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The Netherlands loses EU court case customs duties

The European Commission has 18.5 million euros in credit from the Netherlands for overdue customs duties from Curaçao and Aruba. The European Court of Justice ruled in a case that Brussels had brought against the Dutch government. According to the court, The Hague has infringed the EU rules for overseas territories.

According to the European Commission, milk powder and rice were exported from Curaçao to the Netherlands in the period from 1997 to 2000 with incorrect documents, so that no customs duties were collected. That also happened in 2002 and 2003 with grits and rice products from Aruba.

The administrative errors led to a loss of EU revenues from customs duties of 18.2 million for Curaçao and almost 300,000 euros for Aruba. The committee believes that the Netherlands is liable for the loss caused by the islands and demands that the money goes to the EU budget. The Court of Appeal upheld her in that regard and went against the judgment of the Advocate General in February. He had advised to dismiss the case.

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