​To be able to calculate the customs duties to be paid when trading goods, three factors have to be taken into consideration: the value of the goods, the customs tariff to be applied and the origin of the goods. The purpose of this program is to explore these three areas. The module will be supervised by Mr. Patricio Diaz Gavier, lawyer, specialized in customs matters.

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 five days of classes on 27, 28, 29, 30 November and 1 December 2023:
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. 

In online settings: 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)

In a physical setting: a minimum individual attendance rate of at least 75% was achieved (force majeure situations included);

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


The exam will take place on the Stadscampus, 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 operational level of competence (Level 2 of the EU Customs Competency Framework: solving problems independently).

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.


Online or physically on the Stadscampus. The format (online of physically) will be reported later. 

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 2100 (covers registration, study material and exam).
  • physically: EUR 2425 (covers registration, study material, exam, catering and lunch). 


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 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.


Recognitions requested: IBJ, ITAA 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 (for all the sessions); 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 Mr. Patricio Diaz Gavier, lawyer, specialized in customs matters.

Programme and speakers (tentative)

27 November 2023 - Valuation

Customs valuation

9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. and 13.45 p.m. - 15.45 p.m. 

Luximan Babajee - Technical Officer, World Customs Organization  

The WTO Valuation Agreement provides the rules for valuing imported goods for the purpose of levying ad-valorem duties of Customs including the operational and infrastructure requirements necessary for its implementation.  This course will take you through key aspects of the Agreement and its central issues for Customs and business in global trade covering the trends and ongoing issues being discussed at international level.

The interplay between customs valuation and transfer pricing

15.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m

Martijn Schippers - Researcher and Teacher, Erasmus School of Law / Tax Lawyer, EY

Transaction values based on intercompany sales may not be influenced by the relationship of these related companies for customs valuation purposes. In today's globalized economy approximately 60-70% of all transaction values are based on intercompany sales. As a result an increasing number of companies should (be able to) proof to customs that their transaction values have not been influenced. In practice, and supported by the WCO’s Guide to Customs Valuation and Transfer pricing, transfer pricing documentation is used for this purpose. Since legal provisions and guidance is, however, lacking in EU customs law, it is questionable to what extend transfer pricing documentation may in fact be used as means to demonstrate that the transaction values has not been influenced. Also the way transfer pricing adjustments should be dealt with for determining the (final) customs value has not been outlined in EU customs law. Against that background, during this session the ‘interplay’ between customs valuation and transfer pricing will be discussed, thereby taking into account recent EU developments such as the ECJ's decision in the Hamamatsu case (C-529/16), and broader international developments and trends.              

28 November 2023 - Tariff

Tariff classification in WCO context

9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m.

Yara Novis - Technical Officer, World Customs Organization 

Gael Grooby - Deputy Director, World Customs Organization

The Harmonized System is the underlying foundation of knowledge of trade in goods.  By providing a categorisation of goods crossing the border, it enables informed action at multiple governmental levels from Customs controls at the border to international trade negotiations.  For the trade and industry sectors, it not only enables calculation of vital components of costing, it provides the data on trade that allows strategic planning and decision making on markets.  This topic looks at how this vital tool works and achieves these outcomes

Tariff classification, BTI and exercises

13.45 p.m. - 15.45 p.m. 

Brigitte Vandenbussche - Advisor-General, Belgian Customs Authority, Departement Legislation, Head of the Tariff Service.

Importers need to self-assess the correct tariff classification of goods they import. The rate that must be paid and any related requirements, such as certificates, authorizations etc. depends on this classification. There are two options to obtain this information: Tarbel or the Binding Tariff Information system (BTI). Tarbel is a new intuitive application created by the Tariff Service which offers all necessary information to classify goods. The BTI-system is a system designed to provide traders with legal certainty with regard to the tariff classification of goods. In that way BTI allows traders to better assess the economic viability of a particular transaction prior to undertaking it.

How do classification decisions and rulings come to life?

15.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m.

Brigitte Vandenbussche - Advisor-General, Belgian Customs Authority, Departement Legislation, Head of the Tariff Service.

In our world international trade is changing fast. New technologies and products are entering the market constantly. How do we classify these new products and justify these decisions? This will be looked at on two levels: European and global. The different operational committees and other project groups  will be explained, as well as their purpose, responsibilities and impact on international trade. In the end, the road to a classification decision or ruling will be clear.                                                  

29 November 2023 - Origin

Origin in WCO context

9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. 

Demba Seck - World Customs Organization 

Rules of origin have become a prominent feature of today’s trading system, particularly in the context of the various preferential trade agreements being negotiated around the world. With the proliferation of regional trade agreements, understanding and applying the rules of origin, which ensure that the desired economic and trade objectives are achieved, continue to pose challenges to Customs and Trade interests. This course will take you through key aspects of rules of origin in order to enhance the understanding and application of free trade agreements and get the maximum benefit possible from the regional economic integration.

Non-preferential and preferential origin: case studies

13.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m. 

Diederik Bogaerts - Director Global Trade & Customs Practice, KPMG Tax Advisers

Valère Vangeel - Honorary general counselor FPS Economy, Senior Advisor EIAS (European Institute for Asian Studies)

Non-preferential and preferential origin rules are both complex and diverse. But how to apply the origin rules in a correct fashion in order to be compliant? Based upon case studies, the participant shall gain a deeper insight in these rules in order to have a better understanding of possible pitfalls and opportunities. 

30 November 2023 - Valuation

Customs valuation in the UCC 

9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. and 13.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m.               

Santiago Ibañez Marsilla - Tax Law Professor, Universidad de Valencia Director Jean Monnet Chair "EU Customs law"

This session will offer an analysis of the rules that guide the determination of the value of the goods that is taken as basis for the calculation of the amount of customs duties and also for the calculation of the amount of VAT on imports. These rules, which are set internationally in a WTO’s Agreement and incorporated into EU law by the UCC and UCCIR, provide a complex system of alternative valuation methods. Beyond the exam of the legal intricacies and the difficulties of each of those methods, the session will also provide a general insight into the aim and technical fundamentals of customs valuation rules to confront day-to-day practical problems.         

1 December 2023 – Tariff and Origin

Antidumping duties, countervailing duties, OLAF investigations

9.15 a.m. - 12.15 p.m. 

Yves Melin - Partner, Reed Smith LLP

The EU’s trade remedies: Review of the EU’s trade defense measures (anti-dumping, anti-subsidy, safeguards).  Presentation of the various concepts (dumping, injury, specific subsidies, etc.), the investigative process, the legal recourses available, and enforcement trends.  Review of the more recent rebalancing duties (retaliation duties imposed for the first time against the U.S. in 2018).

Preferential and non-preferential origin and EU litigation

13.45 p.m. - 16.45 p.m. 

Yves Melin - Partner, Reed Smith LLP

Non-preferential origin: relevance for operators (trade defense measures, quotas), rules for the acquisition of origin (binding and non-binding list rules, last substantial transformation and economic justification). 

Preferential origin: Review of the main methods for the acquisition of preferential origin (CTH, value added), the demonstration of origin (FTA, GSP, customs union).

Review of enforcement trends (role of OLAF, the Commission’s DG Taxud, and customs authorities); risks for operators and how to mitigate those risks.

January 2024 - Exam

The exam will take place in January 2024. Exact date will be announced later.

Location: Stadscampus, University of Antwerp.