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 parcel is? Your postal or courier company can tell you where your parcel 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 also does not matter if the goods are new or second hand.

Are you receiving the goods from private senders (for example family or friends abroad)? Go to Are you receiving goods from abroad from private individuals? for more information.

When you are receiving goods from abroad, you may have to deal with the following formalities:

  • paying import duties
    In almost all cases, the postal or courier company carrying out the transport will also handle the customs declaration. This declaration must contain details that are important to Customs, such as the value and a description of the goods. If this information is not known, the postal or courier company will 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 parcel:
    • customs costs
      (the costs that the postal or courier company has incurred for filing the customs declaration)
    • handling charges
      (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.
  • 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 licence. Read more under the sections Luggage and Online winkelen – zo zit het bij de Douane (Online shopping – these are the customs formalities, only available in Dutch) to find out about the rules for tobacco products, €10,000 or more, counterfeit items, endangered animal and plant species, animal products and foodstuffs, plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit, weapons and ammunition, medicines, narcotics, art and antiques.

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

When these goods already have been imported into the European Union, you only pay the VAT to your supplier. The shipment does not have to pass through Customs because there is free movement of goods within the European Union.

See also

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