When goods and services are imported from outside the European Union, they are classified as T1 goods or “customs goods,” i.e. not yet in free circulation in the European Union. This means that these goods first have to be cleared with customs by a forwarding agent in the port or at the airport. Once this is done, the goods enter into free circulation. The Purchasing department is responsible for submitting clearance requests.
In some cases, specific goods are not manufactured in the EU, but exclusively in e.g. the USA. If we can prove that this is the case and also declare that the purchased goods will only be used for scientific, non-commercial purposes, our import duties exemption permit can be used during the clearance process. The goods will then be exempt from import duties.
Clearing agent Rhenus Air
Rhenus Air handles a large part of the shipments that are sent to the University from outside the EU, including all packages transported by DHL and FedEx. Rhenus Air draws up the T1 documentation and handles the clearance process. Next, they invoice the costs and list a reference number (order, OTA or OFI number). The invoice is divided into several cost items. The biggest cost items are clearance costs, delivery costs, VAT on imported goods, warehouse rent and transit costs. The table below details the costs for 2017.
21% VAT over the product’s purchase value is calculated based on the commercial invoice that the supplier includes with the shipment.
Basic handling costs (clearance + delivery to destination)
Surcharge per kg -100kg
Surcharge per kg +100kg
Surcharge per kg +250kg
Surcharge per kg +500kg
Diesel surcharge basic (at the moment)
Surcharge per kg (at the moment)
Transit costs FedEx to Rhenus
Transit costs DHL to Rhenus
When University staff members take University property abroad (outside the EU, that is), a so-called ATA Carnet must be drawn up. With it, the UT informs the customs department that an employee will temporarily go abroad with University property and that this person will eventually return with the same goods. In that case, the University does not have to pay any taxes. Drawing up a Carnet – which still has to be endorsed by the Chamber of Commerce – is the responsibility of the Purchasing department.
Contact with forwarding agents
The Purchasing department maintains almost daily contact with several forwarding agents. Each of these parties regularly receives shipments from foreign purchase orders placed by the Purchasing department.
For more information, contact Daniëlle Hendriks.