Excise Duty And Customs In The Netherlands: Complete Guide

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to excise duty and customs in the Netherlands, covering essential information, regulations and other related information.

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excise duty and customs in the netherlands

Excise Duty And Customs In The Netherlands

When it comes to international trade and business, navigating the intricacies of excise duty and customs regulations is crucial. In the Netherlands, a key player in the global market, understanding the nuances of these financial elements is paramount for businesses engaged in import and export activities. The Netherlands enforces a range of import duties and taxes, including excise duty, on goods that come into the country. These serve not only as a source of government revenue but also to protect local industries.

This article aims to provide a comprehensive guide to excise duty and customs in the Netherlands, covering essential information, regulations and frequently asked questions.

What is Excise Duty?

Excise duty in the Netherlands is a tax levied on a select group of consumable goods. In particular, mineral fuels like gasoline, diesel, and LPG, as well as alcoholic beverages consisting of wine and beer, and tobacco items notably cigarettes and cigars, are subject to this duty. These taxes must be paid straight to the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration (Belastingdienst) by manufacturers, dealers, and importers.

Customs and Import Duties

Apart from excise duty, import duties are typically required when goods are imported into the Netherlands from non-EU countries. These are in addition to the Value Added Tax (VAT) and, in certain cases, consumption tax or other specific levies. The three main types of import levies in the Netherlands are import duties, VAT, and excise and consumption taxes.

Paying Excise Duty for Imported Goods

If you’re importing goods that are liable for excise duty from outside the EU, you must pay the required excise duty or consumption tax. However, there are exceptions. For example, as a registered consignor, you’re exempt from paying excise duty if you transport the goods directly from the point of entry to an authorized location, such as an excise goods place or a bonded warehouse​.

Protection of Local Industries

Customs duties, which include excise duties, serve the purpose of protecting local industries by imposing taxes on cross-border goods. These duties can take various forms, such as anti-dumping taxes, trade tariffs, and export duties. Import duties are the most common and apply to goods entering the country​.


Navigating excise duty and customs regulations in the Netherlands requires a thorough understanding of the specific rules and requirements. Businesses involved in international trade must stay informed, comply with regulations, and seek professional advice to ensure a seamless and compliant process. By addressing the frequently asked questions outlined in this guide, businesses can enhance their knowledge and approach these financial aspects with confidence.


Mineral oils like gasoline and diesel, as well as tobacco products, are subject to excise duties.

Yes, goods imported from non-EU countries that fall under the category of excise goods are subject to excise duty unless transported directly to an authorized location by a registered consignor.

No, VAT is not applied to short-term imports that are intended for export.

Customs duties serve as government revenue and help protect local industries by taxing goods entering the market, which can discourage the import of goods that compete with domestic products.