our customs brokerage and clearance services include

  • tariff classification and duty file maintenance
  • import and export clearance
  • duty drawback application
  • pre-shipment authorization and pre-clearance
  • export document preparation
  • transhipment permit processing
  • electronic connection to customs/electronic filing
  • consulting services and advice