Exporting guide to The Netherlands

Overview

The Netherlands has a thriving economy and is a major gateway to Europe. It is culturally similar to the UK, making it an ideal test market for products.

Trade statistics

£44.2 billion total UK exports to The Netherlands for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

4th largest UK export market

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

6.8% of total UK exports for the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

(Source: ONS UK total trade: all countries, seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022)

Major gateway to Europe

The Netherlands has excellent access to the European mainland and many goods enter the EU through it. Its transport infrastructure was ranked as one of the world’s best by the World Economic Forum in 2018.

High regard for British products

Dutch consumers are open to new products and experiences and often look to the English-speaking world for new trends. English is widely spoken and the Dutch have a taste for British goods.

Top five UK goods exported to The Netherlands, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Goods Value (£billion)
Crude oil 6.7
Refined oil 2.7
Medicinal & pharmaceutical products 1.6
Mechanical power generators (intermediate) 1.2
Gas 1.1

Source: ONS Trade in goods: country-by-commodity exports
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for The Netherlands.

Top five UK services exported to The Netherlands, in the four quarters to the end of Q1 2022

Service Value (£billion)
Other Business Services 6.8
Financial 2.5
Telecommunications, computer and information services 1.7
Manufacturing 1.2
Transportation 1.0

Source: ONS UK trade in services: service type by partner country, non-seasonally adjusted
Last updated: July 2022
Download the latest trade and investment factsheet for The Netherlands.

The Netherlands: at a glance

Economic growth

5.0%

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is 7.4% (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

GDP per capita

$58,292

Actual figure (IMF, 2021)
The UK is $47,203 (IMF, 2021, projected figure)

Currency

Euro

Business languages

Dutch, English

Time zone

GMT +1

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Opportunities for exporters

Export opportunities include defence and security, food and drink, offshore wind energy and technology.

Check for trade barriers

Trade barriers, such as tariffs or taxes, can raise costs, cause delays, or even stop you from exporting. Check for any issues that may impact your business when exporting.

See current trade barriers

See resolved trade barriers

Check duties and customs

Find information on how to export goods from the UK. View the duties, rules, restrictions, and the documents you need for your products.

See current duties and customs procedures

Doing business in the Netherlands

Preparing to export

VAT

VAT is called BTW in the Netherlands. The usual rate is 21%. A lower rate of 9% applies to some products and services, such as food, medicines, and paint and plaster for homes.

Standards and regulations

Products and services should meet relevant EU safety standards, including clear instructions for proper use, and include warnings against misuse.

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) is responsible for standards.

Services regulations

Information on rules for selling services and business travel to the Netherlands is available on gov.uk

Packaging and labelling

EU standards apply to packaging.

Payment terms

Dutch law requires that every invoice should be paid within 30 days, unless the buyer and supplier agree on other payment conditions.

A payment term of over 60 days is only allowed if it can be shown that it is not detrimental to either party.

Netherlands Enterprise Agency has provided more information on payment terms.

Trade barriers

Check for any reported barriers to trading with the Netherlands.

Report any trade barriers that are affecting your business so we can help fix them.

Operating in The Netherlands

Local partnerships

The Netherlands is a small and well developed market, so a local representative can be very helpful.

Dutch government: Doing business in Netherlands

Intellectual property

Intellectual property (IP) rights are territorial and rights granted in the UK do not provide protection elsewhere. You should consider getting IP protection abroad if you want to trade overseas or sell to overseas customers via the internet.

The Intellectual Property Office provides practical information to help you protect, manage and enforce your IP abroad. Further support for British businesses can be found through a network of IP attachés, based in key UK export markets.

Next steps

DIT can advise you on doing business abroad, and help put you in touch with other people who can help such as lawyers and distributors.