Country Facts
17.2 Million (2020)*
Western Europe
Euro (€)

*Source: The CIA World Factbook

Trade Indicators
17th Largest economy in the world
5th Largest economy in the EU
Ideal European starting point for new-to-export companies
Over 170 million consumers live within 300 mi radius

Top B2C Cross-Border E-Commerce Opportunities

Top E-Commerce Opportunities Netherlands

The use of eCommerce websites continues to increase rapidly in the Netherlands.  Approximately 96 percent of Dutch people over the age of 15 bought products or services online in 2018.  Dutch consumers spent $28 billion online, a 10 percent increase from 2017. This increase was due to greater availability of products online, increased consumer confidence, and economic growth. In 2018, 91 percent of Dutch people over the age of 13 owned a smartphone.  Roughly 24 percent of all online purchases were made using smartphones and tablets. Social media plays an ever-increasing role in the Netherlands, including in advertising and commerce.  Ninety percent of Dutch people actively use social media.

Top B2B E-Commerce Export Opportunities

The Netherlands is an international internet hub with one of the most competitive internet markets and the highest penetration of household broadband connections in the world. There were approximately 40,000 active eCommerce retailers in the Netherlands in 2018.  Roughly 242 million purchases were made online, accounting for 26 percent of all purchases of goods and services in the Netherland.

Trade Regulations & Customs Information

Import Tariffs: The Netherlands applies EU tariffs, which are based on the international Harmonized System of product classification. Duty rates on manufactured goods from the United States generally range from five to eight percent and are usually based on the C.I.F. value of the goods at the port of entry. The C.I.F. value is the price of the goods (usually the sales price) plus packing costs, insurance, and freight charges to the port of entry. Most raw materials enter duty free or at low rates. Agricultural products face higher rates and special levies. The EU applies Value Added Tax (VAT) to sales by non-EU based companies of Electronically Supplied Services (ESS) to EU-based non-business customers. U.S. companies that are covered by the rule must collect and submit VAT to EU tax authorities.

Import Requirements and Documentation: For imports into the Netherlands, the VAT is levied at the same rate as for domestic products or transactions. The base on which VAT is charged on imports is the C.I.F. value at the port of entry, plus any duty, excise taxes, levies, or other charges (excluding the VAT) collected by customs at the time of importation. This total represents the transaction value of the import when it clears customs. The importer is liable for payment of customs duties, VAT, and any other charges at the time of clearing the goods through customs. Exports from the Netherlands are exempt from VAT since they are not consumed in the country, but will be subject to any tax imposed in the country of destination. Temporary imports that will be re-exported are not subject to the VAT. The importer may have to post a temporary bond for the amount of customs duty and taxes as security that will be canceled when the goods are taken out of the country.

Customs Regulations: Goods that enter the customs territory of the EU from a non-EU country are referred to as ‘non-Community goods’. A number of rules apply with respect to these goods. The main rule is that these goods should be assigned a ‘customs-approved treatment or use’. One of the ways in which you can assign a customs-approved treatment or use to the goods is to place them under a ‘customs procedure’. By using this procedure it is possible, under an exemption from import duties, other import taxes and trade policy and agricultural policy measures: to introduce non-Community goods into the Netherlands or another EU country, in order subsequently to have these goods treated (undergo a processing operation) in the Netherlands or elsewhere in the EU, and finally to re-export the treated goods (the compensating products) and remove them from the EU.

Export Controls: The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) is responsible for implementing and enforcing the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), which regulate the export and re-export of some commercial items, including “production” and “development” technology.

Source: The International Trade Administration (ITA), U.S. Department of Commerce

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