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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, VAT and excise duty related matters, including litigation. He concentrates his practice on developing and implementing European savings programs, setting up and restructuring European distribution and supply chains, improving and structuring customs, excise duty and VAT related compliance, and limiting risks and liabilities. Given the developments in European legislation and the needs of his clients, Erik is frequently involved in cross-border matters, including obtaining certification as Authorized Economic Operator (AEO), implementing customs bonded warehouse regimes and counseling on VAT issues.

Erik represented (and represents) many companies before Dutch Tax and Customs Courts, the Dutch Supreme Court, the European Commission, and the European Court of Justice.


  • European customs, excise duty, VAT and trade law, including litigation
  • Setting up and restructuring European distribution and supply chains
  • European anti-dumping proceedings
  • Export control and sanctions
  • EU regulatory matters



  • 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.
  • Advised Holland International Distribution Counsel (HIDC) and some HIDC members regarding the implementation of a Single European Authorization (SEA) regime by 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 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.
  • Represented an apparel company that was forced by Customs to include commissions and other costs in the customs value. The Dutch Customs Court confirmed that the commission could be left out of the customer value.
  • 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.
  • Prepared a manual for a multinational consumer electronic company regarding origin marking of products and packaging.
  • Represented a Brazilian multinational company that is one of the leading companies in the meat industry. The representation concerned various European customs, trade and VAT matters, including litigation before the European Court of Justice and Dutch Courts.

Recognition & Leadership

  • Listed, The Legal 500 EMEA Guide, Tax, 2022
  • 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