Import from non-EU countries to the Netherlands

Goods that are imported from outside the EU to the Netherlands must be declared to Customs. You are then able to import the goods into the EU using a customs declaration. You will be required to pay the VAT on the goods to Customs. You will be able to deduct or claim refund of this VAT as input tax later on, if the goods are destined for you according to the customs declaration. The goods have then been imported under your name.


You purchase goods in China. You have the goods transported to the Netherlands and you declare these goods as imported into the Netherlands under your own name. You pay Dutch VAT over the customs value of the goods. The customs value is the value of the goods, plus the transport costs, insurances and suchlike, up to the external border of the EU.

As foreign entrepreneur you are not able to apply the reverse-charge mechanism over the import of goods from non-EU countries. However you are able to make use of a tax representative. Such a representative is able to apply the reverse-charge mechanism on import from non-EU countries on your behalf. In such cases you will not be required to pay Customs the VAT on the import declaration. If you do not have a tax representative, then you will be required to pay Customs the VAT on the import declaration.

Is your company established outside the EU and do you supply goods to customers in EU countries who are not required to submit a VAT return, such as private individuals? If this concerns goods that are not yet in the EU, you may be able to use the Import scheme. If your company is established in an EU country other than the Netherlands, check with the tax authorities in the country where your business is established about this scheme.

See also

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