Drugs, Firearms, ammunition flammable products, pornography and (parts of) protected animals (both subject to license). Alcohol may be imported but is subject to full duties and taxes.

Please also note that only limited quantities of (canned) food and / or beverages can be imported into The Netherlands; any quantities above the average will immediately result in an inspection by customs, next to that import duties / taxes and customs inspection charges will have to be paid. We strongly suggest not shipping any food or beverages.


Household goods

Household goods and personal effects can be imported free of duty and VAT provided that:

  • The owner transfers his / her main residence from another country to The Netherlands.
  • The owner has resided outside The Netherlands for at least one year.
  • The goods have to be for personal use and cannot be sold within 1 year after customs clearance.

Documents required for customs clearance of household goods and personal effects:

  • Customs form
  • Please note that the Dutch Customs will need to receive the original completed custom form,
    they do not accept any copies of the custom form.
  • 3 copies of legible inventory list
  • Copy of passport
  • Copy proof of registration of commune shipper intends to live in (in Dutch it is called “vestiginguit het buitenland”). Document can be obtained at local Town Hall
  • Employers declaration stating place and duration of employment in The Netherlands
  • Copy lease or deed of future residence. The Dutch Customs also require a copy of lease or bill of sale of the Canadian residence, if the client cannot provide these documents; the customs will also accept utility bills of the previous residence.

It is common that The Netherlands agent will be applying for the Exemption of Duties and Taxes on behalf of the client. The required documents are to be handed over to the Agent who will accordingly submit the request to the appropriate local customs office.

Important remark:

Please be aware that obtaining a free import permit is a time consuming matter. Unfortunately, you are allowed for at least 2 – 6weeks, from date of handing over above mentioned document to customs, to have the free import permit issued.


In order to import cars / motorcycles free of any duties / taxes into The Netherlands it should be part of a household shipment and should have been owned and used for at least six months prior to actual shipping out. The owner should also have stayed outside The Netherlands for at least one year.

Dutch customs also requires the full and complete chassis number of car / motorcycle to be hammered on framework of car / motorcycle. A small metal plate just beneath the win screen (like US cars are having) will not be authorized. In case no chassis number has been hammered in at all, we can have it done at additional charges.

Documents required for customs clearance of motor vehicle:

  • Copy of purchase invoice
  • Original certificate of title
  • Copy proof of insurance

With the above mentioned documents, plus the document for the household shipment, client will have to request for an Exemption from Duties and Taxes from the Head of the Customs and Excise in the district where he / she intends to take up residence. Client will be informed with the address of the local customs office where he / she has to hand over the required documents. Our Agent should be in possession of the free import permit at least 1 week prior to arrival of the shipment in Rotterdam port / Amsterdam airport to avoid demurrage / detention / storage charges.

Diplomatic shipments

Duty-free importation allowed upon presentation of a D39 form issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or relevant Embassy / Consulate.

Inheritance goods / Wedding gifts / Return goods

They may be imported free of duties and taxes with an ‘Exemption of Duties and Taxes’. Copy of Will and Notarial Act with inventory list required.


They may be imported if a health certificate is added to the list of documents and vaccination for ‘Rabies’.

Important:This information is intended for general guidance. Forward Van Lines International cannot take responsibility for any errors or oversights or for any loss or damage that may occur from its use. It is advisable to contact the Dutch office at for more information prior to your shipping.

Enter your keyword