How much import duty do I have to pay?

If you import products from outside the EU, you may have to pay import duties. This is a tax you pay to customs. The amount of import duty varies per product. If you want to know in advance what you will have to pay in import duties, you can find that out yourself. In this article, we explain how you can work out what you will pay in import duties.

For some products you never pay import duties. And often you pay less or no duty if you import from a country with which the EU has a trade agreement. Read how to calculate the amount of import duty. And where to find import duty rates.

Calculate import duties

Do you import products from outside the EU? If so, you often pay import duties. You probably want to know how much this costs. You can calculate this yourself. First, you need the customs value of your products. This is the value of the imported goods at the EU's external border. So the price you pay for the goods plus the transport and insurance costs up to the border or port of entry into the EU.

Note that sometimes you can add or subtract certain costs to the customs value. There are also products where you calculate import duties on the quantity rather than the value. With wine, for example, you pay import duties per hectolitre imported.

Difference per product

How much import duty you pay differs per product. The table below shows the rates for some product groups. Within a product group, the rates often differ as well. For example, within the product group 'toys', you pay no import duties (0%) for electric toy trains. While for plush teddy bears the tariff is 4.7%.

Product groupTariff
Furniture0% to 5.6%
Clothing0% to 12%
Toys0% to 4.7%
Footwear3.5% to 17%
Jewellery0% to 4%
Laptops en tablets0%
Books, CDs and DVDs0%

Do you know the customs value of your import shipment? Then you can calculate the import duties. The example below shows how this works. In this case, with long drink glasses from China. For these products, the import duty rate is 11%. You can look up the import duty rate for your products in two different systems. You will find an explanation of how to do this later in this article.

30.000 tempered glass long drink glasses from China:€10,000
Transport and insurance costs China - point of entry EU:€2,000 
Customs value€12,000 
Import duties payable = 11% over customs value:€1,320 

No import duties to be paid

You do not pay import duties if the value of your shipment containing products from outside the EU is no more than €150 (in Dutch) . Transport and insurance costs are not included.

Please note: for alcoholic products, perfume and eau de toilette, tobacco, and tobacco products, you are not exempt. You always pay import duties for these products. Also for shipments under €150.

Importing from EU countries

Within the EU there is free movement of goods. You never pay import duty when you import products from an EU country

Taric code and import duties

When importing a product, you usually need a 10-digit commodity code. In the EU, this 10-digit code is called a TARIC code. The TARIC code of your product determines the rate of import duties. This code must be included in your import declaration. This tells customs how much import duty you have to pay.
Are you having problems finding the TARIC code? You will find more tips here. You can also call the Customs Information Line on 0800 0143. If calling from abroad, call +31 45 57 43 031. 

Customs tariff database and Access2Markets

You can find TARIC codes and the import duties associated with in 2 systems. The  Customs' tariff database and the European Commission's Access2Markets database.

Customs tariff database, example

In this example, we show how you look up the TARIC code and the amount of import duty in the Customs tariff database for Long drink glasses made of toughened glass (other than crystal and glass ceramic) Follow these steps:

  • Go to Customs tariff database.
  • In the menu (button top-left of your screen), click on the 'Nomenclature' tab and select 'Query by nomenclature'.
  • Section XIII states: ‘Articles of stone, plaster, cement, asbestos, mica or similar materials; ceramic products; glass and glassware (chapter 68 - 70)’
  • Click on the yellow folder for 'Section XIII'.
  • Then click on the folder 'Chapter 70' – Glass and glassware'.
  • Then click on the folder '7013 - Glassware of a kind used for table, kitchen, toilet, office, indoor decoration or similar purposes’.
  • Then select the folder: '- other drinking glasses, other than glass ceramic'.
  • Finally, select the folder '7013 37: -- other'. This is the 6-digit HS code.
  • You will now see the code '7013 37 10 00'. This is the 10-digit TARIC code or commodity code for long drink glasses made of toughened glass.
  • Click on the magnifying glass.
  • Select the country from which you are importing the goods and click on 'Search'.

You now see a number of columns including one headed 'Measure type'. In this column you may see the following:

Third country duty

‘Third country duty’ applies to products from countries with which the EU does not have a trade agreement, such as China and the United States of America. For the long drink glasses in this example you can see in the column ‘Duty expression’ that the import duty is 11%.

If you import processed agricultural products, you may pay agricultural levies. You may then see the following abbreviations in the column ‘Duty expression’: EA (agricultural component), AD S/Z (additional duty on sugar content), AD F/M (additional duty on flour contents). You pay these levies based on the content of milk fat, milk protein, starch, and sugars.

Tariff preference

If you see a ‘tariff preference’ field, you import your product from a country with which the EU has a trade agreement. As a result, you usually pay less or no import duties (see column ‘Duty expression’). In the example of the long drink glasses, depending on the country, an exemption from import duty usually applies. The name of the treaty country is shown in the column ‘Geographical area’.

Note: Some treaty countries are not mentioned by name in the column 'Geographical area'. These countries then belong to a group of countries with which the EU has concluded a trade agreement. For example, CARIFORUM, SADC EPA, SAP, European Economic Area, GSP+, OCT, and Central America. If you click on the group name you will see which countries are included. 

To qualify for tariff preference, the products must be shipped directly from the treaty country. The products must also be of preferential origin in the treaty country. You can demonstrate this with a preferential origin document or declaration (see column ‘Conditions). Read more about origin documents and import declarations.

Customs Union Duty

Do you import products from Türkiye, San Marino, or Andorra? Then you see ‘Customs Union Duty’ for a large number of products. This implies that the EU has a customs union with these countries. This customs union ensures that you do not pay import duties for many products from these countries. Originating from a country means that the product was produced in that country or that the product was previously imported into that country from another country.

(Non-)Preferential Tariff Quota

Do you see the ‘Preferential tariff quota’ field for your import country and product? Then a reduction in import duties applies to the import of a certain quantity of the product into the EU. In order to be eligible for this, you need an origin document or declaration (see column ‘Conditions’). Once the quantity has been reached, you pay the customs tariff written in the column ‘Third country duty' from that moment on. In the column 'Quota order number' you can see the quantity still remaining within the quota.

Do you see a 'Non-preferential tariff quota' field? Then you will need an additional document to qualify for a reduction in import duties (assuming your import falls within the tariff quota). See the column ‘Conditions’ to find out what type of document you need. This may be, for example, import certificates for certain agricultural products or certificates of authenticity for handmade products.

Definitive anti-dumping duty and other measures

The column ‘Measure type' may also list other import taxes. For example, 'definitive anti-dumping duty'. This is an additional import duty on certain products on top of the import duty. With anti-dumping duties, the EU aims to stop exporters in third countries from exporting their products to the EU at very low prices. In other words, dumping them on the EU market. This kind of dumping creates unfair competition. The EU protects its own industry and jobs with anti-dumping duties

The last field in the column is 'VAT (NLBTW)'. You can find the Dutch VAT import rate in the column ‘tariff’.

User manual

There is a public user manual for the customs tariff database. If you need help, you can also call  Dutch Customs (0800 01 43 or, if you are calling from abroad, +31 45 574 30 31.

European Commission’s Access2Markets

In addition to the Customs tariff database, you can also find out the import duties for your products via the Access2Markets website of the European Commission. This video explains how the database works and how to search for import duties.  

Video: Want to know the rules when importing? Use Access2Markets