Expats and other shoppers can purchase from a non-EU web shop if it delivers to here to Netherlands but be aware there may be additional fees to be collected when the order arrives…
When making a purchase in a non-EU webshop from the Netherlands two costs to consider are import duty and sales tax (BTW).
Import or customs duties are often complex since they not only vary by product category but can vary within category as well. One item in your order may have a 10% duty charge while another may be at 4%. More information about Dutch import duties can be found here.
Fortunately you don’t have to have worry about import duties if the value of your shipment from outside the EU is under €150.
Additionally if the merchandise value IS over €150 but the calculated import duty is less than €10, NO duty fee will be assessed on the package. To give an example, Item A Cost = €250, Item A Duty Rate = 1% (€2.50), NO duty will be charged since the amount is less than €10.
SALES TAX (Dutch BTW)
Sales tax (BTW) is charged on goods coming into the Netherlands the same way it is charged when buying from a local store. The majority of products sold incur 21% sales tax while a limited amount fall under the 9% rate. Very few incur no sales tax.
But be aware when sales tax is applied to a purchase coming from outside the EU, it is applied to the entire invoiced cost not just the merchandise cost. The invoiced cost of an order would include the product costs, the shipping cost and any insurance there may be on the shipment.
For example, the invoice accompanying an order coming from outside the EU has these items listed Product A Cost = €500, Product B Cost = €300, Shipping Cost = €75, Insurance Cost = €20. The sales tax (BTW) that will be charged by the Dutch Customs Bureau (and need to be paid by you) is (€500 + €300 + €75 + €20) x 21% = €187.95.
WHEN IMPORT DUTY AND SALES TAX ARE PAID
Some foreign retailers that ship to the Netherlands (and rest of EU) will collect the expected fees (import duty and sales tax) at the time the order is placed. In this case, the fees are then paid directly to Dutch customs so that the receiver does not have to pay any amount when the package is delivered to them.
Some large American retailers that operate this way include:
If the non-EU webshop you purchase from does not collect the relevant fees at the time of sale, they need to be paid to the courier when they come to deliver the package. Typically the amount due needs to be paid in cash directly to the courier before they will give the package to the recipient. The reason being that the courier company (for example, UPS or Fed Ex) must pay the fees upfront when they take possession. Therefore they won’t transfer possession until they are reimbursed for the charges they have paid.
BUYING FROM U.S. WEBSHOP THAT DOESN’T SHIP TO NETHERLANDS
The vast majority of American retailers do not offer international shipping. But many will accept an order placed from abroad to be shipped to an address within the United States. This led to the growth of an industry offering intermediary package forwarding services.
One example is MyUS, a business-to-consumer freight forwarder based in Sarasota, Florida. MyUS has warehouses which have been assigned hundreds of unique street addresses by the U.S. Postal Service (not PO Box addresses). When you subscribe to MyUS service, you receive your own unique Sarasota street address which is used as the ship-to address when placing an order with a retailer.
The retailer processes the order and ships it to ‘your’ U.S. address. The package is received by MyUS which will then forward it directly or hold it for consolidation if you have other orders on the way. When MyUS send the order, they complete the required American export documentation and Dutch import form. Some products cannot be imported to the Netherlands from outside the EU (such as flammable items and prescription medicines). MyUS is aware of these product categories and will alert you if there is a problem.