I received a gift from abroad. Do I have to pay taxes?

Are you, as a private individual, receiving a gift from a friend abroad? Or a promotional gift from a company? Then you may have to pay costs when the courier delivers it to you.

When do I pay import taxes?

It depends.

  • A parcel from another EU country

    If the parcel is sent from another country in the European Union (EU), you never pay import duties.

  • A parcel from outside the EU

    Sometimes, you have to pay taxes when the parcel enters the Netherlands, such as import duties or VAT (turnover tax). Courier companies sometimes charge handling fees. Even if the parcel is a gift.

    If these costs have not been paid by the sender, you must pay them when the parcel is delivered to your door.

    When do I pay tax if I receive something from outside the EU?

    You do not pay import duties or VAT for gifts up to € 45.

    If your gift is worth more than € 45, you pay:

    • VAT (turnover tax)
    • import duties
    • excise duty

Excise duty

Goods such as tobacco and drinks are subject to excise duty. If the sender has not yet paid this excise duty, you always pay the excise duty yourself. Wherever the parcel was sent from.

You pay the excise duty with a daily declaration in 'Mijn Douane'. You do this after you have received the parcel.

This is different from when you bring excise goods with you from abroad. If they are for personal use, you do not have to pay excise duty at the border.

What is a gift?

We regard gifts as 'goods of a non-commercial nature'. That is to say:

  • You only receive the gift once.
  • The goods are for personal use by you or the members of your household.
  • You have not paid any money for the goods.
  • The goods are not intended for resale.

It makes no difference if they are new or second-hand items.

You can request a refund of any costs paid twice

Sometimes, you pay too much for your parcel. For instance, because the tax has already been paid by the sender. Find out what to do on 'How can I claim the extra charges back on my parcel from abroad?'.

Products not allowed to enter the Netherlands

Most gifts you receive are subject to the rules that apply when you buy goods on the Internet. Tobacco products must have a valid Dutch excise stamp. Whether you order them online yourself or have a friend send them to you. And it doesn't matter whether you are gifted or buy a fake Rolex: the product is simply not permitted into the Netherlands.

Haven't received your parcel yet? Ask your courier company about its whereabouts