Top Reasons to export to Netherlands

November 14, 2019

According to Santader Trade Portal “Dutch prosperity has always been based on its international trade and the geographic location of the country makes it a European trade hub, with Rotterdam being the largest European port. With high-tech industries and services, foreign trade is one of the main pillars of the Dutch economy, representing an impressive 161.2% of GDP in 2017 (World Bank), one of the most open and outward-oriented economies in the world”.


World’s top exports states The Netherlands shipped US$723.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 7.5% increase since 2014 and an 11.6% gain from 2017 to 2018 for the economically powerful European Union member.


Netherlands has one of the top economies of the world and it is one of the world’s leading exporting countries. Foodstuffs represent the largest industrial sector of the country. During the last several years, Netherlands has also imposed itself as one of the largest exporters of flowers and seeds in Europe.


Advantages include:

  • Member of EU single market
  • Early adopter of new technology
  • One of the world's most open economies

K International states that “Netherlands’ geographic location has made it a key trading post for centuries, and it continues in that role today. Rotterdam is home to Europe’s largest port, with around 450 million tonnes of cargo passing through it every year. The country provides a high level of economic freedom and a highly skilled, multilingual workforce. According to the World Integrated Trade Solution service from the World Bank, Netherlands imports products worth USD$398,336,339.31 thousand per year. Its exports total USD$444,867,363.31 thousand per year”


According to The International Trade Administration:

  • Netherlands is a geographically small (approximately the size of the state of Maryland), densely populated (17 million people) country occupying a highly strategic commercial location, with Europe’s largest port (by volume) in Rotterdam.
  • Over 170 million consumers (roughly one-third of the population of the expanded European Union of 28 Member States) reside within a 300-mile radius of Rotterdam.
  • More than 80 percent of Netherlands’ GDP is generated by foreign trade in goods and services.
  • Netherlands is a key center within the global business network with an advanced infrastructure geared towards the transportation of goods, people, and electronic data.
  • Its core distribution points include Rotterdam, Europe’s largest port, and Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, the fourth largest airport in Europe.
  • Netherlands has capitalized on its location and advanced economy to become one of the top dozen trading countries in the world.
  • Netherlands is the seventeenth largest economy in the world and the fifth largest in the European Monetary Union (the Eurozone), with a gross domestic product (GDP) of $912 billion in 2018.

An additional factor, the importance of which should not be underestimated, is the difference in the interaction with the various tax and customs administrations amongst the EU. Some tax and customs administration take a very formal approach, whereas other administrations are very much open to dialogue.


The Dutch tax and customs administration belong to the latter. They are well-known for their pro-active approach and high service level. They are also receptive to confirm certain arrangements in writing, which guarantees certainty (upfront) for taxable entities.