The incurrence of a customs debt and the recovery of customs duties play an important role in daily customs practices. Often disputes arise on these matters. The purpose of this programme is to explore these areas. The module will be supervised by prof. Eric Van Dooren, judge at Court of Cassation and professor at the University of Antwerp.

Target audience

This advanced module can be taken by participants who have already passed the basic programme or can prove that they have obtained an equivalent degree of experience.

Course information

This module consists of two and a half days of classes on 28, 29 and 30 March 2022:
9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. and 1.45 p.m. - 4.45 p.m.

All classes are taught in English and involve a high degree of interaction. Participants who attend at least 80% of the classes and pass the exam at the end of the advanced module receive a certificate.

There are also two additional days in this module on the subject of 'betwistingen en vervolgingen in België inzake douane en accijnzen' on 31 March and 1 April 2022. Participants receive also a certificate of attendance when they participate in these two additional days.

Competence level

This advanced module is designed to ensure participants achieve an advanced level of competence (Level 3 of the EU Customs Competency Framework).

Course materials

Digital course materials are provided (e.g. PowerPoints, court bundles (legal doctrine, case law)). These digital course materials will be made available through the university’s electronic learning environment.


Depending on the COVID-19 regulations we'll organize the course online or physically on the Stadscampus. If the situation allows it, we will resolutely choose to organize the course on campus. We'll inform you beforehand. If the classes continue online, they will be taught via the digital learning platform BlackBoard/Vice. If the classes continue physically, they will take place at the Stadscampus, Prinsstraat 13, 2000 Antwerp. The exam will take place on the Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.

​​Tuition fees

  • online: 2,5 days: EUR 750 and covers registration and study material
  • online: 4,5 days: EUR 1 250 and covers registration and study material
  • physically: 2,5 days: EUR 900 and covers registration, study material, lunch and catering
  • physically: 4,5 days: EUR 1 500 and covers registration, study material, lunch and catering
  • online: only 2 optional days: EUR 500 and covers registration and study material
  • physically: only 2 optional days: EUR 600 and covers registration, study material, lunch and catering.

For as long as we don't know if the course will be organized online or on campus, we'll invoice you the fee of an online course. When we decide, after assessing the COVID-19 situation, to organize the course on the Stadscampus, we'll invoice you the outstanding cost for an on location course.

The prices stated are prices exclusive of VAT (Exemption VAT due to article 44 §2 4°), because Nexus/ATA is a non-taxable legal person in the current state of the legislation. The legislator can change this and Nexus/ATA therefore reserves the right to charge this VAT in case the legislator decides to do so.

Nexus is recognised as a training provider in the SME Portfolio (KMO portefeuille) system. Using this system could enable participants to save up to 30% of the registration fee. SME Portfolio applications must be submitted no later than 14 days after the course start date. The participant undertakes to respect the rules set out by the Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The accreditation number for Nexus Antwerp’s SME portfolio is DV.O100321.


  • The required approvals are requested from the competent authorities (OVB, ITAA, IBJ and IGO). 
  • The training is eligible for the Flemish training leave and training cheques. 
  • Recognition paid educational leave under the PC226 is applicable. 
  • Training premium (PC336): after you or your employee(s) have followed a training course, you can apply to Liberform for a training premium. The premium is a financial intervention to employers or companies that pay for the training: more info and application.
  • It is required that participants are effectively present. Replacement by a colleague is possible; the organization will be informed in writing in advance. 


The module is taught by a team of lecturers with relevant expertise from the academic world, the government sector, the private sector and the legal profession. The module will be supervised by Eric Van Dooren, judge at the Belgian Supreme Court and associate professor at the University of Antwerp.


28 March 2022 - Customs Debt

Incurrence of customs debt and determination of the amount of duties

Alexander Baert – attorney, Deloitte (9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m)

Luc Vandevelde – Poelman - advisor-general, FOD Financial – AAD&A (13.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m.)

This first session focuses on the incurrence of customs debt and its recovery. The specified circumstances under which customs debt can incur upon import or export, its place and timing, and its distribution amongst specific debtors are explored according to concrete examples. This is followed by a discussion of topics including how the amount of import and export duties is determined, how customs debt is recorded and announced, how it is paid, the provision of payment facilities and the charging of default interest.


29 March 2022 - Customs Debt


Gunter Boffel – attache, AAD&A (9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.)

