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Purchases from outside the EU

How to pay VAT easily

Do you ever shop outside the European Union (EU)? Since 1 July 2021, you always have to pay VAT on your purchases. You can often already pay VAT at the time of purchase. If you have not paid it yet, we will ask you to pay a customs clearance charge. This page explains how this works, so you won’t be confronted with any surprises.

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Why do I pay VAT?

If you buy something in the Netherlands, you always pay VAT. This is already included in the price. If you buy the same product from a non-EU country, VAT has not yet been included in the price. VAT will then be charged when your parcel arrives in the Netherlands. Before 1 July 2021, this only applied for a value of 22 euros or more. The EU has stipulated that from 1 July 2021 you must always pay VAT if you buy something from a non-EU country, even if the value is less than 22 euros.

Paying VAT during checkout

You have therefore been required to pay VAT on all products from a non-EU country since 2021. Fortunately, you usually don't notice. With many webshops you pay VAT when you pay for your order. You can see this in your shopping basket. It will say 'VAT included' or 'All duties included'. The webshop then settles the VAT with the Netherlands. You can find more information about the costs of an order from a country outside the EU on the website of the Dutch Tax & Customs Administration.

Paying VAT by means of a payment request

Unfortunately, not every webshop allows you to pay VAT during checkout. In that case, we will collect the VAT by means of a customs clearance charge. Don't worry, it's very simple. If we have your e-mail address or telephone number, we will send you a payment request which you can use to pay online*. You will also receive such a request if you use the PostNL app. If you pay online, we will deliver your parcel at home as soon as possible. If we only know your home address, you will be notified by post when your parcel is ready to be collected at a PostNL point near you. You then pay the customs clearance charge when you pick up the parcel. Please note: If the value of your parcel is more than € 150, you need to pay import duties as well as VAT. In that case, you will always receive a payment request from us. Want to know more about customs clearance charges and exactly what you will pay? Read more about customs clearance charges 

* Beware of fake messages! We will never send you a link to pay directly. We will always refer you to our track & trace page first. Enter your track & trace code and postcode in order to pay securely. Tip: create a PostNL account and log in to the PostNL app. The PostNL app is always a secure way for us to contact you. Read more about fake messages.

Frequently asked questions

What are customs clearance charges?

I think I have already paid VAT.

What if I do not pay online?

What if I don't want to pay at all?