There are a lot of things to consider before you start exporting to the Netherlands. It's essential to find out about local rules and regulations on tax and duty in your intended market.
Entering the Dutch market
There are several ways Northern Irish companies can approach the Dutch market:
- export direct
- set up an agency
- appoint an importer or distributor
- use agent or commission agent
It is advisable to have a local representative either on a commission basis, or as an importer/distributor. The Netherlands is a small and well developed market so personal acquaintances are important.
UK companies entering into agreements in the Netherlands should undertake professional legal advice.
Standards and technical regulations
Suppliers of products and services must ensure products are safe. They should meet relevant EU safety standards including clear instructions for proper use and include warnings against misuse.
EU standards apply with regard to packaging.
The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has responsibility for standards in the Netherlands.
Intellectual Property (IP)
Trademarks, designs, patents and copyright are the principal forms of Intellectual Property (IP) protection available to companies and individuals.
EU IP law has a major impact on local law. However law covering intellectual property is not totally harmonised within the EU. In particular patent protection is only harmonised to a certain degree.
The Netherlands Patents Office (Octrooi Centrum) has responsible for IP in the Netherlands.
Read more about intellectual property protection overseas.
Tax and customs considerations
The UK and the Netherlands have signed a double tax convention.
The Dutch tax office provides more information about taxes in the Netherlands.
Value Added Tax (VAT)
VAT in the Netherlands is known as BTW. The usual rate is 21%. A reduced rate of 6% applies to:
- medical aid
- agricultural products
Check with HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about VAT refund of business expenses incurred in the Netherlands.
When selling internationally there are different VAT rules depending on whether you are buying or selling goods or services within or outside the EU. Use our VAT rules when selling internationally tool.
The Dutch tax office has Information about corporate taxation in the Netherlands.
The Dutch tax office has Information about income tax in the Netherlands.
The internal market of the EU is a single market which allows the free movement of goods and services. Therefore, no import duties apply. Dutch customs provides information on customs and duties in the Netherlands.
You only need a valid passport.