Netherlands Embassy and Consulates, China

Shopping in the Netherlands

Refund of value added tax (VAT)

If you purchase goods while visiting the Netherlands, the value added tax VAT included in the price of these goods may be reimbursed to you if you live outside of the European Union.

To qualify for reimbursement the following conditions apply:

  1. The shop you bought the goods must have explicitly agreed to reimburse the VAT to you;
  2. You need to show the purchased goods and corresponding invoice to Dutch Customs at the time of your departure from the Netherlands and the EU;
  3. The total price of the goods including VAT, as stated on the invoice, must be higher than € 50;
  4. The period between the date of purchase and your departure from the Netherlands and the EU does not exceed three (3) months. 

Upon presentation of the goods and corresponding invoice to the Dutch Customs, the Customs officer will verify whether:

  • You live outside the EU;
  • You are exporting the goods yourself to a destination outside of the EU;
  • The invoice has been issued to you by a Dutch shop/supplier;

If the goods shown to Dutch Customs are the same as the goods stated on the invoice, the Customs officer will sign and stamp the invoice or a copy of it for export. Hereafter you will have to send the signed and stamped invoice to the shop/supplier where you bought the goods. The supplier can then reimburse the VAT to you. Please note that neither the Netherlands Tax Administration nor the Netherlands Customs Administration is involved in this.

Intermediaries such as VAT refund agencies can be engaged. Your supplier can provide you with this information. Ask for their instructions. Be aware that the services of these agencies do not come for free for which reason the reimbursement will be less than the VAT amount you paid.

If you do not show the goods and the invoice to Dutch Customs before your departure from the Netherlands and the EU, you cannot get refund of the VAT.