When exporting goods from the Netherlands to countries inside and outside the European Union (EU), national and international rules, legislation, export controls and customs formalities apply. This is something you may have to deal with as an entrepreneur. But what exactly are export restrictions, to whom do they apply and why is it important to be aware of them and to act accordingly? That is explained in this blog series.

The intention of the blog series is to inform you as an entrepreneur about the reasons and the necessity for awareness of possible export restrictions and the prevention of problems in your company when acting contrary to these restrictions. An effective compliance protocol can help.

In the previous blog, we explained the consequences of violating applicable export legislation. This third part of our blog series focuses on the organisations and companies to which these regulations apply. In the next part, we will dwell on the usefulness and necessity of export compliance and, finally, we will look at the specific contents of an effective export compliance protocol.

Scope of applicable legislation

Compliance with statutory requirements is important for any organisation dealing with import, transit and export of goods technology and services. Whether it be in the role of importer, exporter, carrier, commercial agent, distributor or (temporary) end-user. Research institutes and (technical) universities may also be affected. Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009 applies to exporters of goods and services and brokers and organisations. These definitions are detailed below.


The definition of an ‘exporter’ is found in Article 2(3) of Regulation (EC) No. 428/2009. An exporter is any natural or legal person or partnership on whose behalf an export customs declaration is made. This means the person who, at the time when the declaration is accepted, holds the contract with the consignee in the third country and has the right to decide that the product will be sent to a destination outside the customs territory. The definition of exporter also includes any natural or legal person or partnership which decides to transmit or make available software or technology by electronic means to a destination outside the European Union.


The definition of a “broker” is stated in Article 2, paragraphs 5 and 6, of Regulation (EC) No 428/2009. A broker is a natural or legal person who or a partnership that, resident or established in a Member State of the Community, provides brokering services from the European Union to the territory of a third country. A brokering service is the negotiation or arrangement of a transaction for the purchase, sale or supply of dual-use items by a third country from/to another third country, or the sale or purchase of dual-use items in third countries with the intention to transfer these to another third country.

In conclusion

As can be seen from the definitions contained in Regulation (EC) No 428/2009, the definition of exporter and broker is broad. This means that companies that operate internationally and supply goods and services outside the European Union must take into account the relevant export legislation.

Not every company is aware of the fact that specific legislation applies to international business and the export of goods. Awareness is therefore important. In order to be sure of which legislation applies to the business, screening and classification of products, end use and buyer are important. We will tell you more about this in blogs 4 and 5.