Article 23 Dutch VAT Deferment License

Import of products to the Netherlands

The import of products originating in non-EU countries to Holland is generally taxable for VAT purposes, regardless of whether the import is performed by a private, taxable, non-taxable or exempt entity. Therefore VAT is usually due at import and is normally transferred to the Dutch Customs. In case you are interested in starting an import/export business in the Netherlands contact our local incorporation agents, who will guide you in the process.

License for VAT deferment

Holland has adopted a special system in connection to Art. 23, Act on VAT, resulting in the issue of Article 23 licenses. These licenses enable importers to postpone the VAT payment, rather than transfer the amount upon import. The system shifts the VAT liabilities to the recurrent VAT returns. Therefore the import VAT is declared in the respective periodic return but may be deducted as well in case no full deduction of VAT is applied. So VAT is not actually paid on import, which brings interest and cash-flow advantages. The license for VAT deferment is only issued to taxable, non-taxable and exempt entities (not issued to natural persons).

Requirements for VAT deferment license

Generally, the following requirements must be fulfilled in order to apply for a VAT deferment license:

  • the candidates should either reside in Holland or have fiscal representatives / permanent establishments in the country;
  • the candidates should regularly import goods;
  • the candidates should keep transparent records with respect to the goods for import.

The importation of delivery trucks and private cars is subject to different conditions.

Application for VAT deferment license

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the information that must be included in the VAT deferment application:

  • VAT/Tax ID number of the importer/applicant;
  • Importer/applicant name;
  • Type of product for import into Holland;
  • Quantity of product;
  • Envisaged frequency of import (annually);
  • Price of the products for import (annually);
  • Country of origin of the product (non-EU).

The tax authorities in Holland must process the application in an 8-week period.

Frequently asked questions

  • I am based in the Netherlands with a BV. My supplier in Netherlands has Article 23. What VAT am I paying? And anything I should look out for?If your supplier has a permit based on article 23, then he can import goods in the NL without paying VAT. He has to declare this import in his VAT declaration. After the goods are imported he can sell these goods to a Dutch BV. When the imported goods are sold to you (Dutch BV), 21% VAT is applicable over the price of the goods. So if you buy the goods for 100 Euro, you pay VAT over 100 Euro. If you use the goods for your company and you pay VAT over your revenues, you can deduct this VAT.
  • What advantage do I have with an Article 23 license?
    The advantage of an article 23 license is liquidity.Vat is not a cost for the entrepreneur. So you do not ''gain'' any profit by the license. However, you save financing cost. When you import big quantities of goods with an Article 23 license, you do not have to wait until the tax office refunds you the VAT you have paid over the goods. As the tax is deferred. This advantage can amount to your total monthly of quarterly purchases (multiplied by 21%).

Our agency can quickly make the necessary arrangements for issue of Article 23 license for VAT deferment. Contact us for more information or read here for more on the advantages of the Dutch tax system.

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