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Importing and Exporting in the Netherlands

The Netherlands plays an important role in the global European economy. For centuries, shipping and trade, as well as fisheries and banking, have been the main economic sectors of the Dutch economy. Its geographical location helps the Netherlands establish and maintain its position as an important exporter. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe.

The Netherlands is one of the world's largest economies and one of the world's leading exporters. Food is the country's largest industrial sector. In the past few years, the Netherlands has also positioned itself as one of Europe's largest exporters of flowers and seeds.

Our International Market Entry Specialist in the Netherlands can provide more information about the country's expertise in import and export and detailed information on doing business in the Netherlands.

Dutch export credit insurance

Foreign transactions of any company exporting goods in the Netherlands can cover the risk of failure to pay. This type of warranty is called Export Credit Insurance (ECI).

In general, ECI is used for exports from countries outside the EU. However, in some cases, such as a very large transaction or export in a dangerous country, ECI cannot afford to lose.

In some cases, in order to reduce export risks, insurers (or Dutch exporters) may require ECI to be signed with the Dutch state. Therefore, in the case of certain damages or the buyer’s non-payment, the insured exporter or bank will receive the payment from the Dutch country.

The Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Innovation is responsible for the insurance of ECI and Atradius Dutch state-owned enterprises.

Dutch trade tax

Goods imported into the Netherlands from non-EU countries are taxed in accordance with Dutch practice, depending on the country of origin and the type of product.

In some cases, import taxes can protect Dutch agriculture, manufacturers and industries from cheap products made abroad. For agricultural products, some import taxes protect farmers from the influence of EU countries.

Import duties in the Netherlands

All import duties (taxes shipped to the EU) are collected by customs experts. The Dutch state deducts part of the funds from the tax to cover the fees charged, and the rest will be used for EU institutions.

The Dutch import tariff categories include tariffs (goods produced outside the EU), anti-dumping duties and EU agricultural policy taxes.

There is a class of goods in developing countries that may be subject to lower tax rates or even tax exemptions. The details of this issue are included in the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP). In order to pay a lower tax rate or zero tax rate, the importer will produce proof of origin, such as an invoice statement or certificate.

The certification requirements for using Conformité Européenne (CE) vary depending on the product. In some cases, the manufacturer or importer (if the product is manufactured in a non-EU country) can itself prove to be in compliance with EU requirements.

For more information on import and export taxes in the Netherlands or how to open a company in the Netherlands, please contact our European Company Formation agents.

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