VAT and import tax on parcels received from private individuals

This section is only intended for private individuals who receive goods from abroad from other private individuals.

Are you receiving goods from abroad, from private individuals? And you would like to know if you are liable for import taxes (e.g. import duty, VAT, excise duty)? Check the table below.

Table: When is no tax charged for imports?

The goods
come from a:
Type of


EU country

All goods except excise goods

Value and quantity unlimited

Non-EU country

All goods

Maximum value € 45 and the maximum quantity set out below for tobacco products, alcoholic drinks/products.

Non-EU country

Tobacco products

50 cigarettes
25 cigarillos (cigars with a maximum weight of 3 grams per item)
10 cigars
50 gram rolling tobacco
a proportional range of these products
Please note!
If Customs discovers greater quantities in a package, they will seize all of the tobacco products and charge the corresponding taxes.

Non-EU country

Alcohol and
1 litre of distilled drink or alcoholic drink with an alcohol level of over 22% proof
1 litre of distilled drink and alcoholic drinks, aperitifs on the basis of wine
or alcohol, tafia (a type of rum), sake or similar drinks with an alcohol level of 22% proof or less
1 litre of sparkling wine or liqueur wine
a proportional range of these products and
2 litres of non-sparkling wine

Non-EU country

Perfume and eau de toilette

50 grams of perfume
0.25 litre eau de toilette

Calculate how much tax you have to pay

Does the table above show that you have to pay tax? Read more on page: How do I calculate these import taxes?

Multiple products in 1 shipment

You always pay import tax on the entire package. If there are 2 products in the package, e.g. 1 of € 20 and 1 of € 300, you must calculate import taxes on € 320. The shipment can be regarded as 1 unit if the shipment encompasses multiple packages. This applies if the packs are offered simultaneously, to 1 addressee, are included in one invoice and have the same airway bill number.

What cannot be imported

The product must be in keeping with Dutch standards concerning safety, health, economics and the environment. Are you in doubt about whether you are allowed to import the product? To be certain, check under the subject: Restricted or prohibited to import/export (this includes tobacco products, counterfeit items, threatened animal and plant varieties, animal products and foodstuffs, plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit, weapons and munitions, toy weapons, medicines, narcotics, art and antiques).

Receiving goods from Helgoland?

Are the goods coming from Helgoland? For this type of shipment, we consider Helgoland to be a non-EU country.

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