Moving to Netherlands

Country Guide: Netherlands

Netherlands flag

Household Goods and Personal Effects

Documents Required

  • Copy of Passport
  • Letter of Employment
  • Work Permit
  • Lease / Purchase Contract (for both new and previous residences)
  • Detailed inventory (2 copies)
  • “Bewijs van aanmelding” or certificate from the population register of the municipality showing shipper’s intent to reside in the Netherlands
  • Aangifte – Douane 39 Form (Diplomats)

Specific Information

  • All fumigated containers arriving in the port of Rotterdam or Antwerp with an excessive concentration of gas will be removed from the logistic transport chain.  Delays may take several months before the container is released.  High costs may be incurred due to any delays.
  • The following conditions must apply for the duty-free import of the household effects shipment:
    • The permanent residence of the shipper must be the Netherlands or another EU member country.
    • The previous permanent residence of the shipper situated outside of the EU for at least 12 months.
    • All goods have been used as part of the normal household of the shipper and will be used for the same purpose.
    • All goods have been in the shipper’s possession for at least 6 months and have been used during that time.
    • The goods will be imported into the Netherlands within 12 months after registration in The Netherlands.
    • The goods will not be sold, rented off or given away within 12 months after registration in the Netherlands

Motor Vehicles

Documents Required

  • Certificate of Title / Registration
  • Purchase Invoice or other proof of ownership
  • OBL

Specific Information

  • A separate application for any tax exemption must be completed if not imported with the household effects shipment.
  • A technical inspection as well as registration is required at the RDW after Customs clearance.


Documents Required

  • Vaccination Record
  • Veterinary Health Certificate

Specific Information

  • The Veterinary Health Certificate must be signed by an authorized veterinarian within 8 days of import.
  • The Vaccination Record must be signed at least 31 days prior to departure but not longer than 1 year prior to import.

Restricted/Dutiable Items

  • Hunting / shooting firearms (a permit issued by the Dutch authorities is required)

Alcohol / Cigarettes / Tobacco

  • The following restrictions apply to the import of these items:
    • Only persons 17 years or older may import these items.
    • The items cannot be contained as part of the household effects shipment and must be imported as travel baggage.
    • Spirits (1 L), sparkling wine (2 L), liquor wines like Sherry and Port (2 L) or a proportional mix of these items
    • non-sparkling wines (4 L) and beer (16 L)
    • Cigarettes (200), tobacco (250 g), cigarillos (100), cigars (50)


  • To import medicines, a manufacturing license issued by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is required.
  • Medications must be for personal use.
  • Shippers should request a medical passport from a general practitioner to verify the personal use of the medication.


Plants / Flowers / Fruits / Vegetables

  • These items require a Phytosanitary Certificate from the country of origin declaring the items healthy and free from diseases.
  • If a Phytosanitary Certificate is unavailable, Customs will confiscate the items.

Animal Products / Food Items

  • A health certificate is required for the import of these items, including but not limited to, cheese, milk, eggs, meat and meat products, animal skins and hunting trophies.
  • The health certificate must be issued by the authorities of the origin country at the time the goods are imported.
  • All animal products and food items are subject to veterinary examination upon arrival.
  • Goods of animal origin, including food items, are subject to special requirements.  Contact the destination for specific information and exceptions.
  • Powdered milk, baby food and special food items for medical purposed may be imported provided the following requirements are met:
    • The products do not need to be chilled prior to consumption.
    • The products are packaged products of a registered trademark.
    • The packaging should be unopened and undamaged.
  • An exemption from the required health certificate applies to products in which an animal ingredient is no longer identifiable (e.g., chocolate, etc.).
  • The Dutch Embassy in the origin country can provide assistance.

Prohibited Items

  • Weapons (toy and imitation) and ammunition (strike, thrust or stabbing weapons; gas pistols, alarm pistols, pepper sprays, etc.)

Consignment Instructions

Recommended:  Contact the destination agent to ensure all requirements have been met prior to import, especially for differences regarding air / sea shipments.

IAM Note:  Customs regulations can change at any time with or without notice. This document is provided as a guide and for information only. While IAM has exercised reasonable care in publishing this document, IAM makes no representation, either expressed or implied, as to its accuracy or applicability.