Food & beverages

On this page we would like to tell you about what trade compliance obligations you should be taking into account being a producer in the Food & Beverage industry regarding Customs compliance obligations, Environmental compliance obligations, Export documents, VAT & Intrastat declarations.

For the Food & Beverage industry, internal quality control often has a high standard. This leads to high-quality customs processes that form on the one hand the basis for administrative simplified customs procedures and on the other hand the basis for the AEO license.

In order to obtain this AEO status (permit), you must be able to become familiar with your processes. An AEO status is an absolute must for companies in this kind of industry as every day counts in the Food & Drinks industry. This is important for the quality of your product.

Pincvision is specialized in the optimization of Customs processes and Customs regulations. Pincvision can also ensure that you can obtain an AEO permit and we take care of the maintenance of the permits, for example through AEO support.

With regard to the packaging directive, you need to declare the materials in which your products are packaged. Please note that this obligation does not apply in the same way in all countries. In the Food & Beverages industry, you can think of drinking cartons, soda bottles, candy paper and meat trays. The packaging directive requires to submit declarations of primary, secondary and tertiary packaging. Below you can find a description of the different sorts of packaging for being an exporter of cola bottles:

  • Primary packaging refers to the first product packaging. Think of the plastic bottle, the cap and the plastic or paper label on the bottle.
  • Secondary packaging means packaging that is used to group various pre-packaged (primary) products together. Cola bottles are often packaged per 6. The plastic packaging of these multipacks is categorized as secondary packaging.
  • Tertiary packaging includes transport packaging. The multipacks are mostly transported in large quantities. The (often plastic) packaging that is used for combining the multipacks and the pallets on which the multipacks are transported are categorized as tertiary packaging.

Each country has its own guideline and threshold values for the declaration of packaging tax. For example, in some countries you must indicate separately all parts of your packaging. In some countries it is only necessary to indicate a primary packaging (B2C packaging). However, this differs per country.

In order to make your environmental compliance process quickly and faultless, it is very important that your source data is in order. This data is used to extract the required information for the declaration in the country of destination. Our team of Compliance Analysts can assist you to enhance and enrich your data and then submit your periodic declarations with the authorities. This optimizes the speed and quality of your processes and makes sure you timely meet your declaration deadlines.

Depending on the country of destination it may be required to prove the origin of your goods in the form of a:

  • Certificate of Origin (CO), possibly complemented by a legalized invoice. Both documents need to be digitally attested by the Chamber of Commerce. An additional requirement may be that the documents need legalization by an Embassy and Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
  • EUR.1 certificate/EURMED or an invoice declaration may be possible where the country of destination has a free trade agreement with the European Union. You will pay less or no import duties.
  • Certificate of Conformity (CoC). When exporting to countries in the Middle-East and/or Africa please keep in mind the applicable conformity programs, such as PSI and PCA. For this you will need a CoC which is used to prove that your products are pre-registered and tested to (for example) country specific technical specifications and consumer safety standards.

When you export food products, it is important to know that the country of destination may require an additional document issued by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA): For example a health certificate. An inspection prior to the export can also be a requirement. On the website of the NVWA you can find which country requirements you should take into account for e.g. plants, vegetables, fruit and vegetable or animal products.

With Pincvision's solution "Export Documents in Control" you can be sure that you will avoid unpleasant surprises such as delays at the border, additional costs and customer dissatisfaction by leaving your export documentation process to the specialist, Pincvision.

Should you deliver goods within the European Union (EU) you will often also face Intrastat obligations. With the advent of free trade within the EU, Intrastat is being introduced. A statistical requirement by which organization's declare to the local statistical bureaus how much they are 'exporting & importing' within the EU. Every country knows its own thresholds and deadlines.

Please ensure your Intrastat declarations are well managed as errors in this process may cause authorities to perform an audit. Not just covering Intrastat but often combined with your VAT processes.

From the flow of goods, agreements on transportation, import & export duties may arise VAT obligations in other countries. This usually leads to:

With respect to import, you should carefully consider the deductibility of the VAT that is indebted for the application of different national rules for transfer of VAT and postponed payment of import VAT.

More specifically for the food industry, it must be taken into account that the rate may vary from one EU Member State to another. Providing food and drinks on land or on a boat or a train can lead to different VAT consequences.

Our team of specialists will assist you in meeting your obligations and ensure that the laws and rules are no barrier to your global trade. Compliance in Control.