Netherlands - Selling and buying
Reaching the consumers
The discount market is also growing; increasing from 10% in 2003 to 13% in 2004.
In the non-food sector, international and Dutch brands co-exist and all of them are well established. In the textile sector there is C&A, Maxeda, and in the furnishing sector Blokker is a national brand.
Market access procedures
Moreover, for sanitary reasons, regarding Genetically Modified Organisms, their presence should be systematically specified on packaging. Beef cattle bred on hormones is also forbidden to import.
The BSE crisis ("mad cow disease") urged the European Authorities to strengthen the phytosanitary measures to make sure of the quality of meats entering and circulating in the EU territory. The principle of precaution is now widespread: in case of doubt, the import is prohibited until proof is made of the non-harmfulness of products.
Additional information about import procedures can be found on the European Commission website.
As part of the "SAFE" standards advocated by the World Customs Organization (WCO), the European Union has set up a new system of import controls, the "Import Control System" (ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system, part of the Community Program eCustomer, has been in effect since January 1, 2011. Since then, operators are required to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union.
Organizing goods transport
There are a few domestic lines because of the small size of the country. KLM covers a worldwide network with competitive prices.
The country's modern and vast road network. The road capacity sometimes remains insufficient given the traffic density, resulting in traffic jams. The Ministry in charge of Transport and traffic, Telecoms, and the management of Water and Aviation (Ministry of transport, Public Works and Water Management), has planned a certain number of investments for the improvement of road infrastructures, such as the "Bereikbaarheidsoffensief project". This project will make it possible for four big cities to be better served thanks to the introduction of toll roads, on a trial basis.
Since 1985, while goods transport has decreased because of the competition with road transport. In 1993, railways transported 4.79 million tons of goods. The government is now planning to take certain measures for the creation of a fast rail link between the four big cities.