Delivering goods inside the EU

Published by:
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Netherlands Tax Administration, Belastingdienst
Statistics Netherlands, CBS
Statistics Netherlands, CBS

The EU has free movement of goods. That means that your client in another EU country does not have to pay import duties. There are rules for VAT and product requirements.

Business clients: use the 0% VAT rate

If you deliver goods to a business client in another EU country, you can use the 0% VAT rate. Your customer does not pay Dutch VAT, but calculates the local VAT themselves and pays this in their own country. This is the case when:

  1. your customer has a valid VAT number;
  2. you arrange the transport. If the client picks up the goods, always ask for a transport document. That way, you can prove the goods were actually transported to another EU country.

Customers who do not file a VAT return: calculating VAT

Do you export goods within the EU to customers who do not file a VAT return? For example, private individuals, entrepreneurs who supply exempted goods or services, and legal persons who are not entrepreneurs. If so, you usually need to charge the VAT of the EU country where your customer is located.

Maximum revenue of €10,000

Do you expect that your total revenue from distance sales and digital services to private individuals within the EU will not exceed €10,000 in 1 calendar year? Then you can choose 1 of the following 2 possibilities for declaring VAT:

  1. You charge and pay Dutch VAT. Do you exceed €10,000 after all? Then from that moment on, you charge the VAT of your customer's EU country. You also file your VAT return in that country. The following year you will also have to calculate foreign VAT. Even if your revenue remains less than €10,000 that year.
  2. Would you rather calculate the foreign VAT for the EU country you deliver to? For example, because the VAT rate is lower. You must report this to the Netherlands Tax Administration using the form Melding omzetbelasting – Keuze plaats van prestatie digitale diensten en afstandsverkopen (in Dutch). You will then also file your VAT return in that country.

Filing VAT returns in different EU countries (OSS)

Do you deliver goods to one or more EU countries? And is your annual revenue more than €10,000? You can then make use of the Union scheme. This allows you to arrange your VAT returns within the EU in the one-stop shop (OSS) for each quarter. You no longer have to do this separately in each EU country.

Check the product requirements

Products must be safe to use before they are launched on the market. That is why you should check the EU product requirements for your product. If your product meets the European requirements, you are free to export it to every EU member state.

There are exceptions. For instance, for goods that pose a risk for the health of people and animals or for public safety. The EU Product Contact Points (PCP) offer information on this with the relevant organisations in other EU countries.

Check the local legislation

Many countries demand that you provide product information in the country’s language(s). That applies to packaging and labels, but also to user manuals. Sometimes, a technical adaptation must be made to the product. For instance, a change in the type of power plug. Some countries have rules to reduce the amount of packaging waste.

Find out what the rules and regulations (in Dutch) in your chosen destination country are on

Statistics: export of goods

Total export value of goods to EU countries

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK