Receiving parcels from abroad

Everything you need to know about import charges

When importing goods from abroad, you may be required to pay additional costs such as customs duties, VAT and other import fees. Below we provide a brief explanation of the actual customs clearance process, which of course we are happy to handle for you.

What are customs clearance fees?

All goods entering the country must be declared to customs. Depending on the origin and value of the goods, you may be required to pay tax and other import duties. In practice, any fees due are collected by PostNL on behalf of customs authorities. These costs may be paid at the time of picking up your shipment at a retail point. Alternatively, you may receive a payment request by e-mail, which includes a link that lets you complete payment via iDeal.

Will I have to pay to take delivery of my parcel?

If any fees are due, we will inform you in advance by mail or e-mail. Be advised that you can expect to pay import duties if the total value of the imported goods exceeds €22,-.

Where is your parcel coming from?

If you are expecting a parcel from a country within the European Union, you will not be required to pay any customs clearance fees. Are you expecting a delivery from a country outside the EU? Then you might face customs, VAT or other clearance fees. Read the table below to find out whether these fees apply to you.

Country of origin

Value of the shipment*



Customs Clearance Fees

EU country





Non-EU country

- Up to € 22

- € 22 to € 150

- Over € 150










Non-EU country / gift from one individual to another individual

Up to € 45




*Whether or not you need to pay VAT and/or import taxes is determined by the value of your shipment excluding insurance and delivery fees.

** If you are required to pay VAT and/or import taxes, the amount will be determined by the value of your shipment including insurance and delivery fees. The amount of these additional costs depends on the type of goods you’re expecting, their value and the delivery fees. 

We will clear your parcel through customs for you. It is possible we may require additional information regarding the contents or value of your parcel. In that case, we will be in touch with you.

Paying upon collection

Deliveries requiring payment can be collected at your local retail point. We will inform you as soon as your parcel is available for collection. If you do not wish to pay import fees, you can choose not to collect your parcel, in which case it will be returned to sender. 

Please note: if you choose to collect your parcel, then you are required to pay the customs clearance fees.

Online payment

Did you receive a notification about an upcoming delivery? If so, you can click on the link to complete payment online. Here’s how it works:

  1. You will receive a payment request via e-mail. 
  2. Click on the link in the e-mail. 
  3. Enter your postal code to visit the tracking page, where you will find more details about the amount payable. 
  4. Click the button to pay your customs clearance fees. 
  5. Select a payment method (iDeal or creditcard).
  6. Once your payment has been processed successfully, you will receive a notification that your parcel has been cleared for delivery.
  7. The parcel will be delivered to your home address.

Handling costs

PostNL charges handling costs (including debit and administration fees) for: 

  • advancing the payable VAT and/or import taxes (to customs); 
  • opening and investigating your shipment(s); 
  • establishing the contents and value of you goods; storing and keeping your shipments.
For regular delivery services, the standard clearance fee is €13. For Express Mail Service (EMS) shipments a standard clearance fee of €17,50 applies. An EMS shipment is a commercial shipment from abroad that is delivered on a priority basis, hence the higher handling fee.

Missing information?

Sometimes, essential information about the shipment is missing, which means we are unable to clear the shipment for delivery. If this happens, we will send you a request to supply the missing information (‘Bericht van Aankomst’) so delivery may be completed.