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Netherlands import guide

Use this guide to import your products into the Netherlands from the EU. Refer to the information on the Dutch Tax Administration and Customs website for further knowledge.

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Register your business in the Netherlands

As an EU citizen, you are entitled to set up your business in any EU country. However, if your enterprise is established outside the Netherlands, you are subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) regulations, also known as “turnover tax,” if you import goods into the Netherlands. As a reference for native English speakers, BTW is the Dutch acronym for VAT.

As you work to register your businesses in the Netherlands, it is useful to know which tax office applies to you and how you can register with the Tax and Customs Administration. Use this guide for tailored tax information.

Typically, you will (1) file a turnover tax return; You may or may not need to (2) pay VAT in the Netherlands.

File a turnover tax return
VAT covers four main activities.

  • Supplying goods
  • Rendering services
  • Acquisition of goods by businesses
  • Importing goods

Supplying goods to the Netherlands from other countries in the EU is taxed at 0% in the country of origin. VAT comes into play in the Netherlands when goods are purchased. The standard rate of VAT is 21%, typically filed in a quarterly VAT return online.

Pay VAT in the Netherlands
If you purchase or manufacture goods in the EU, then transport them to the Netherlands, you have made an “intra-Community acquisition.” You are required to pay Dutch VAT over the purchase price, which may then be deducted as input tax.

You may be eligible for a VAT refund if you incur costs in respect of what VAT is charged. You can estimate your VAT costs and see examples using this resource.

Confirm your goods can be imported

In addition to registering your business and adhering to VAT regulations, verify that you can import your goods to Dutch customers.

For safe assurance, we recommend the customs broker Fonotoon. Similar to DB Schenker, Fonotoon is a Netherlands-based firm that helps with VAT registration and customs clearance.
You may contact Fonotoon to act as a direct representative:

Fonotoon BV
Castorstraat 8
5047 RC Tilburg
Tel: + 31-13-5156660
E-mail: sales@fonotoon.nl

Duties, tariffs, and taxes

If your business is already established in the EU, selling goods to clients in the Netherlands is very easy. VAT will be the only tax applied to the sale of goods in the Netherlands, and because VAT is “reverse-charged,” the purchaser will see a tax, not you as the seller.

If you supply goods in the Netherlands to a private entity, however, the rules are a bit more complex and requires registering with the Netherlands Tax and Customs Administration and filing VAT.

Understanding shipping in the Netherlands

Refer to the following warehouse guide(s) for shipping capabilities, available carriers and features:


Understanding pricing

Shipwire has purposely aligned the way it prices its services with the needs of the fast-growing business. Our pricing is designed to be simple and transparent, to not require any management or oversight on your part, and to reward increased order volume. Learn more about pricing:

Shipping fees are denominated in US dollars. Shipping rates may fluctuate as the dollar fluctuates. Please read our Terms of Service for more information on shipping price quotes.

Handling 1 item from the Netherlands is the same as shipping 1 item from any other Shipwire location. For example if you ship 50 orders in one month, split evenly between the Netherlands and Los Angeles. On the 51st order, you upgrade to the next handling level, decreasing your handling price on the following orders for the month.

Storing 1 pallet in the Netherlands is the same as storing 1 pallet in any other Shipwire location. For example, if your account includes up to 4 pallets of storage. If you store 1 pallet in the Netherlands, and 1 pallet in the Los Angeles, you have 2 pallets of storage left.

How does Shipwire calculate currency rates?
The most readily available information on currency exchange rates is based on “interbank exchange rates”. Interbank exchange rates are established in the course of currency trading among a global network of over 1000 banks, and are not available through consumer or retail channels. Consumers may use these rates as a reference, but should not expect to use interbank rates in transactions that involve currency conversion. To obtain actual retail rates, contact your local financial institution or currency exchange.

If your transaction involves a currency conversion, it will be completed at a retail foreign exchange rate determined by Shipwire, which is adjusted regularly based on market conditions.

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