Customs Administration of the Netherlands

Published by:
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst

Do you import goods from a country outside the European Union (EU)? Or do you export goods to a country outside the EU? Then you will usually pay customs duties. To do so, you need to submit a declaration to the Customs Administration of the Netherlands. Dutch customs will also check whether other customs rules apply. For example, with regards to safety, health, economy, and environment (veiligheid, gezondheid, economie en milieu, VGEM).

What do you need for Customs?

If you are required to contact the Customs Administration of the Netherlands, you need the following:

  • EORI number

The EORI number is an identification number for exchanging data with customs. EORI stands for ‘Economic Operators Registration and Identification’.

  • AEO status

An AEO status (Authorised Economic Operator status) is not mandatory, but has benefits (in Dutch). For instance, your goods will pass the customs check more easily. Or are checked less often. You can apply for a AEO status for free at Dutch Customs.

Determining custom duties

You pay taxes on the customs value of the goods that you import or export. These are called import levies and export levies. The customs value (in Dutch) is the value of the goods the moment they enter the European Union (EU).

The customs value of goods are the same in all EU countries. Do you import goods to the Netherlands and Germany? Then you pay the same customs duties for both loads. How high the import levies or export levies are, depends on the goods and the country of origin.

Other taxes for import or export

The other taxes for import or export can differ in each EU country. For example, VAT or excise duties. All rates are set out in the Tariff list (DTV). In the manual you can read more about the use of the Tariff list.

Commodity codes and DTV

For the customs declaration you need the commodity code (HS code). With this code Customs can determine if you are paying the correct import levies. And whether you are paying the correct VAT rate. In case of import, this code is called the TARIC code. Customs also uses this code to check if there are extra measures for your goods. Such as import licences for medicines or certain plants.

For the declaration of goods all EU countries use the same commodity codes. You can find the commodity codes in the Tariff list (DTV). In the Tariff list, you can also find:

  • a description of the goods
  • the duties and/or other taxes you need to pay when importing the goods
  • other rules you need to keep in mind during import

The importer submits the declaration

Usually, the importer declares the import of goods. Often this is the buyer of the goods. Unless you have agreed to the Incoterm© DDP (Delivery Duty Paid) with the seller. Then the seller is responsible for the customs formalities. Such as the declaration, import levies, and the VAT in the country of destination for the goods.

Declaration for export

If you export goods, you also need to declare them at customs. This is called an export declaration. Read more about export declarations at

Submit your declaration digitally at Customs

You submit your declaration to Customs via the declaration system DMS (in Dutch). Do you not have much experience with declarations? A transporter or a customs broker can do this for you.

If you want to submit a digital declaration yourself, contact the National Helpdesk of Dutch Customs. They will help you on your way.

To declare digitally, you need:

The costs of a digital declaration depend on your software, the type of declaration, and how many declarations you make.

Do you want to declare a special Customs procedure for which a licence is required? Then you need to have the licence before using the special procedure.

Exemption from import duties

Sometimes you can pay less or even no import duties. That is the case if:

Rules for exporters

Do you export? And do you want to know which tariff or import duties your foreign client has to use? Search for the tariff in the Access2Markets portal of the EU. For more information, see the manual and the English video about the use of Access2Markets.

Trade within the EU

Do you sell goods to a client in another EU country? Or do you buy goods from a supplier in another EU country? Then you do not need to declare goods with Customs. You do not need to pay import duties either.

Read more about buying goods from an EU country and supplying goods within the EU.

Excise duties and consumption tax

For certain products, such as alcoholic beverages or tobacco products, you pay excise duties. For other goods, such as fruit juices, you pay consumption tax. For trade in those goods, you need an EORI number within the EU as well.

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst