Our business model of being a FULL-SERVICE AGENCY COVERING ALL ASPECTS OF CUSTOMS has not changed since the company was founded 25 years ago, even though the way we operate certainly has. From an early stage, we were pioneers in the development of modern IT systems and software, creating optimal, secure networks. Our own online customer information system guarantees unique transparency for our business partners in all of their current and past business procedures.
Our clients have 24/7 access to all customs procedures handled by us in recent years with digitalised customs-related documentation. A perfect service that is in high demand in the event of company and external customs audits for our clients.
IMPORT PARTNER looks to the future. As an owner-operated family company, Florian and Hendrik Ledeboer, sons of the company's founder, have to a large extent already taken over management of the business. Together with the founder himself, they personify professionalism, reliability, teamwork, fairness and sustainability. Over forty highly motivated and competent employees, some of whom have decades of experience and comprehensive expertise in the customs service sector, form a solid foundation for smooth, legally compliant handling of all customs processes in cross-border transportation of goods. Responsible handling of sensitive data in combination with a solution-based approach offer our clients a high degree of security and transparency in all customs procedures.
As a result of constant development of innovative solutions, IMPORT PARTNER is now one of the leading providers of professional customs services in the international transportation of goods. Through clear, strategic alignment as a specialist in the field of customs procedures, IMPORT PARTNER continues to position itself as a premium service provider in the "service" and "consulting" sectors and is continually striving to lead the way in terms of quality among its competitors in customs services.
The closure of the Free Port of Hamburg on 01 January 2013 led to huge changes in customs clearance in Hamburg. We provided close, professional support to our numerous clients from an early stage in dealing with the changes to the customs procedures.
The fact that we amalgamated our three offices in Hamburg in 2013 worked to the benefit of our clients. By concentrating on the one location in the immediate vicinity of the Windhukkai customs office, we were able to create extremely effective working groups. As a result, we developed highly qualified teams for the areas of import, export, transit and finance. Each department has its own highly qualified group leader for the area concerned.
With the eastward expansion of the EU on 01 May 2004, 10 further countries joined the European Union. In particular, the integration of Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary led to the customs clearance offices on the eastern border losing their purpose. Thus at an early stage, IMPORT PARTNER concentrated on the seaports of Hamburg, Rotterdam and Antwerp. The headquarters in Ratzeburg and three other branch offices in Hamburg, Lübeck and Frankfurt/.O. continued to operate successfully.
With the introduction of the ATL@S customs software, customs processes changed from paper-based to electronic procedures, providing everyone involved with significantly more transparency, control and time benefits, although the costs for the compulsory yet powerful IT hardware and software were significantly higher. In order to be able to support the rapidly growing import and transit business in terms of customs processing and security, IMPORT PARTNER created a solid capital base at an early stage, setting up bonds of several million EURO to provide credit for customs duties and collateral for shipping procedures.
German unification. IMPORT PARTNER, Internationale Zollspedition GmbH was founded in summer 1990 by Bernd Ledeboer, who had previously worked for ten years as a branch manager and trainer with a well-known customs agency. From the outset, IMPORT PARTNER saw itself as a "full-service agency covering all aspects of customs" and focused primarily on legally compliant handling of customs processes. After a few years, IMPORT PARTNER employed over 60 staff in more than 20 border offices at most of the crossing points between Germany and Poland and the Czech Republic. Independent subsidiaries with the same name were set up to handle customs formalities in Poland and the Czech Republic. From the beginning of the 1990s to the start of 2004, all customs registrations at the external border of the EU were still performed on paper forms and processed largely by hand by the local border customs offices.