The role of closed-loop supply chains (CLSCs) in supply chain developments is growing. The amount of product returns raises and possibilities to extract value from rest products is increasing. The scarcity of raw materials, public pressure for ‘greener operations’ and legislation emphases the relevance of analyzing all phases in the lifecycle of a product: from production and consumption to waste management and the market for secondary raw materials. In a linear economic model focus is on forward logistics to distribute the product from producer to endconsumer. In respect to the above more attention should be given to reverse logistics in order to create CLSC’s. The role of Customs in international operating CLSC’s is important because it supervises the incoming and outgoing flows of goods on compliance towards legislation. From Customs perspective these CLSCs are more complex as more different parties are involved and more information is needed from different parties. In the European Union (EU), (Customs) legislation is the same for all the member states, however national Customs agencies are responsible for implementation of this legislation. The way Dutch Customs organizes its supervision is relevant as it can contribute or obstruct the realization of CLSCs. One of the strategic goals of Dutch Customs is to facilitate legitimate business activity. There is however a tension between the control and facilitation ambition as the first can create administrative burden for businesses. Analyzing the design principles of Dutch Customs supervision instruments could provide insight on how Customs can facilitate cross-border CLSCs. This study tries to fill the gap in research on the relation between Dutch Customs supervision and CLSCs by answering the question: What are design principles of a portfolio of Dutch customs supervision instruments designed to improve the facilitation of cross-border closed-loop supply chain processes? Since the relation between the design principles of Customs supervision instruments and CLSCs has not yet been thoroughly studied, an exploratory research approach is chosen. In order to answer the research question a literature review is presented which addresses the characteristics and design principles of CLSCs as well as of Dutch Customs supervision instruments. After that six expert interviews with Customs officials were conducted. The functional backgrounds of these officials provided a strategic, control and business perspective towards this subject. Furthermore a case study on the offshore back-load process was executed. The emphasis of this case study is on the process of how business in cooperation with Customs arrived at the solution to solve Customs and supply chain issues. The outcomes and findings of both the expert interviews and case study were confronted with the theory as obtained from the literature review. This discussion leads to the following main conclusions and answer to the research question.

Zuidwijk, R. (Rob), Veenstra, A.
Customs and Supply Chain Compliance
RSM: Parttime Master Bedrijfskunde

Vinhuizen, H.M. (Herman). (2017, June 30). Customs supervision and closed-loop supply chains. Customs and Supply Chain Compliance. Retrieved from