EFS Seminar
‘Action Plan on VAT: Towards a Single VAT Area?

Thursday, 22 February 2018 | 13.30 – 18.30
Erasmus University Rotterdam

On 4 October 2017 the European Commission proposed a series of fundamental principles and key reforms designed to avoid VAT fraud and to make life easier for companies wanting to do business in the EU single market. These proposals aim to establish a definitive VAT regime based on the destination principle and form part of the Commission’s Action Plan on VAT.

The solutions proposed by the European Commission will have far-reaching consequences, particularly for businesses involved in intra-community trade, as they affect several fundamental principles and cornerstones of the current EU VAT system. Once agreed, these solutions will enter into force in 2022. In the meantime, a series of ‘quick fixes’ has been presented to improve the day-to-day functioning of the current VAT system. One of these quick fixes includes the new concept of the ‘Certified Taxable Person’. Entities obtaining this status will be entitled to apply a number of simplified procedures. The ‘Certified Taxable Person’ would seem to have quite some aspects in common with the concept of the ‘Authorized Economic Operator’ in EU Customs Law.

The Action Plan on VAT also contains proposals on e-commerce. These proposals were adopted by the Council in an adapted form in early December 2017 and are important because the new legislation will have a major impact on how VAT is levied on e-commerce.

At this EFS seminar, experts from the academic world, the business sector and customs will share their views on the various VAT proposals published by the European Commission, with a link being made between the concepts of the Certified Taxable Person and the Authorized Economic Operator. The presentations will be followed by a panel discussion in which the speakers will exchange views on the possible consequences in practice.

We are pleased to invite people with a background in tax consultancy and practice and working for government authorities, tax and customs administrations, international organisations, industry or the academic world to attend this seminar (in English), which will also mark the official completion of the 2017 EFS post-master programmes in EU Customs Law and Indirect Taxation. The seminar is free of charge, and participants are eligible for 3 Permanent Education (Continuing Professional Development) points.

We look forward to welcoming you on Thursday, 22 February 2018!

Click here to register

Seminar Chair

Prof. Walter de Wit


13.30 – 14.00

14.00 – 14.05

14.05 – 14.50

14.50 – 15.30

15.30 – 16.00

16.00 – 16.35

16.35 – 17.00

17.00 – 17.30

17.30 – 18.30


Introduction – Walter de Wit

‘Moving towards a single EU VAT area? Quick fixes and the European Commission’s proposals’ – Gert-Jan van Norden

‘Authorized Economic Operator – Experiences and lessons for VAT’ – Marcel Neggers


‘Removing VAT obstacles to e-commerce in the single market’ – Marie Lamensch

‘Reflections on the VAT Action Plan from a business perspective’ – Allard van Nes

Panel discussion

Drinks and networking



Erasmus University Rotterdam
Campus Woudestein
Van der Groot Building (M)
Room Forum, M3-15 (3rd floor)
Burgemeester Oudlaan 50
3052 PA Rotterdam
The Netherlands


Prof. Walter de Wit

Professor of European and International Customs Law at the Erasmus School of Law. He is also a partner at EY, advising clients on indirect taxation and international trade, including customs duties.

Prof. Gert-Jan van Norden

Professor of Indirect Tax Law at Tilburg University and Indirect Tax partner at KPMG Meijburg & Co. He advises a wide range of international clients, with a focus on financial institutions, while also being involved in tax policy matters, including advising governments on indirect taxes. On behalf of KPMG, he is a member of the European Commission’s VAT Expert Group. As well as regularly speaking on VAT issues at international and national conferences and seminars, he publishes articles in various professional journals. He obtained a PhD from Tilburg University in 2007, with a thesis on group companies and EU VAT, and held his inaugural lecture at Tilburg University in 2014 on the performance of VAT. The International Tax Review recognized him as one of the leading Dutch indirect tax advisers in 2012-2017.

Marcel Neggers

A national AEO expert at the Dutch Customs’ Policy & Enforcement unit, based at the Head Office in Rotterdam. He has worked for the Dutch Customs since 1999 in various Client Management, Risk Management and Intelligence roles. From 2006, he was a member of the AEO implementation project team in the Netherlands, working closely with AEO experts from the European Commission and other EU member states. He also participated as an expert, representing the Netherlands, in several WCO and EU AEO project groups on AEO Mutual Recognition (USA, China), airfreight security (RA/KC programme) and maritime security (ISPS code). He has a Master’s in European Studies from the University of Amsterdam and a Master’s in Customs from the Erasmus University Rotterdam.

Prof. Marie Lamensch

Research Professor at the Institute for European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, where she obtained her PhD in 2014. As well as teaching at the Université Catholique de Louvain and the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, she is a trainer at IBFD’s International Tax Academy and Technical Editor of the International VAT Monitor (IBFD). She is a member of the European Commission’s VAT Expert Group and an academic adviser for the OECD and the World Customs Organisation. Previously she worked as a researcher for the G20 task force on the Financial Transactions Tax and practised as a lawyer in Brussels and Luxembourg, while also working as a contract law teaching assistant at the Université Libre de Bruxelles. In 2015 the International Fiscal Association awarded her its Maurice Lauré prize.

Allard van Nes

Indirect Tax and Customs Manager at FrieslandCampina. He also served as the EMEA Indirect Tax Manager at Lenovo, where he was responsible for setting up EMEA VAT compliance and for VAT input on business developments and developments in SAP systems. Previously he worked as a VAT adviser at PwC, Deloitte, Pereira Consultants and the London-based Robson Rhodes, where he specialized in advising companies on tax control frameworks, compliance issues and automation. Allard has a Master’s in Tax Law from the University of Leiden.

About EFS, Erasmus University Rotterdam

EFS is a partnership between the tax departments of the Erasmus University Rotterdam’s Schools of Law and Economics.

EFS has been a leading education and research institute in the fields of indirect taxes (VAT and customs duties) and direct taxes (personal, corporate and source taxation) in a European and wider international context for over 25 years. EFS aims to pursue and promote academic education and research exploring the implications of international, and particularly EU, law for national tax systems. As well as regularly hosting academic symposia, conferences and lectures, EFS offers a wide range of post-master programmes and summer courses.

EFS programmes are taught by renowned professors and prestigious guest speakers, whose experience and reputation in their specialised fields guarantee high educational standards. The programmes are designed for tax specialists with several or more years of professional experience, with the diversity in the backgrounds of participants and speakers making EFS a unique network platform for exchanging knowledge.


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