I have bought a laptop from the US. They sent me the laptop to my address in the Netherlands by UPS. Before delivering the laptop, UPS asked me to pay 380 Euros for the Import fee. I am a businessman living temporarily in the Netherlands with a residence permit. I have bought this laptop for my personal use. When leaving the Netherlands, can I claim for refund of the import fee? If yes, How should I handle it?

Edit: I have 2 years residence permit from October 2020. From time to time, I go back to my country and come back to the Netherlands (I live in the Netherlands for a few weeks per 6 month).

  • 3
    How temporary are you living in the Netherlands? How long will you have lived there with the laptop before permanently leaving?
    – user29788
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 1:13
  • 2
    I don't know for sure but it seems unlikely. There are schemes for tourists (short stays without residence permits) and rules for export (but then you need to be a registered business and take care of paperwork ahead of time). As Moo explained, the rules will depend on how “temporary” your stay is but based on your question, it seems you are just living in the Netherlands and the EU doesn't go out of its way to create loopholes for people who move out after residing there for some time.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 7, 2021 at 10:54
  • I edited my question. Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 11:00
  • 2
    I am confused about your edit. You live in the Netherlands a few weeks or you leave the Netherlands a few weeks per 6 months? Do you have a stable address in the Netherlands? Are you registered in the BRP?
    – Relaxed
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 12:19
  • I think it's extremely unlikely you would be able to get a refund. I'm not sure there's even a procedure to do that as a tourist. The usual way to do it is to buy in a shop that participates in a VAT refund scheme and get a form from that scheme at that point, and you need to export the product within 3 months of purchase, but that applies only to people having permanent residence abroad, and your residence permit most certainly voids that condition.
    – jcaron
    Commented Apr 8, 2021 at 14:05

1 Answer 1


The Netherlands, like other EU countries, has a tax refund scheme for tourists. The scheme allows non-residents to claim tax (VAT) back on purchases which are taken out of the country. The scheme does not apply (1) to items imported from abroad and subsequently taken out of the Netherlands or (2) goods which have been opened and used. The nature of your transaction does not conform with the tax refund scheme.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .