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European Imports: Why importers love the Netherlands

The Netherlands is the ideal point of entry for European imports. The country is optimally located and provides the best of all worlds in terms of institutions, regulations and infrastructure. No wonder the Netherlands has been described as the ‘fast lane to Europe’. 

Location, location, location 

Rotterdam is one of the world’s great ports. The largest seaport in Europe, Rotterdam features world-class infrastructure and advanced technology. The port is also ideally positioned to provide convenient access to Europe’s major markets. 

Remarkably, the Netherlands air transport infrastructure is also considered the best in Europe.

More broadly, the Netherlands boasts highly efficient customs bureaucracy and a transparent VAT regime.  However, you import your goods into the Netherlands, you’ll benefit from this combination of optimal location, world-leading infrastructure and unusually robust institutions. 

The upshot: goods can be efficiently shipped the same day to markets throughout Europe, without minimal possibility of delay.

Business-friendly regulations

However, there is another, equally important, reason why the Netherlands is considered the fast lane to Europe. The country’s regulatory regime is highly conducive to international trade. Dutch tax officials are well-known to be flexible, efficient and accommodating. Moreover, the regulatory regime itself has been designed to facilitate trade. For example, Dutch regulations provide importers with an opportunity to defer import VAT. 

The best of all worlds

Ultimately, it’s the combination of infrastructure, institutions and regulations that makes the Netherlands such a desirable import hub for European trade. After all, the best infrastructure in the world won’t be much use if you get bogged down in upfront costs and red tape. And advantageous tax and customs policies wouldn’t be much use if you couldn’t get your goods to market efficiently.

Navigating opportunities 

Of course, if you are operating in an environment with strong institutions and well-defined regulations, you need an equally robust process in place. Importers cannot be complacent, they need to ensure they comply with all bureaucratic requirements and take advantage of all the preferential mechanisms available. 

In addition, taking advantage of those opportunities involves a number of obligations. For example, you’ll need to register for VAT in the Netherlands and file regular VAT returns. And given how highly sought-after the Netherlands is as an import hub, you will need to ensure you work with a partner that can secure competitive rates on infrastructure. 

Join the Fast Lane

At this point, you may be impressed by the description of the Netherlands as a strategic hub while assuming it doesn’t apply to your business. After all, managing the logistics and paperwork sounds intricate and complex. Which it is. Fortunately, Vatglobal’s expert VAT team is on hand to manage the intricacies for you. Get in touch to find out how Vatglobal can secure a more efficient and cost-effective import process for your business. If you import into Europe, it’s the service you’ve been waiting for. 

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