VAT and import taxes on consignments received from businesses

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

Are you receiving goods from an organisation or company abroad? Check the table below to see if you are liable for import taxes (such as import duty, VAT and excise duty).

Table: Liable for import taxes or not?

The goods come from:

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

an 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.

a non-EU country

Up to € 150

No import duties.
You have to pay VAT.

a non-EU country

Over € 150

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

Explanatory notes to the table

EU-country/non-EU country: See which countries are members of the European Union

Import duties: With 'import duties' we also refer to other import duties, such as anti-dumping tax, agricultural levies, and so on.

For alcoholic beverages you must pay excise in addition to import duty.

Calculate how much tax you have to pay

Does the table above show that you have to pay tax? Read more on the page How to calculate import taxes on consignments received from businesses.

Multiple products in 1 shipment

You always pay import duty on the entire shipment in the parcel. If there are 2 products in the parcel, for example, 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 consists of multiple parcels. This applies if the parcels are offered simultaneously, to 1 addressee, are included in 1 invoice and have the same air waybill number.

Exception for alcoholic products

You must file a customs declaration (or have this done for you) if you are receiving alcoholic drinks in the Netherlands (excise goods) from abroad. Depending on who is filing the declaration, 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 (such as 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. For this reason, do not respond to e-mails in which the supplier offers tobacco products at a much lower price than you normally pay in the Netherlands. Go to Are you buying tobacco products on the internet? for more information.

Import restrictions or prohibitions

The product must comply with Dutch standards concerning health and safety and the environment. Are you in doubt about whether you are allowed to import the product? Read 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 counterfeit items, endangered animal and plant species, animal products and foodstuffs, plants, flowers, vegetables, fruit, weapons and ammunition, medicines, narcotics, art and antiques.

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