Port Customs

The Port of Rotterdam acts as the external border of the European Union, which means that, after clearance in Rotterdam, freight can travel freely through the EU member states. Customs is responsible for releasing freight that arrives or leaves Europe via Rotterdam. The Customs Administration of the Netherlands operates 24/7 and is known for being one of the most efficient customs administrations in the world.

Checks with minimal impact

Customs uses risk analyses to determine whether inspections are needed. These are initially carried out via scans. There has been significant investment in recent years in high-tech scanning equipment at the terminals and the fastest train scan in the world. These scans mean that containers do not need to be opened unnecessarily. This guarantees cargo safety, reduces delays and cargo owners do not face any unnecessary costs.

Electronic submission of import and export documents via PortBase

The Port of Rotterdam Customs Office aims to carry out the statutory checks with a minimal impact on the logistics process. The submission of the necessary documents for import and export by importers, exporters, freight forwarders, agents, shipping companies, terminals and transporters can take place electronically and from anywhere in the world via the Portbase Port Community System.


Tax advantages for importing via Rotterdam

VAT needs to be paid on goods imported to Europe. In most EU countries, the payment of VAT must be made immediately on import. In the Netherlands, payment of this turnover tax (VAT) can be deferred until the time the VAT return is filed through the so-called authorisation article 23, which offers attractive cash flow advantages.

Logistics service providers and customs specialists

Organising the import and export of freight demands specific knowledge and expertise. A large number of logistics service providers and customs specialists operate in the Port of Rotterdam and can organise customs clearance and other affairs for you.


For more information, please contact Customs

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