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Participants of the new Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Management at Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) kicked off the start of their studies on RSM’s campus on Tuesday 10 March 2015. The 27 professionals from five countries attended academic workshops, enjoyed a performance by the Dutch Customs Administration’s orchestra, and investigated the contents of a mini-van.

“The start of this programme was an enthralling experience,” said participant Jacky Daalmans, legal trainee and law graduate at Dupont de Nemours Nederland. “As a customs professional, I think this programme will add value to the future of business in a fast-changing dynamic world. It covers all the essential aspects in the field of customs and supply chain compliance. RSM has created a professional and open working environment. It’s inspiring and feels like home already,” she said.

RSM’s Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance is a 26-month part-time programme taught in English. The unique programme deals with the latest knowledge and insights in customs duties, taxes, trade legislation and compliance. It was developed in co-operation with trade associations, the Dutch Customs Administration, Erasmus School of Law, Delft University of Technology, Eindhoven University of Technology, and RSM.

International trade

After a musical introduction, led by the Dutch Customs Administration’s marching band, the Executive Master in Customs and Supply Chain Compliance was officially opened by the dean of RSM, the general director of the Dutch Customs Administration, and the managing director of Dinalog.

“I’m proud of the way RSM co-created this programme with other academic institutions and Dutch Customs,” said RSM’s dean Steef van de Velde. “This is a shiny example of forging alliances. The future is ours to create and we’re on top of the world.” The dean highlighted the benefits of RSM’s location. “Rotterdam is the gateway to Europe. It’s all about international trade, and our port is all about supply chain, transportation, and logistics.”

EU competency framework

Aly van Berckel, the general director of the Dutch Customs Administration shared staggering facts and statistics about airfreight, baggage checks, containers in Rotterdam’s port, and passengers at Amsterdam airport. She said all of this involves risk assessment, innovation, enforcement, effective supervision, facilitation, and ensuring safety and security.

“The programme was built on the competency framework of the EU curriculum for all knowledge requirements for professionals,” said Van Berckel. “This creates the knowledge space for the European Union and customs area on a global level. I highly value the quality of this programme.” Van Berckel said the programme’s scientific approach will lead to fruitful developments. “You are bringing urgently needed innovation and legislation into our sector,” she told the participants. The Dutch Customs Administration will continue to support the programme by sponsoring 10 students for each of the next three iterations of the programme.

Customs and trade professionals of the future

The introduction day included presentations about the three pillars of the programme: legal customs regulations, supply chain management, and IT and compliance. In addition, the participants attended a workshop about the customs and trade professional of the future, led by Frank Heijmann, head of trade relations of the Dutch Customs Administration, and Ruud Tusveld, partner customs excise and international trade at PwC. 

The Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics, Dinalog, provided 24 scholarships with a total value of €120,000 to make it easier for a wide range of people to participate in the programme. “We wanted to give the programme a quick start,” said Remco Overwater, the managing director of Dinalog. “We drive programmes for innovation, logistics and supply chain management, and want to spread the news about our customs and supply chain compliance being at the forefront.”

After the official start of the programme, the participants’ first assignment was to explore a mini-van for “suspicious contents”. They scanned the objects and found bottles of sparkling wine to celebrate the beginning of their studies during a festive networking reception.

Watch a video of the kick-off on our YouTube channel.

More information

Dinalog, the Dutch Institute for Advanced Logistics, is the institute in which companies, other knowledge institutes and the government co-operate in the context of the logistics strategic platform’s national programme aimed at making the logistics and supply chain management sector more innovative. This work includes more than 50 national and international R&D and demonstration projects, and investment in human capital. The dissemination and valorisation of SME knowledge will ensure that new knowledge becomes available throughout the logistics sector. Dinalog is driven by open innovation.

Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University (RSM) is one of Europe’s top-ranked business schools. RSM provides ground-breaking research and education furthering excellence in all aspects of management and is based in the international port city of Rotterdam – a vital nexus of business, logistics and trade. RSM’s primary focus is on developing business leaders with international careers who can become a force for positive change by carrying their innovative mindset into a sustainable future. Our first-class range of bachelor, master, MBA, PhD and executive programmes encourage them to become critical, creative, caring and collaborative thinkers and doers.

For more information about RSM or this release, please contact Erika Harriford-McLaren, Media & Public Relations Manager for RSM on +31 10 408 2877 or by email at For more information about the Dinalog scholarship, please contact Sophie Zijp, Dinalog Marketing, on +31 6 132 237 62 or by email at

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