Global customs environment

The relation between administrations and business

What is customs all about and what are the objectives at stake for all actors involved within the supply chain? Customs legislation and decisions have significant impact on the business environment. This training module brings the whole of the sector in perspective, respecting all relevant stages of policy creation. 

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 three days of classes on 21, 22 and 23 November 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. 

All classes are recorded. Participants can listen to the recordings afterwards in preparation for the exam.

Individual attendance is expected to be at least 75% (digital in real time) and a maximum of 25% participation in deferred relays (including force majeure situations). This only applies to online teaching. In a physical setting, where lessons are held on campus, an individual attendance rate of 80% is required (including force majeure situations). Participation in the examination is only possible after the minimum attendance requirement has been met.


The exam will take place on 20 January 2023 (1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.) at the University of Antwerp. 
Foreign participants are offered the opportunity to take the exam from a distance.

Competence level

This advanced module is designed to ensure participants achieve an advanced level of competence (Level 2 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.


This training will be taught online.

The exam will take place on the Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.

Tuition fees

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

  • online: EUR 1350 (covers registration, study material and exam)
  • physically: EUR 1550 (covers registration, study material, exam, lunch and catering).


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. Replacement by a colleague is possible with simple written notification to the organizers.

The prices mentioned are prices excluding VAT (Exemption VAT due to article 44 §2 4°), as the University of Antwerp is, in the current state of legislation, a legal entity not subject to VAT. Nexus/ATA reserves the right, however, in case VAT is still due on the registration price, to pass this VAT on to the participants.

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 Ward Lietaert, Lawyer at Customs Legal.


21 November 2022

EU case law in customs affairs and its impact on the business: 9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. 

Patricio Diaz Gavier, Attorney-at-Law

The making of the European Union (and its customs union) is largely based on treaties and EU legislation, but also on the interpretation and the application of the law. European Court of Justice (ECJ) rulings do have an impact on the business environment, but also on customs administrations’ future policies. This topic will look into the dynamics through a selection of case law. 

Companies and its subsidiaries - the impact of a customs competence center: 1.45 p.m. - 4.45 p.m.

Werner Rens,  General advisor at Belgian Customs 

Annick de Vuyst, Customs & Compliance Manager at Becton Dickinson

From the business side, this topic will assess the impact of Customs on the supply chain. It will help to better understand the interaction between trade and customs, and how it potentially affects supply chain operations. Also, the topic will give a firsthand evaluation of the concept of the creation of a customs competence center.

22 November 2022

EU customs policy creation and its interactivity with business: 9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. 

  • EU customs policy creation and its interactivity with business: 9.15 a.m. - 10.45 a.m.

            Ágnes Nagy,  Head of General Customs Legislation Sector, European Comission

  • FIT for 55, a look into the (customs) future 10.45 a.m. - 12.15 p.m

            Philippe Heeren, Attorney-at-law, Regulatory International trade & customs

The European Customs Union is an important achievement of the EU integration process. The evolution of the Customs Union and its economic challenges are considerable. With the new customs legislation since 2016, both business community and public sector have been working on an environment and an atmosphere of trust and cooperation in which dedicated parties inform each other. The approach for this topic will be from an EU perspective, assessing the level of interaction that private sector stakeholders have in the field of policy.

Measurement of the Business Environment and Customs: 1.45 p.m. - 4.45 p.m.  

Joanna Redelbach, ​Senior Associate, Van Bael & Belis

Wouter Decoster, Head of HR Department & Continuous Improvement, International Trade Analyst

23 November 2022

Customs policy implementation from national perspective: 9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.

Frank Heijmann, Head of Trade Relations, Customs Administration of The Netherlands

On a daily basis EU member states’ customs administrations are triggered by the implementation of policies, based on legislation, guidelines and feedback from the European Commission. Additionally, other policy makers are influencing the policies of a customs administration in the field of control, compliance or supply chain. Annually, this topic will implement a rotation principle to have an insight from different member states.

What is next on the customs policy agenda? How should customs and trade look like in 2040? Key Note : 1.45 p.m. - 4.45 p.m. 

Recording available, to be viewed on demand

Corona has decided not do a business game reflecting on all aspects of the course material, with  decision making and policy implementation. Instead we have decided to challenge our guest speaker with three questions: what is next on the policy agenda for customs affairs after the Brexit. Also, how will the customs environment look like in 2040? Future policy challenges are to be tackled in close cooperation between policy makers and business leaders. In that sense, how can policy creation foster solid economic growth?


20 January 2023 

1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.