Moving to the Netherlands and importing your belongings duty free
Are you moving to the Netherlands from a non-EU country? And do you want to import your household effects to the Netherlands without paying import duties? In that case you will need to declare the import of your household effects to Customs. You should indicate that you wish to import your household effects without paying import duties.
You cannot file this declaration independently. The application must be made via your removal company using Customs' AGS declaration system. Your removal company will declare the household effects with a special code (relief code) so that you can import your household effects with an exemption for import duties.
You will only be granted the exemption if you meet a number of conditions. The exemption conditions are given at the bottom of this page.
Applying for an exemption
Your removal company applies to Customs for the exemption in its import declaration. For the exemption you will need to submit the following to your removal company:
- A signed inventory listing all of the personal goods that you want to take to the Netherlands.
- The certificate of registration in the personal records database of the municipality in the Netherlands.
This certificate must show that and on which date you settled in the Netherlands. If you do not have a certificate of registration, you can submit the proof of deregistration from the country of departure, complemented by 1 of the following supporting documents to demonstrate that you are settling in the Netherlands:
- your employment contract
- your employer's statement
- your work permit
- your rental contract or mortgage certificate for the home you are moving to
- Do you intend to import a car or motorcycle or other vehicle? If so, send a copy of:
- the registration certificate
- the purchase or ownership certificate
Do you not yet have all of the requested documents (e.g.: a registration certificate for the municipality where you will be living)? In that case under certain conditions your removal company can still apply for an exemption for your household effects. You will need to send the requested documents to your removal company as soon as possible. Contact your removal company for this purpose.
Certain goods among your removal goods are subject to special rules.
Are you also importing vehicles? If so, you will need to file a separate declaration to import the vehicle via your removal company. Is the vehicle a car or motorcycle? And have you been granted an exemption from import duties for that vehicle? In that case you can also apply for a bpm exemption (Bpm is the private motor vehicle and motorcycle tax). Go to File a declaration for bpm for information on how to obtain a Dutch licence for your car or motorcycle and how to apply for bpm exemption.
Conditions for exemption
To be granted an exemption from import duties you must meet the following conditions:
- You are moving from a country outside of the European Union to the Netherlands and will be living in the Netherlands or another country of the European Union.
- You are thus transferring your normal place of residence to the European Union.
- You have lived outside of the European Union for at least twelve consecutive months.
- You have owned and used the goods for at least six months.
- You have used the goods and will be using them again.
- You import the goods within twelve months of taking up residence in the Netherlands or another country of the European Union.
- You will not be loaning, pledging, leasing out or transferring the goods within twelve months of the date on which they were imported.
The exemption does not apply to the following goods: products containing alcohol, tobacco and tobacco products, commercial vehicles, non-portable materials for professional use.
Are you also importing a vehicle? If so, you will need to file a separate declaration to import the vehicle via your removal company. Is the vehicle a car or motorcycle? And have you been granted an exemption from import duties for that vehicle? In that case you can take your copy of the import declaration (bearing an exemption code) to a BPM declaration point. There you can apply for an exemption permit for BPM (tax on cars and motorcycles).
- If you are moving to the Netherlands from the United Kingdom, please also visit government.nl.
- You can find more information in chapter 24.00.00 of Handboek Douane (only available in Dutch).
- You can always contact the Customs Information Line if you have any questions. We will be happy to help you.