Exporting to the Netherlands – everything you need to know

Although only about a sixth of the size of the UK, the Netherlands is the world’s fourth most densely populated country, with around 17 million people packed on to 41,543 sq km of northern European soil. It also has a very healthy economy, which weighs in a the EU’s sixth largest and the world’s 16th largest.

The nation currently houses over 400 British companies, and is the UK’s fourth largest bilateral trading partner. UK goods exports to the Netherlands are worth around £27 billion, and the top five exports are:

  • mineral fuels, oils and distillation products
  • pharmaceuticals
  • nuclear reactors, boilers, machinery
  • vehicles
  • organic chemicals

If you want to take advantage of the plentiful business opportunities, here’s everything you need to know about exporting to the Netherlands.

Where is the Netherlands?

Sat in northwestern Europe, the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Germany.

It’s capital, Amsterdam, is 342 miles from London, and is easily accessible by air, road and rail.

The national language is Dutch, the currency is the euro, and the dialling code is +31.

What are the pros and cons of exporting to the Netherlands?

Doing business in the Netherlands is pretty much the same as doing business in the UK.

The strengths of the Dutch market are:

  • early adopter of new technology
  • one of the world’s most open economies
  • a gateway to Europe and the rest of the world via its international airport

And if you’re thinking of exporting there, the advantages for UK business, are:

  • member of EU Single Market
  • similar culture to the UK
  • ideal test market for products

And while there are no real challenges to UK companies doing business in the Netherlands, it is a very open and competitive market.

If you’re doing business in the Netherlands, you’ll need a reliable and cost-effective conference call provider to help keep in touch when travelling isn’t an option. Here’s How to set up a conference call between the UK and the Netherlands.

And remember, you can now screen share and video conference, using Crankwheel.

How does tax work in the Netherlands?

The main tax rates in the Netherlands are:

  • VAT – the general rate is 21%, but a lower rate of 6% applies for certain goods and services, including as food products, books, medicines, art, antiques, entry to museums, zoos, theatres and sports. Visible exports are zero-rated.
  • Corporation tax – charged between 20% on taxable profit less than € 200.000, and 25% on taxable profit more than € 200.000.
  • Income tax – charged between 8.9% and 52%%, depending upon income.

How will I be affected by customs in the Netherlands?

The internal EU single market allows for the free movement of goods and services without any import duties being applied, and testing is mandatory for some imported goods, especially technical and electrical equipment.