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 (English and/or Dutch) 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: 
9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. and 1.45 p.m. - 4.45 p.m.

There are also two additional days in this module, both taught in Dutch, on litigation and law enforcement in Belgium in customs and excises (“betwistingen en vervolgingen in België inzake douane en accijnzen”). These days are mandatory for regular students registered for the Advanced Master in tax law (specialization customs and excises). Participants who voluntary opt to follow those two days receive also a certificate of attendance when they participate in these two additional days.

Except of these two optional days, all classes are taught in English and involve a high degree of interaction.

Participation in the exam is only possible after meeting the minimum attendance requirement.

  • In a physical setting: a minimum individual attendance rate of at least 75% was achieved (force majeure situations included);
  • In an online setting: a minimum individual attendance rate of at least 75% was achieved (digital in real time) and a maximum of 25% participation in delayed relays (force majeure situations included)


  • The exam will take place on the Stadscampus, University of Antwerp, June 2026.
  • Foreign participants are offered the opportunity to take the exam online.

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 material

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.


Prinsstraat 13
2000 Antwerp

​​Tuition fees

The price depends on the format (physical or digital) in which the lessons will be given.

Price for 2,5 training days:

  • Physically: EUR 1290 (covers registration, study material, exam, catering and lunch). 
  • Online: EUR 1150 (covers registration, study material and exam).

Please note no lunch will be provided the last day, as this is only a half-day lesson.

Price for the additional two days:

  • Physically: EUR 1090 (covers registration, study material, exam, catering and lunch).
  • Online: EUR 950 (covers registration, study material and exam).


Electronically only through this webpage.​

The registration fee is paid within 30 days of receipt of the debit note to KBC account number BE91 7360 6389 5176 of Nexus, CST-UAntwerp, Venusstraat 23, 2000 Antwerp. Each application/registration is binding and cannot be cancelled. 

It is required that participants are effectively present. Replacement by a colleague is possible (for all the sessions); the organization will be informed in writing in advance.  

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 training is eligible for the Flemish training leave and training cheques.
  • The training is recognised by IBJ for 15 points (continuing education).
  •  The training is recognised by ITAA. 
  • 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.
  • OVB recognition is not applied automatically, but if you followed a course that is not mentioned in the list of recognised courses, or if you met one of the other requirements mentioned in article 54 of the Code of Ethics for Lawyers, you can submit an individual application for recognition as a participant, teacher, speaker or author. If that application is recognised, those points will also be added to the points card.
  • Recognition paid educational leave Brussels (in application).
  • Recognition paid educational leave under PC226 (in application).


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.


25 March 2024 - Customs Debt

Incurrence of customs debt and determination of the amount of duties

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.


26 March 2024 - 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 – international trade and customs lawyer at ReedSmith law firm and customs and international trade professor at the 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.

27 March 2024 - Litigation

Litigation according to the UCC, PIF and EPPO 

Jennifer Vanderputten en Pascale Vandeweyer - European Delegated Prosecutors
Jurgen Gevers – attorney, Customs Legal 
(9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.)

The session will provide an elementary explanation of the prevailing 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 entry into force of the Regulation of 12 October 2017 concerning closer cooperation upon the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office.

Incurrence of a customs debt and determination of the amount of duties

Alexander Baert – attorney, Deloitte
(13.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m)

Optionele dag 1 - 28 maart 2024 - Betwistingen en vervolgingen in België inzake douane en accijnzen

Beschikkingen, recht van administratief beroep en fiscale geschillenregeling

Luc Van De Velde – 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.

Optionele dag 2 - 29 maart 2024 - 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

Erhard Vermeulen - advocaat, Antaxius advocaten
(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.

7 June 2024 - Exam

The exam will take place on Friday 7 June 2024, 8.30 a.m. - 11.30 a.m..

Location: University of Antwerp, Stadscampus.