Receive an international parcel

All about customs clearance fees

Are you expecting a parcel from a country outside the European Union? In that case, we have to declare it to customs. Sometimes we need some more information from you or there may be additional costs. We are happy to tell you more about it to prevent any surprises.

How does customs clearance work?

When goods enter our country, we declare them to the customs authorities. This is called customs clearance and is required by law. Sometimes we lack some information for this, such as the content and value of the parcel. In that case, you will receive a message from us with a request to provide this information via track & trace. Unable to do this within 2 weeks? Then the parcel will be returned to the sender. Do you already know that you don't want to receive the parcel? Then refuse it directly in the track & trace.

When do you pay customs clearance fees?

When you receive a parcel from a country outside the European Union, it is subject to tax and import duties, known as customs clearance fees. If you are required to pay customs clearance fees, you will receive a separate message about it via email, SMS or mail. If you already have your parcel's barcode, you can also check this beforehand in track & trace. The table below tells you what fees apply when.

Country of origin Type of shipment Value of the shipment* VAT Handling costs Import duties
EU countryPurchaseUnlimitedNoNoNo
Non-EU countryPurchaseUp to €150Yes*YesNo
Over €150Yes*YesYes
GiftUp to €45NoNoNo
Over €45Yes*YesNo, unless value > €150

*If you have to pay VAT and/or import duties, the amount will be calculated based on the value of your parcel including the shipping and insurance costs.

How do you pay customs fees?

  1. You will receive a payment request
    If you have to pay customs fees, you will receive a payment request via email or regular mail. Please note: we never send you a direct payment link. We always redirect you to our track & trace page first.
  2. Go to track & trace
    Enter the barcode and postal code of your parcel via track & trace and view your invoice.
  3. Pay customs clearance fees
    You can pay with iDEAL or your credit card
  4. We deliver your parcel
    After payment, we will deliver your parcel to your home as soon as possible.

Do you think the customs clearance fees are incorrect? After payment, simply file an objection via our website.

Can you refuse to pay customs clearance fees?

Did you receive a payment request, and you don't want to pay it online? Then we will send your parcel to a nearby PostNL point. You will receive a message where and when you can collect your parcel. You can pay the customs clearance fees at the PostNL point. Don't want to pay these fees at all? Then refuse the parcel via track & trace. We will send it back to the sender.

Watch out for fraudulent or phishing messages!

Have you received a payment request? Always be very careful. We never send you a direct payment link. We always redirect you to our track & trace page first. Enter your track & trace code there to view your invoice and pay securely. 

Tip: create a PostNL account and log in to the PostNL app. We can always contact you safely through the app.

What are handling fees?

If you receive a parcel from outside the EU, we will declare it to customs. We charge a handling fee for this. This consists of the following: 

  • Advance payment of VAT and/or import duties 
  • Opening and inspecting shipments 
  • Determining the goods and their value and storing shipments