Do you want to sell products outside the European Union? This may seem difficult, but with a good preparation you can save a lot of stress. Here are 5 tips for a good preparation.

Tip 1. Arrange an EORI number

You need an Economic Operators Registration and Identification (EORI) number if you are dealing with Dutch customs. During export, a notice of export will be made as proof that your goods have left the EU. You may then sell your goods at a zero tax rate. You can request the number from the tax authorities. The handling of your application can take several weeks. On the website of the tax authorities you can find more information and request a number.

Tip 2. Select the correct Incoterm

International Commercial Terms (Incoterms) are international agreements about the delivery conditions of goods. The latest Incoterms are currently the Incoterms 2010. These cover the different obligations of the buyer and seller. For example:
• who is responsible for the necessary insurance, permits and authorizations,
• who takes care of the transport and to where,
• the turning point at which costs and risks are transferred from the seller to the buyer.
Clear communication about which Incoterms apply can prevent a lot of ambiguity between the buyer, seller and carrier. Commonly used conditions for export are EXW, FOB, CIF and DAP. Here you can download an overview of delivery conditions.

Tip 3. Check whether your product falls under the Dangerous Goods category

A shipping company or airline can ask you to prove whether your product is classified as a dangerous substance. This mainly occurs with chemical products. In English this information can be found in the Material Safety Data Sheet, abbreviated MSDS. In Box 14 of the MSDS, it is indicated per mode of transport whether certain goods fall under the Dangerous Goods classification. If this is the case, a Dangerous Goods Declaration (DGD) will have to be issued in in addition to the MSDS and the goods will have to be packed in the correct manner.

Tip 4. Send larger quantities at the same time to lower the transport costs per product

If you use ocean freight or air freight, you will also have to pay a number of one-off costs (price per document), apart from transport costs. For example: the preparation of a customs declaration, a Bill of Lading or Airwaybill. The costs of these documents are just as high for 1 pallet as for a full container with 20 pallets. Often a minimum rate is also used for various cost items. (For sea freight, for example 1 CBM ≠ 1000 kg) If you want to lower your cost price per product (the unit price), it can therefore be interesting to send larger quantities at the same time.

Tip 5. Determine whether you want transport insurance

Transport insurance is not mandatory. Fortunately, transport much more often goes well than wrong and damage or missing is very incidental. It is important to know the risks in advance and to decide whether you want to take them or not. If damage or a loss occurs then the carrier will invoke the liability according to the transport conditions (for example CMR at International Road Transport, Hague-Visby Rules at ocean freight, The Montreal Convention at air freight). The reimbursement differs per mode of transport, but in all cases only a few euros per kilogram. If you have a high-value product that does not weigh much, the difference between the compensation and the damage suffered will be very large. You can take out transport insurance per transport or on a continuous basis, up to a maximum of 110% of the value of the goods.

At Allport Netherlands, we discuss these tips with our customers on a daily basis. If you want more information and would like to speak with me, please contact me via or +31 10 30 21001.

Myckel Hoogendijk
Business Process Manager
Tel. +31 10 30 21001


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