Production and export controls on chemical substances

Customs monitors the production and export of chemical substances that also have military applications. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) can also carry out inspections in the Netherlands.

The Dutch government has no chemical weapons or facilities capable of producing them. The Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) therefore has implications mainly for private companies.

OPCW inspections

The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) monitors compliance with the CWC and carries out inspections at various establishments, including:

  • chemical plants;
  • chemical trading companies;
  • research centres.

POSS: monitoring compliance with the rules on chemical weapons

Customs' precursors, origin, strategic goods and sanctions legislation (POSS) team monitors compliance with the rules on chemical weapons. For this purpose, it carries out inspections at Dutch companies. The POSS team and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs also accompany the OPCW's inspection teams in the Netherlands. In this way, the government knows that the inspection teams are complying with the relevant regulations.

Chemical substance notifications

Every year, companies are required to submit information (notifications) on the production, processing and trading of certain chemicals. Licences are required for the export of various substances.

Central Import and Export Office (CDIU)

Customs' Central Import and Export Office (CDIU) is the point of contact for companies and organisations. Its tasks include managing the notification process.

Challenge inspections under the CWC

States party to the Chemical Weapons Convention can request a challenge inspection, for example when one country believes that another country is not complying with the Convention. This special measure is highly politically charged. To date, no challenge inspections have taken place.