VAT refund in case of export from the Netherlands

What if you reside outside of the EU and purchase new goods in the Netherlands, which you transport outside of the EU in your luggage? You can receive a refund for the VAT paid.

  • You must present Customs with (a copy of) the invoice when leaving the Netherlands. Customs will check: 
  • whether your permanent residence is outside of the EU
  • whether you are carrying the goods yourself
  • whether the invoice was issued by a Dutch retailer/supplier 

If the goods you are carrying are the same as the goods on the (copy of the) invoice, the customs official will sign the (copy of the) invoice for export. You must subsequently send the (copy of the) invoice to your supplier. Your supplier will use the invoice signed by Customs to demonstrate to the Tax and Customs Administration that the goods have been exported. Your supplier will not need to pay VAT. Your supplier can refund the VAT to you. The Tax and Customs Administration or Customs will not mediate in this process.

Intermediaries (such as tax-refund organisations) can also be engaged. Your supplier can inform you about this.

Please note!

You must make agreements with the retailer/supplier of the goods on this matter. You must have an invoice for the goods that you are carrying. The value of the goods on the invoice you are carrying must exceed an amount of €50 including VAT and any other taxes.

Upon arrival on Bonaire, the amount in internal taxes due (VAT) to which the goods in question are subject in the country of origin or export will not be included in the customs value based on the conditions below. These conditions are as follows:

1. The amount of internal taxes must be listed separately on the invoice.

2. You must be able to prove that these goods were or will be exempt from internal taxes (VAT) for the benefit of the buyer.

In order to receive the VAT refund, the goods must be transported outside of the EU no later than the 3rd month after the month of purchase.

This scheme also applies to persons who move outside of the EU before the end of the third month of purchase. Special rules apply in this context!