As a small but ambitious company in the niche sector of specialty chemicals, Eurikas is looking for quality customs and VAT advice at a fair price. Founder Peter Roggeman and his team have been calling on the expertise of Customs Square and Vatsquare for several years now. And he is very satisfied with this.
Can you briefly outline the history and activities of Eurikas?
Peter Roggeman: “After a career of over 20 years at the American company Michelman, where I was commercial director and managing director Europe, I started Eurikas in 2013. I did so together with a New Zealand partner with extensive international experience. Like Michelman, we operate in the niche sector of specialty chemicals, manufacturing products for a wider range of sectors: inks and coatings, asphalt, packaging, textiles, agriculture,…”
“Despite our small team with only 6 employees, we are active around the world, focusing on Europe, the United States, Brazil and Japan. We purchase a lot of material outside of Europe, mainly in the US, Japan and South Korea.”
In terms of approach, what differentiates you from direct competitors?
“We are an asset-light model, which means we have no assets and develop our own products. To do this, we work with an American partner who develops the formulations, then we have them produced in Europe by three other partners. Working with external, freelance parties – including agents – gives us the opportunity to adapt very quickly to changing market conditions and customer demands. That agility is one of our great strengths.”
How and since when did your collaboration with the specialists from Customs Square and Vatsquare start?
“Because of our international activities, we have four VAT numbers – Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland and the United Kingdom – and are regularly confronted with tricky VAT issues. Because of the complex and rapidly changing VAT legislation, a few years ago our external auditor advised us to use Vatsquare for VAT support. That cooperation – with VAT expert Steven Didden as our central contact – is running very smoothly. Steven always helps us tremendously and succeeds in explaining the complex VAT rules in understandable language.
A few years ago I was also looking for a professional consultancy firm to deal with customs matters. When I met Linda Fierens from Customs Square two years ago during an afternoon of studies by her Vatsquare colleagues, we immediately clicked. That’s why we decided to start working together to keep our customs files on track.”
How is the collaboration with Customs Square going?
“Just like with Vatsquare, the collaboration with Customs Square is going very well. Linda combines a no-nonsense and direct approach with enormous experience in the area of customs-related issues. Thanks to her career at the FPS Finance and Geodis, among others, she not only has an enormous professional network, but she also knows all the ins and outs of specific customs topics. Moreover, she is always available, which is an important added value for our flexible team.
We wanted to submit a request for suspension of customs duties for a specific case. Together with her team, Linda succeeded admirably in handling this file successfully. As a result, we will be able to realize additional margin as of January 2022. For us this is once again proof that investing in a professional consultancy firm more than pays off!
Besides this case, Linda also expertly assisted us during meetings with our freight forwarders from Asia, because there were some questions about our invoicing. Here, too, her advice was more than helpful in addressing these conversations in a constructive manner.”
How do you see the collaboration with Vatsquare and Customs Square evolving in the future?
“Because both VAT and customs rules are constantly changing and becoming more complex, it is impossible for a non-specialist to continue to see the forest for the trees. The synergy between Vatsquare and Customs Square is an absolute strength of this tandem. With our Eurikas team, it is very reassuring to be able to call on experts who are always ready to help us and who closely follow the regulations. And last but not least, my colleagues and I regularly learn something about (new) VAT and customs topics, which puts us in a stronger position when negotiating with suppliers or customers.”
More info: www.eurikas.be