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Government information for entrepreneurs

Exporting goods inside the EU

This information is provided by

Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) | Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK) | Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) | Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)

The EU has free movement of goods. That means there are no customs formalities. Your customer does not have to pay import duties. The VAT rate (btw) is 0% in nearly all cases. However, always check the product requirements within the EU, and in your customer’s country. Be sure to make clear arrangements about the transport of the goods.

Use the 0% VAT-rate

If you export to a business client in another EU country, you can use the 0% VAT rateExternal link. Your customer will pay local VAT instead of Dutch VAT. To make use of the 0% rate, you need to meet 2 qualifications:

  1. Check that your customer has a valid VAT numberExternal link;
  2. Be sure you can prove the goods have been transported to the destination country, for instance with a transport bill.

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’re free to export it to every EU member state.

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. Some countries have rules to contain the amount of packaging waste. So find out what the rules and regulationsExternal link (in Dutch) in your chosen destination country are.

Make clear transport arrangements

Make clear arrangements with your customer: who transports the goods? If you do it yourself, there are several options. But you could always outsource the transport to a transport company, a forwarding agent (in Dutch) or parcel service.

Tips for intra-EU transport

  • Record the terms of delivery and make sure your customer is aware of your general conditions.
  • Transport insurance will cover the risk of something going wrong during transport of the goods.
  • Know the do’s-and-don’ts of the destination country (in Dutch) to avoid surprises.

Brexit

Be aware that once the United Kingdom leaves the EU, you may need to use different documents to import or export goods, as the UK will become a third country. If you import or export agricultural goods, plants or use wooden packaging, you may need extra certificates and undergo inspections.

The Netherlands Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) offers Dutch information on this subjectExternal link. You may also want to consult the British government information on Gov.ukExternal link.

Also, check the Dutch Tax and Administration pages on customs mattersExternal link.

Statistics: export of goods

Total export value of goods to EU countries

Questions relating to this article?

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK)

+31 (0)88 585 2222

This information is provided by

Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst)
Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (KVK)
Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO)
Statistics Netherlands organisation (CBS)