Many internationally operating companies choose to distribute their goods via the Netherlands. Reasons for this are the favourable location of the Netherlands as a “gateway” to the European hinterland and also the efficient handling of import formalities by the Dutch Tax & Customs Administration (TCA: Belastingdienst). The Dutch system of the “Article 23 import permit” – on the basis of which import VAT does not have to be paid to Customs but can be declared via the VAT return – creates a significant cashflow advantage.
However, a foreign company will then be confronted with a number of VAT questions, the most important of which are whether Dutch VAT registration is needed for the goods distribution and whether a tax representative should be appointed. Other relevant VAT questions that can arise include:
- How should customers be invoiced, and what conditions must be fulfilled in order to apply the zero-rate or the “reverse charge” arrangement?; and
- Should the use of a VAT bonded warehouse be considered?
If the distribution also focuses on export to countries outside the EU, the further question arises of whether a customs arrangement for e.g. storage & transhipment or processing can be used.
In these areas we have gained very extensive practical experience over many years, advising our clients and, if required, conducting discussions with the TCA. Other services that we provide for foreign companies are:
- Arranging the required VAT and EORI registration;
- Obtaining (customs) permits, if required;
- Submitting VAT returns, Intra-Community Transactions Declarations and Intrastat returns, as your VAT consultant but also as your tax representative via our subsidiary VAT Fiscal Representatives Holland BV.