Importing products from an EU country to the Netherlands

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK | Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO | Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst | Statistics Netherlands, CBS

Find out if you need to pay Dutch BTW

You are importing products from another EU country into the Netherlands. The supplier will usually charge you 0% BTW (Value Added Tax, VAT), and send you an invoice to that effect. You will then have to calculate, declare and pay the Dutch VAT in your BTW-aangifte or VAT return, based on the goods’ total sale price times the appropriate VAT tariff. That is, unless you are exempt from paying VAT. Read more about VAT on products from other EU countries.

Refund of foreign VAT

If your supplier charges you VAT, for instance when you pick up the goods abroad yourself, you can usually claim a VAT refundExternal link from the country’s Tax Administration via the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst).

Use the Belastingdienst intra-Community acquisition tool

If you buy goods from an entrepreneur or company, and these goods are transported from an EU country to the Netherlands, your purchase is an intra-Community acquisitionExternal link. There are some exceptions to this, so check before you declare the goods. You can use the (Dutch) Intra-Community Acquisition VAT Check ToolExternal link to determine whether your purchase is an intra-Community acquisition.

Keep your accounts in order

Do you import goods both from EU and non-EU countries? Be sure to make a clear distinction in your accounts. Imports from non-EU countries require additional records: transport documents, proofs of payment, business correspondence, customs documents. You can ask the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce KVK for advice and examples of documents you would have to submit. See Importing products from a non-EU country.

Do you have to pay accijns or invoerheffingen?

For certain goods, you pay import levies (invoerheffingen): you have to pay excise duties, accijns in Dutch, on imports of alcoholic beverages, tobacco or tobacco products, or fuels. For some non-alcoholic beverages, like fruit juices, you pay consumer tax (verbruiksbelasting). You settle your excise duties and consumer tax at Dutch Customs (Douane), where you will also deal with import documents. There are a couple of other duties you may have to pay, for instance the motor vehicle tax (bpm)External link if you import cars into the Netherlands.

What are the Dutch product requirements?

EU products are usually permitted in the Netherlands, but there may be specific Dutch requirements for your product. The Commodities act lists the general rules for product safety; the product also has to meet requirements in the field of safety, health, environment and economy (VGEM).

Do you want to be an agent or an importer?

You are importing products to sell on the Dutch market. But what exactly will be your involvement? You can be an agent or the importer. As the importer, you buy goods abroad and market them in the Netherlands. But you can also act as an agent, and find customers in the Netherlands on behalf of a foreign company. You’ll be the Dutch intermediary, and receive a fee. The rewards are not as high as the profit from direct sales, but the risks are fewer.

Tips for importing into the Netherlands


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.

Several parties offer information on how to prepare for Brexit:

Statistics: import of goods

Total import value of goods from EU countries

Questions relating to this article?

Please contact the Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK

This information is provided by

Netherlands Chamber of Commerce, KVK
Netherlands Enterprise Agency RVO
Tax and Customs Administration, Belastingdienst
Statistics Netherlands, CBS