Brexit was the final boost Benny van Laerhoven needed. He has now made an online platform a reality. Benny is WA Customs' Director. This business is based in Breda, the Netherlands. This online platform is called YourCustoms. It can be used to draw up customs documents.
“With YourCustoms, companies can fill in the necessary details themselves. If they link their systems to the platform, this can be automatically done, too," says Benny. "As an expeditor, we have to check and process this data. It also becomes simpler for the client."
"They do not have to have different open tabs with all the kinds of possible procedures that come with exporting goods. Say the client is only transporting a load of pears. He will then only see the fields that are relevant to him. He can open these documents, which will also always be limited to an A4. This saves time and money."
Benny van Laerhoven, Director of WA Customs and its subsidiary, YourCustoms.
An online platform is not the only way WA Customs can help its clients prepare for Brexit. “We have gone through the whole logistics trajectory with our permanent clients. We wanted to see where things could still be improved, or were not yet completely in order."
"We have spoken to many potential clients about these preparations too. We have noticed that many businesses are still quite lax about this. YourCustoms, as a forwarder, has been able to expand its capacity for potential clients," says Benny.
With Brexit, the import side, in particular, is going to become a challenge. "For us, not so much will change when it comes to exports. As a customs expeditor, we are familiar with all the regulations. We can prepare documents all the way from the loading dock. We can even organize the final checks for our clients."
"With imports, the load is at the port within a few hours. That is, after all, quite different from the three weeks it takes for a container to get to China. There is, therefore, a time limit," the Director explains.
“We are currently busy with the further implementation of YourCustoms. For example, we want to add origin documents and quality labels soon. We want to expand the platform. The client can then request all the necessary documentation in one go. They can then have everything they need in one place."
"We are doing so for customs procedures in the Netherlands and Belgium. These countries have the same European regulations. There is, however, a world of difference between them. Each country interprets the rules differently," Benny continues.
How things will turn out, Benny does not know. "It is very unclear what is going to happen. I have only one piece of advice for businesses that have to deal with this. Make sure you are prepared for the worst. There is a date you cannot ignore at the moment. It is 31 October."