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Import and Household

When moving to the Netherlands, you might want to import personal belongings, such as household contents, a vehicle, your pet, etc. Settle Service can assist with any kind of import into the Netherlands.

Car Import

Importing a car into the Netherlands can be a difficult process. Settle Service will advise, guide, and provide clear instructions about the required actions and documents . We will coordinate all appointments and (if agreed) accompany on the most important appointment at RDW.

Officially, you have to import your foreign car into the Netherlands right after your registration at the municipality in the Netherlands. After having become a Dutch resident, you are no longer allowed to drive the car with the foreign license plates. Once the import is complete and the Dutch license plates are installed, you are allowed to drive again.


When importing a car to the Netherlands, the Dutch government may charge a tax called BPM (sort of registration/import tax). In case of a move it is possible to get an exemption for this tax. There are a few conditions for this:

  • You must have lived at least 12 months in the country from where you are moving;
  • The car must have been at least 6 months in your possession in that country and ;
  • After moving to the Netherlands, the car should stay at least 12 more months in your possession otherwise your exemption will no longer apply and you still need to pay the BPM. Also renting out or loaning your car may lead to this consequence.

Import of Household Contents

Moving is a big step and we understand that bringing your household goods can sometimes make your new surroundings feel more like home. Rest assured you are allowed to import your household goods into the Netherlands. When providing this service, we contact two moving companies or your preferred supplier for quotes, advice about quotes and coordinate the removal.

EU household goods and belongings

Within the EU, the principle of free movement of goods applies. However, specific rules do apply to some goods among the personal belongings such as alcoholic drinks and tobacco products.

Non-EU household goods and belongings

If you wish to import your household goods to the Netherlands from a Non-EU country without paying import duties, you need to declare the import of your household goods to Customs. This is done by the  selected removal company with a special code, so that you can import your household effects with an exemption for import duties. The exemption does not apply to the following goods: products containing alcohol, or tobacco, commercial vehicles and non-portable materials for professional use.

To import your personal belongings free of tax, you require a permit. You can apply for a permit at the Customs office in the customs region under which your future city of residence falls.  Besides the permit, you will also have to submit a list of all goods that you wish to bring to the Netherlands. Note: there are certain goods you can only bring in a limited quantity free of tax.


After your property has arrived in the Netherlands, it must be declared to Customs by providing a completed administrative form. This so-called import declaration must be filed within twelve months. Thereafter, your tax exemption will lapse. In order to obtain the required form, one must be registered at the local town hall.  Once you have been registered at your new address, import taxes and VAT will be waived. Therefore, local registration needs to take place before your furniture can be cleared at customs. Finally, customs may inspect the declared goods.

Pet Import to the Netherlands

Pets are welcome in the Netherlands, but there are strict rules relating to bringing pets into the country, particularly around proving they are healthy and are transported appropriately. The conditions depend on the kind of animal you want to bring in and the country it is coming from. Settle Service will analyse, advise and guide the import process of your pet.

“Settle service was honest with providing information about my situation for 30% ruling and constantly providing feedback regarding my supporting documents and how to improve them.“

— By Kamdin

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