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Jikke Biermasz

Attorney at law, partner

Expertise

In her practice, which includes both commercial advisory services and litigation, Jikke combines specialist knowledge in the field of customs law, anti-dumping and trade-regulatory law, with extensive experience in neighbouring fields, including civil and criminal law. Jikke offers an integrated, multidisciplinary approach and therefore a true ‘one-stop-shop’ for all customs and export control related matters.

Background

After graduating cum laude in both criminal and business law, Jikke started her career as a lawyer in 2004 with the international law firm DLA Piper, where she gained the necessary experience in all aspects of international trade, transport and insurance law. In addition, she specialized in customs law, export control and sanctions legislation.

In 2008, Jikke passed the specialist postgraduate Grotius Transport Law course, once more with distinction, and at the same time also successfully finished the post masters Customs Law at the European Fiscal Studies Foundation of Erasmus University in Rotterdam.

As of 1st May 2019 Jikke heads the International Trade, Customs & Logistics practice group at the Rotterdam law firm Ploum. Her team’s services include advising on and conducting civil, administrative and criminal litigation and corporate investigations in the areas of international trade, logistics, insurance, customs, export controls & sanctions  and product compliance, including litigation before the Dutch Supreme Court. The team focuses in particular on the industry sectors Trade & Logistics, High Tech & Industry, Food & Agriculture and Life Sciences & Health.

Jikke is fluent in Dutch and English and frequently publishes articles on customs and export control and sanctions legislation. She wrotes fort he column VAT and Customs of Kluwer Highlights & Insights, chairs the examination board of KGH Douaneopleidingen Nederland, lectures customs law fort he Dutch Forwarders Association FENEX and is founder and board member of GreenLane, an international network of customs and trade law firms both in and outside the EU.

Understanding business is more than legal knowledge

Jikke has a strong network in logistics which enables her to connect market players and to find out of the box solutions both in and outside the legal arena. Jikke: ‘I work for my clients to achieve the best feasible solution, preferably with willing parties – but if necessary, through tactical litigation. In my view, a lawyer is not called in for the conflict, but for the solution.’

Client review

Yves Melin, partner Steptoe & Johnson, Brussels: “When Jikke and I started to discuss the creation of a network of customs law firms, Jikke immediately became the engine. GreenLane (for which, by the way, she suggested the name) has developed since as a very prosperous venture. Not only in terms of cooperation and organization but also in commercial terms. At the moment she stepped in, she took ownership. We actually generate money and in that sense I consider GreenLane in my own firm as an evident plus on my CV, which is clearly recognized by my partners. At the beginning we started with five, now we have thirteen member firms in the EU and 7 members in third countries such as China, India and Brazil.. Jikke played an immense role in putting this together as she is by far the most energetic of all of us. She deploys great ideas for business development: both aimed at approaching clients and organizing events. In a nutshell I should say that I like particularly her business acumen. GreenLane would not have been there without Jikke.”

Examples of recent work

  • Jikke assists various importers, carriers and customs brokers (and their insurers) with national lawsuits against Dutch Customs and in proceedings in front of the European Commission and European Court. This concerns disputes on origin, customs value, tariff classification and/or anti-dumping duties. Each time it focuses on other products: such as solar panels, fasteners, bicycles, shoes, chemicals, garlic, vitamin preparations, aeroplane parts, soya oil, cigarettes, fish, rice, rollators, games computers, steel cables and LED lamps.
  • Because of her knowledge of customs and logistics contract law, Jikke regularly drafts complex logistics contracts and general conditions for logistics service providers and customs brokers or their clients. These parties use these documents to arrange their mutual legal relationship.
  • Jikke advises different (Dutch) exporters and multinationals on the implications of export control and sanctions regulations. Is (for example) exporting to Iran or Russia permitted?
  • Sometimes a court ruling means that clients have paid too much customs duties in the past. Declarations should have been made under a commodity code with a lower tariff. Jikke follows the developments in caselaw and for different clients she has already been able to achieve a ‘pleasant surprise’ by asking for a refund of substantial amounts of customs duties.
  • In case of trademark infringements too, customs officials take measures and can seize goods. In several situations Jikke has dealt with border detentions.
  • Jikke is regularly charged with the management of due dilligence investigations in mergers and acquisitions of customs brokers and other logistics services providers. The added value of Ploum as a full service law firm, with specialist knowledge of trade, customs and transport law is evident.
  • Jikke is active in several international and national projects to stimulate and support innovation and collaboration between shippers and logistics services providers in the supply chain.

Education

  • Traning course Customs Consultant, KGH Douaneopleidingen Nederland
  • Post-Master ‘Customs’ of the Foundation European Fiscal Studies (Erasmus University Rotterdam) (2009 and 2017)
  • Grotius specialist course transport law, cum laude (2008)
  • Basic Training Mediation, Mediation and Training Network, The Lime Tree
  • Business and criminal law, Leiden University, cum laude (2004)
  • Basic Training Mediation, Mediation and Training Network, The Lime Tree

Memberships & additional functions

  • Lecturer customs law at FENEX
  • Board member and founder of the GreenLane network (The Alliance of European Customs and Trade Lawfirms)
  • Chairman of the examination board of KGH Douaneopleidingen Nederland
  • Author for the column VAT and Customs van Kluwer Insights
  • Member of AIJA (Association International des Jeunes Advocats)

Publications

  • Samenwerken in de Logistiek, Weg en Wagen, nummer 86, 2018;
  • WorldECR, Dual-use Export Controls in international transit and transhipment, chapter on the Netherlands in collaboration, met Petra Chao, 2017;
  • Hart voor de haven – Jikke Biermasz, interview Mainport Magazine, 2016.
  • Namaakgoederen aangepakt, Globe Magazine, 411, 2016
  • De Antipiraterij Verordening, Verbeterd recept tegen namaak, Globe Magazine, nummer 388, 2014
  • Vertegenwoordiging in douanezaken, nummer 22, 2013
  • Onduidelijkheid bij de aansprakelijkheid voor douaneclaims, Eensluidend antwoord nog altijd niet te geven, ledenblad TLN, Transport & Logistiek, 2012
  • Transport and Arbitration, A love story, AIJA, country report for the Netherlands, 2011
  • Binding Netherlands, An introduction to Dutch export controls legislation, World ECR, issue May 2013
  • Europa’s antwoord op internationale handel in namaak, Fenedexpress, 2013.
  • New Dutch export control legislation tackles intangible strategic services, Guy Carpenter bundel, 2012.
  • (De samenloop van) regresacties met betrekking tot invoerrechten, accijnzen en omzetbelasting onder het CMR-verdrag en het Communautair douanewetboek, TVR 2009/3.