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Erik de Bie is an attorney-at-law focused on international trade, customs and VAT matters. Erik counsels clients in European trade, export control, sanctions, customs and VAT related matters. He also represents clients in litigation.

He concentrates his practice on compliance with EU trade, sanctions and compliance rules. He assists companies to lawfully export goods, technology, and services around the globe, prioritizing practical, workable strategies for complex regulatory situations, including compliance with the growing number of sanctions. Conducting and managing internal reviews and risk mitigation are an important focus area.
Erik advises clients in customs, VAT and related matters, including support with setting up and restructuring distribution. and supply chains. Erik is regularly representing companies in (cross-border) consultations with the authorities, including disclosure matters.

Erik is experienced companies before Dutch Tax and Customs Courts, the Dutch Supreme Court, the European Commission, and the European Court of Justice.


  • European trade, customs and regulatory matters
  • Export control and sanctions
  • Setting up and restructuring European distribution and supply chains
  • European anti-dumping proceedings
  • (Cross-border) criminal investigations in the areas of trade, customs, import or export, or involving compliance with EU regulatory provisions



  • Represented numerous companies in European cross-border distribution and logistics projects. Provided services include determining and implementing tax and customs duty savings, implementing customs bonded warehouse regimes, ensuring compliance with EU and national legislation, optimizing e-business, and drafting or reviewing agreements with logistics service providers.
  • Represented a major Dutch logistics service provider in an appeal procedure before the Dutch Customs Court and a remittance procedure before the European Commission. Dutch Customs assessed the company for additional duties because of deemed undervaluation of jeans that the company had imported on behalf of several principals. Finally, the European Commission decided to remit the full claim.
  • Represented numerous EU and UK companies in matters resulting from Brexit, including in assistance with updating supply chains, and import and export compliance, preferential origin requirements and compliance with EU/UK provisions as a ‘non-established entity’.
  • Compliance high-tech companies with EU dual-use provisions, including internal reviews, improving internal processes and compliance, advise in classifications and qualifications.
  • Representations in EU and other sanctions regimes, including the sanctions measures focusing on Russia and Belarus, including advise in compliance with (changing) sanctions and transitional arrangements, contracting, mitigating risks and divestment projects.
  • Represented clients in trade and customs litigation before the European Court of Justice and the European Court of First Instance, e.g., cases C-361/11, C-227/11, C-376/07, C-38/07 P, C-375/07, C-411/07, C-310/06, C-400/05, T-382/04, and T-26/03.
  • Represented a major Dutch company in an excise duty audit, the follow-up discussions with the Customs authorities, and an agreement on the final settlement between the company and the authorities.
  • Obtained favorable customs value and classification rulings for a U.S. footwear company. Based on these rulings, the company was allowed to pay duties on the manufacturing costs instead of on the sales price of the U.S. company. The classification rulings ensure that the number of shoes that can be imported in Europe is unlimited, while the quota for Chinese footwear does not apply.
  • Represented a consumer electronics company before the Dutch Customs Court in an LCD monitor customs classification case. In addition to the litigation, this matter demanded serious lobbying efforts at an EU and national level and the formulation of a scenario designed to avoid as much damage as possible for future imports.
  • Provided duty suspension-related advice resulting in the application for customs duty suspensions and tariff quota for Japanese companies in the chemical industry.
  • Implemented a complex inward processing relief with a multinational company in the agricultural industry.
  • Counseled a U.S. contract manufacturing company that took over a production facility of a multinational company in Europe. The project included a due diligence review, the transfer of customs licenses to the contract manufacturer, avoidance of unnecessary VAT payments and a determination of the most beneficial customs and VAT regime.
  • Drafted VAT fiscal representation agreements between the fiscal representative and its principals, obtaining the necessary licenses from the authorities, and implementing the VAT fiscal representation regime.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Legal 500 EMEA Guide, Tax, 2022-2023
  • Supervisory Board Member, Holland International Distribution Council
  • Member, Dutch Bar Association
  • Member, Dutch Association of Tax Lawyers
  • Member, Dutch American Chamber of Commerce


  • LL.M., Tax Law, University of Leiden, Netherlands
  • Degree as a customs supervisor with the Dutch Tax and Customs Authorities
  • The Netherlands
  • Dutch, Native
  • English, Fluent