Guarantees can be demanded with regard to existing customs debts, as well as for future customs debts. This covers the financial risks for the customs authorities. European customs law provides specific rules concerning the setting of guarantees for potential or existing customs debts. We will address the distinction between compulsory and optional guarantees, the various guarantee systems (revolving, supplementary, replacement), the distinct forms of guarantees and the situations in which a guarantee can be released.

Repayment, remission, extinguishment

Philippe Heeren – attorney, Reed Smith and professor 'Customs and international trade', University of Tilburg (13.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m.)

European customs legislation provides for the repayment or extinguishment of import or export duties if excessive duties have been charged, in cases involving goods that show signs of damage or that are not in accordance with the provisions of the contract, following errors on the part of the authorities and for reasons of fairness. Extensive jurisprudence has emerged on this point. The legal principles and their judicial explanations are the subject of this session.

30 March 2022 - Litigation

Litigation according to the UCC, PIF and EPPO 

Eric Van Dooren – judge, Belgian Supreme Court and professor, University of Antwerp 

Jurgen Gevers – attorney, Tiberghien Lawyers

(9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.)

The session will provide an elementary explanation of the prevailing and future laws concerning customs enforcement in the European Union. Particular attention will be devoted to the imposition of sanctions (Article 42 UCC), the content and conversion of the Directive of 5 July 2017 concerning the criminal law for fraud that damages the financial interests of the Union and the impending entry into force of the Regulation of 12 October 2017 concerning closer cooperation upon the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Optioneel dag 1 - 31 maart 2022 - Betwistingen en vervolgingen in België inzake douane en accijnzen

Beschikkingen, recht van administratief beroep en fiscale geschillenregeling

Luc Vandevelde – Poelman, adviseur-generaal, FOD Financiën – AAD&A (9.15u - 12.15u)

Niet alle overtredingen van de douane- en accijnswetgeving worden voor strafrechters gebracht. De algemene administratie van de douane en accijnzen kan ook negatieve beslissingen buiten het strafrecht nemen, zoals de weigering van een vergunningsaanvraag of de schorsing van een vergunning. Tevens zijn beschikkingen mogelijk in het kader van een navorderingsprocedure. Tegen dergelijke rechtstreekse en individuele beschikkingen van de douaneadministratie is administratief beroep mogelijk dat verloopt naar Belgisch recht en waarop een jurisdictionele fase kan volgen bij de fiscale rechter.

Administratieve en strafrechtelijke sancties en strafvervolging

Eric Van Dooren – raadsheer, Hof van Cassatie en professor, Universiteit Antwerpen (13.45u - 16.45)

Het Belgisch handhavingsrecht in douane en accijnzen bepaalt naast strafsancties ook administratieve sancties. Het specifieke onderscheid zal worden besproken met toetsing aan het Europees recht. Daarnaast wordt ingegaan op meerdere elementen uit het douanestrafprocesrecht, zoals onder meer de bevoegdheden van de strafrechter, samenhangende strafvervolgingen, de verjaring van de strafvordering en de voorlopige hechtenis.

Optioneel dag 2 - 1 april 2022 - Betwistingen en vervolgingen in België inzake douane en accijnzen

Strafbaarstellingen en transactionele regelingen

Erik Gevers – advocaat, Antaxius advocaten (9.15u - 12.15u)

De meest voorkomende douanemisdrijven zullen naar constitutieve bestanddelen aan bod komen, zoals de invoer of uitvoer zonder douaneaangifte en verboden opslag, het nalaten van wederoverlegging of zuivering, de wijziging van bestemming, het gebruik van valse of misleidende documenten en de weigering of verhindering van het douaneonderzoek. Tevens komen de specifieke accijnsmisdrijven aan bod en de wettelijke mogelijkheden van niet-strafbaarheid, inzonderheid voor douanevertegenwoordigers.

De mogelijke totstandkoming van een transactie met de douaneadministratie wordt besproken vanuit de praktijkervaring.

Toerekenbaarheid van misdrijven en strafsancties

Eric Van Dooren – raadsheer, Hof van Cassatie en professor, Universiteit Antwerpen(13.45u-16.45u)

Bijzondere aandacht wordt besteed aan de volgende hoofdstukken uit het materieel douanestrafrecht: daderschap en strafbare deelneming, de schuldbestanddelen van het douane- en accijnsmisdrijf en het straffenarsenaal met de bestraffingsmodaliteiten. De stand van de rechtspraak inzake geldboete en bijzondere verbeurdverklaring en het regime van de verzachtende omstandigheden staan daarbij vooraan.

20 April 2022 - Exam

The exam will take place on 10 April 2022, from 9.30 a.m. tot 12.30 p.m. 

Location: Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.