The EU’s Union Customs Code (UCC) provides the possibility of imposing national conditions or requirements for the status of customs representatives. Customs representatives, also known as Customs brokers, are the professionals that "clear" goods through customs barriers for importers and exporters. This involves the preparation of documents and/or electronic submissions, the calculation and payment of taxes, duties and excises, and facilitating communication between government authorities and importers and exporters. Custom brokers may, for example, be employed by or affiliated with freight forwarders, independent businesses, shipping lines, importers, exporters, trade authorities, and customs brokerage firms.
As of July 1, the Netherlands requires these customs representatives to meet Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) criteria, with the hopes of improving the quality of data they supply in their customs declarations.