Moving to
The Netherlands

International Removals Guide

Moving to The Netherlands

A country like the Netherlands needs no real introduction. Steeped in history, the Netherlands has featured heavily throughout the history books. From Anne Frank to The Red Light District, countless bicycles and countless canals, the Netherlands is seen as a relaxed and progressive place to relocate to. So it’s understandable, in this post-Brexit era, that we’ve seen an increase in the amount of people asking about moving to the Netherlands. As a result we’ve compiled a handy guide on what you need to know, and what you need to have if you’re thinking about moving to the Netherlands.

Moving to the Netherlands is easier than you think!

Why Move to the Netherlands?

Situated in the heart of Europe, the Netherlands is located to the West of Germany. It’s coastline on the North Sea prompted a port that has been in operation for centuries and has seen many a conflict. Shaped by it’s canals and flat plains, the Netherlands is one of the most vibrant and liberal countries in Europe, boasting a high quality of life with a distinct and dynamic culture. It is a great place to live and work and has excellent public transportation, a strong economy, and a welldeveloped healthcare system. The cities are modern and cosmopolitan, while the countryside is full of quaint villages and beautiful landscapes. So regardless of your preference for an urban or rural setting, if your moving to the Netherlands you’ll find yourself spoiled for choice!
The Netherlands also has a strong international presence with many global companies choosing The Hague and Amsterdam as their global headquarters, making it a great place to start a business or launch a career. Additionally, the country is known for its welcoming attitude towards foreign nationals and its progressive social policies, making it an ideal place for anyone to call home.

If you like to live in a country with little to no hills, then put the Netherlands at the top of you list of places to move to. The country has an average elevation of just 30m, making it one of the lowest lying countries in the world. If you’re a fan of urban living, then Holland may also be an ideal place to move to as 95% of it’s residents live in an urban setting.

If you’re worried about healthcare in the Netherlands, then you can rest easy. The Dutch healthcare system ranked number 1 in the European Health Consumer Index in 2016, and is currently at number 2 as of 2023.

One of Amsterdam's many Canals

Documents Required for Moving to The Netherlands:

    • Copy of your Passport (in date for at least 6 months)
    • Detailed Inventory (your mover should provide you with this as standard)
    • Bewijs van aanmelding (proof of registration)
    • Aangifte – Douane 39 form (diplomats only)
    • Copy of the registration at town/city hall where the shipper will live (document must mention the country the shipper is moving from)
    • When client does not have his town/city hall registration yet, client may also submit a proof of de-registration from the country of origin.
    • You must also supply one of the following documents:

    Copy of a work contract or declaration from the employer confirming the period of working for them abroad and will now be working for them in the Netherlands as from …… (date),


    Copy of a rental agreement or purchase contract of the residence in the Netherlands. This may not be older than 6 months.

Be very wary of Trams and Bikes when in Amsterdam

Specific Moving Information for The Netherlands

• The “Bewijs van aanmelding” is the certificate from the population register of the municipality showing owner of the goods’ intent to reside in the Netherlands

• The Netherlands application is a required form that must be filled out to be able to move to the Netherlands

• All fumigated containers arriving in the port of Rotterdam or Antwerp with an excessive concentration of gas will be removed from the logistic transport chain.

– Delays may take several months before the container is released.
– High costs may be incurred due to any delays.

• The following conditions must apply for the duty-free import of the household effects shipment:

    • The permanent residence of the owner of the goods must be the Netherlands or another European Union member country.
    • The previous permanent residence of the owner of the goods situated outside of the European Union for at least 12 months.
    • All goods have been used as part of the normal household of the owner of the goods and will be used for the same purpose.
    • All goods have been in the owner of the goods’ possession for at least 6 months and have been used during that time.
    • The goods will be imported into the Netherlands within 12 months after registration.
    • The goods will not be sold, rented off or given away within 12 months after registration in the Netherlands.
    • Owners of the goods must apply to Customs for the exemption in the import declaration when moving to the Netherlands.


Housing isn't a problem for The Netherlands

The following documents are required:

• A signed inventory listing all of the personal goods in the shipment.
• The certificate of registration in the personal records database of the municipality in the Netherlands.
• Must certify that the date on which the owner of the goods has established in the Netherlands or another country within the European Union.
• Owner of the goods can also send comparable documentary evidence demonstrating that this is the case, for example: Employment contract, Employer statement, Work permit, Rental contract or mortgage certificate for new place of residence.

• All containers arriving in the Port of Rotterdam with an excessive concentration of gas will be taken out from the logistic transport chain. (Methyl bromide is mostly used toxic gas).

• According to the Ministry one may expect delays running up to several months before a fumigated container finally will be released to the consignee. Obviously high costs will be involved if a container has an excessive concentration of gas.

Shipping Motor Vehicles to the Netherlands

Documents Required

• Certificate of title / registration
• Purchase invoice or other proof of ownership
• Original bill of lading
• Certificate of residence
• Copy of foreign insurance certificate or proof of insurance

Specific Information

• Consideration for an application for free entry of motor vehicles is 4 to 6 weeks
• A separate application for any tax exemption must be completed if not imported with the household effects shipment.
• A technical inspection as well as registration is required at the RDW after Customs clearance

German Porche in Amsterdam

Moving to the Netherlands with your Pet

Documents Required

• Vaccination record
• Veterinary health certificate

Specific Information

• The veterinary health certificate must be signed by an authorized veterinarian within 8 days of import.
• The vaccination record must be signed at least 31 days prior to departure but not longer than 12 months prior to import.

The Dutch love their pets, you'll see many people walking their dog whilst cycling at the same time.

Restricted Items in the Netherlands

Hunting and shooting firearms require a permit issued by the Dutch authorities when moving to the Netherlands.

• Medicines:
– To import medicines, a manufacturing license issued by the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport is required.
– Medications must be for personal use.
– Owners of the goods should request a medical passport from a general practitioner to verify the personal use of the medication.

• Plants / flowers / fruits / vegetables:
– These items require a phytosanitary certificate from the country of origin declaring the items healthy and free from diseases.
– If a phytosanitary certificate is unavailable, Customs will confiscate the items.

• Animal Products / Food Items:
– A health certificate is required for the import of these items, including but not limited to, cheese, milk, eggs, meat, meat products, animal skins, and hunting trophies.
– The health certificate must be issued by the authorities of the origin country at the time the goods are imported.
– All animal products and food items are subject to veterinary examination upon arrival.
– Goods of animal origin, including food items, are subject to special requirements.
– Contact the destination for specific information and exceptions.
– Powdered milk, baby food, and special food items for medical purposed may be imported provided the following requirements are met:
• The products do not need to be chilled prior to consumption.
• The products are packaged products of a registered trademark.
• The packaging should be unopened and undamaged.
– An exemption from the required health certificate applies to products in which an animal ingredient is no longer identifiable (e.g., chocolate, etc.).

Contact the Dutch Embassy in the origin country if you need assistance

More Dutch bikes at Dam Square in Amsterdam

Take the next step...

Phew! That’s a lot of information to take in! If you still fancy moving to the Netherlands, then why not choose us as your international moving partner! Get started today by filling out our International Removal form below, or download our app and send us a video of exactly what you need to be moved!

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