Customs has set up a verification system for the transit declarations and the corresponding documents. With the aid of this system, Customs establishes that all the goods mentioned in a certain declaration have reached the specified destination in a regular manner, or that all the goods have left in a regular manner. This verification system is known as the discharge of declarations and documents.
A person who files a declaration states in that declaration that he wants to give the destination specified in the declaration to the goods concerned. He states, for example, that he wants to transport a consignment of 10,000 kilos of butter from Rotterdam to Marseilles, without paying the import duties owed on import into the EU. The discharge obligation entails that the person who stated in the declaration that he wanted to give the goods the specified destination to the goods, should ensure that the goods actually go to that destination. He should do so in the prescribed manner, i.e. with due observance of the formalities. Customs subsequently checks whether the goods effectively reached this destination. In this example, Dutch Customs is notified by the French customs authorities that the consignment of 10,000 kilos of butter arrived at the customs office in Marseilles. Thereby the customs transit declaration is classified as 'discharged'.
If the declarant fails to demonstrate, or to demonstrate sufficiently, that the customs transit procedure has been completed, the declarant will receive a summons to pay the duties owed. In addition, an administrative penalty will be imposed on the party that did not fulfil its obligation to terminate the customs transit procedure. This is known as 'non-discharge' of a document.
If the declarant is not prepared to pay, the duties payable can be recovered from the security provided (See: Comprehensive guaranty of guarantee waiver).