Am I liable for import taxes? (from organisation to private individual)

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

Do you receive goods from abroad, from organisations and companies? And you would like to know if you are liable for import taxes (e.g. import duty, VAT, excise duty)?

Table: Liable for import taxes or not?

The goods come from a:

Value of shipment (excluding
insurance and P & P costs)
Taxes for import

EU country*


You only pay VAT to the company from which you have bought
the goods, not to Dutch Customs.
You pay excise duty for alcoholic products.

non-EU country**

Up to € 150

No import duties***
You have to pay VAT

non-EU country**

€ 150 or more

You have to pay import duties***
You have to pay VAT.

* EU-country: countries that are members of the European Union.
** non EU-country: countries that are not members of the European Union.
*** The term import duties refers to this list too: other import duties, such as anti-dumping tax, agricultural levies, and so on.

You must pay excise for alcoholic beverages, perfumes and toilet waters.

Calculate how much tax I 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 duty on the entire shipment in the package. If there are 2 products in the package, e.g. 1 of € 149 and 1 of € 300, you must calculate import taxes on € 449. 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.

Exception for alcoholic products

You must submit a report (or have this done for you) if you are receiving alcoholic drinks in the Netherlands (excise goods) from abroad. Depending on who is submitting the report, you or the vendor must pay all of the excise duty. Are the excise goods coming in from outside the EU? Then you must also pay VAT and import duties.

Exception for tobacco products

Tobacco products (e.g. cigarettes, cigars, rolling tobacco and hookah tobacco) may only be imported into the Netherlands if they bear Dutch excise seals. This is very rarely the case if you have purchased them via the internet or a mail order company. Tobacco products that arrive in the Netherlands without a Dutch excise seal will be seized by Dutch Customs. So do not be taken in by e-mails that offer tobacco products much cheaper than is the case in the Netherlands. See Are you buying tobacco products on the internet?

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).

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