Exporting to The Netherlands

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. In the 4 quarters to the end of 2018, it made up 6.8% of UK exports.

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. The Dutch love the English language and have a taste for British goods.

Strong and growing economy

The Netherlands has the fifth largest economy in Europe, with the 12th largest per capita GDP in the world. It is one of the world’s most open economies, and 2019 growth is predicted to be 1.8%.

Ease of doing business

36th

out of 190 countries, World Bank 2019

Currency

Euro

Business languages

Dutch, English

GDP per capita

$53,106

IMF, UK is $42,558

Economic growth

2.5%

IMF, 2018

Time zone

GMT +1

Opportunities for exporters

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

Doing business in the Netherlands

It is a good idea to make yourself aware of sales tax rates, rules around product standards and labelling, and local expectations about payment times.

Tax and customs

The UK and the Netherlands have signed a double taxation agreement, meaning the same income is not taxed twice.


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.

Regulations

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

EU standards apply to packaging.

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

Protecting your business

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.

The Netherlands Enterprise Agency has provided more information on payment terms.

Local partnerships

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

Dutch government: Doing business in the Netherlands

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.