Import taxes on consignments received from businesses abroad

This section is only intended for private individuals who receive goods from abroad from organisations and companies.

Please note!

Would you like to know where your package is? Your postal or courier company can tell you where your package is and whether, for example, the customs procedures have been completed. Customs cannot provide you with information about this.

I receive goods from commercial outlets abroad, e.g.

  • purchases made via the internet (internet purchases)
  • mail order purchases

It does not matter whether you have ordered the goods or not. An example of unordered goods is a corporate gift. It does not matter if the goods are new or second hand.

Do the goods come from private senders (e.g. family or friends abroad)? Then read the section: Are you receiving goods from abroad from private individuals?

Are you receiving goods from abroad? You may have to deal with the following issues:

  1. paying import duties
    In most cases, the postal or courier company that is taking care of transport will submit the report to Customs. The report must contain details that are important to Customs, such as value and a description of the goods. If this information is not known, the postal or courier company check this with you.
    If the costs set out below are not paid by the sender to the postal or courier company,  the postal or courier company will charge these costs to you upon delivery of the package:
    • customs costs
      (the costs that the postal or courier company has incurred for submitting the report to Customs)
    • processing costs
      (costs for other work that the postal or courier company has done for you)
    • any taxes to be paid
      (import taxes, such as import duty, VAT and excise duty)
      The amount of tax that you must pay for importing varies per product.
  2. goods that you may not import
    Some goods may not be imported into the Netherlands. Other goods may only be brought into the Netherlands and/or imported if you have a permit. Read more on 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).

Are you receiving goods from a country within the European Union?

Are you receiving goods from a country within the European Union? And have these goods already been imported into the European Union? Then you only pay the VAT to your supplier. Customs will not process the shipment. Within the European Union, there is free movement of goods.

See also

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