Additional (customs) fees when ordering online outside the EU

Always keep in mind additional costs if you buy something from an online shop outside the European Union (EU). VAT, for example, shipping costs, clearance fees and sometimes import duties.

Some costs are stated in advance, such as shipping and insurance costs. However, sometimes costs are not shown when you make your purchase – and you only have to pay them to your parcel carrier when your parcel is delivered.

These are the additional costs if you order outside the EU

  • VAT (btw)
    You must always pay this, from 1 July 2021 there is no VAT exemption for parcels up to €22. Calculate 21% VAT, for some products there is a reduced rate of 9%.
  • import duties (invoerrechten)
    If your purchase cost €150 or more then you will also have to pay import duties. Expect 0 to 17% import duties.
  • clearance fees (inklaringskosten)
    These are costs your parcel delivery service incurs to declare to Customs. These are fixed amounts that differ per delivery service – they can tell you more about them.

VAT and import duties for frequently purchased goods

VAT and import duties
Goods Import duties VAT
Telephones 0% 21%
Laptops and tablets 0% 21%
Headphones and microphones 0% 21%
Toys maximum of 4.7% 21% maximum of 4.7% 21%
Books 0% 9%
CDs and DVDs 0% 21%
Suitcases and bags maximum of 9.7% 21%
Shoes and boots maximum of 17% 21%
Jewellery maximum of 4% 21%
Clothing maximum of 12% 21%
Cosmetics and personal hygiene products 0% 21%
Car and motorcycle parts maximum of 4.5% 21%
Watches 4.5%
(You pay a minimum of €0.30 and a maximum of €0.80 per watch)

It is difficult to specify exactly how much import duties you have to pay because it depends on many things: for example, the material with which a product is made. You can also ask us your import duty questions online through our website.

How do you calculate import duties and VAT?

You calculate the import duties based on the price of the goods, the shipping costs and any insurance costs.

You calculate the VAT based on the price of the goods, the shipping costs, any insurance costs and the import duties.


  • You buy a €4.95 USB cable from an online shop in China. As the purchase amount is less than €150, you pay no import duties.

    The shipping costs are €3.80.

    You calculate the VAT on €4.95 + €3.80 = €8.75. The VAT payable is then 21% of €8.75 = €1.83.

    You settle the extra costs, in this case the shipping costs and VAT, with the parcel carrier.

  • You buy a bag for €199 from an online shop in the UK. The import duty for this bag is 3%.

    The shipping costs are €25.The insurance costs are €10.

    You calculate the import duty on €199 + €25 + €10 = €234.
    The import duty is 3% of €234 = €7.02.
    You calculate the VAT on €199 + €25 + €10 + €7.02 = €241.02.
    The VAT payable is then 21% of €241.02 = €50.61.

    You will therefore pay customs charges: €7.02 + €50.61 = €57.63.

    You usually settle the customs costs, shipping and insurance costs, and customs clearance fees with your parcel carrier.

Second-hand goods and gifts

The same rules apply when ordering second-hand goods outside the EU as for new goods.

Is it a gift, for example from a family member? Then the rules are different. For gifts with a value of up to €45 no import duties or VAT are charged.

More information