Customs Tax Law

Up until the Second World War, this was not the case. Then the legislation only applied to the Netherlands. There was however an agreement, made in 1868 with the countries along the Rhine, which allowed the free passage of goods along the Rhine. This agreement still applies today. There was also an agreement made in 1843 with Belgium, the so-called Scheldetractaat, which allowed the free passage of goods from the North Sea to and from the ports of Antwerp and Ghent. But that was all.

In the 1940's and 1950's all this changed and a number of international organizations such as the United Nations, the International Customs Committee (now the World Customs Organisation) and the organization based on the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade - GATT (which has further developed into the World Trade Organisation) came into being. The aim of these organizations was to improve international trade and one way of doing this was to harmonise customs legislation.

A number of regulations came into being:
  • the Brussels terminology or nomenclature (the precursor of the present Harmonised System).
  • the Brussels value definition (the precursor of the present GATT-related fixed value definition).
  • the 1959 TIR convention (now the 1975 convention).

    The Euratom, the Benelux EGKS and EEG also came into being during this period, whereby the primary objective of the EG was to improve the economic development of it's member states. One important way of doing is the development of a common market and one of the steps is the formation of a customs union. International treaties were agreed concerning passage of goods by road, rail, sea, air and post. These treaties contain stipulations concerning customs-related transactions arising from the passage of goods. Then of course, the customs affairs of the international armed forces, the diplomatic corps and other international organizations were also arranged.

    Source: Customs Manual

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