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Moving goods

Moving? Bring your car with you!


7 min.

Are you moving to the Netherlands soon? Then it is good to know that it often pays to take your car, motorcycle or camper with you. Many expatriates (expats) and repatriates are exempt from BPM (vehicle tax) and import duties. This can save you up to thousands of euros compared to someone who does not have this exemption. In addition, different technical requirements apply to the admission of a so-called moving goods vehicle, which makes it a lot easier and cheaper to register a car in the Netherlands.

Conditions for BPM exemption import as household goods

If you want to import your vehicle as household goods, it is important to take the legal conditions into account. You must meet these conditions in order to benefit from the exemption from taxes and import duties.

  • You move to the Netherlands from a country outside the European Union
  • Your place of residence has changed to the Netherlands (and therefore the European Union)
  • You have lived in a country outside the European Union for at least 12 consecutive months
  • You have owned the vehicle for at least 6 months
  • You import the vehicle within 12 months after you have taken up residence in the Netherlands
  • You will not lend, pledge, rent or transfer the vehicle within 12 months of the date on which the goods were imported

Please note that this exemption does not apply to commercial vehicles.

How do you import a car as household goods?

Through the steps below, we provide insight into the import process for cars and other vehicles that are imported as household goods.

Shipping the car

The first thought when moving is probably: 'how do I get my belongings to the Netherlands?'. It is important to know that a car or other vehicle, as part of the moving goods, can be shipped through your employer or the moving company. Because of close and long-standing collaborations with moving companies and transportation agencies, we can take care of the entire shipment for you. Bringing your car with you as part of your household goods has never been easier.

Car clearance and transport within the Netherlands

Once the vehicle has arrived in the Netherlands, it's cleared through Customs. The party that arranges the shipment is usually the party that submits the removal goods exemption to the Dutch Tax Office. This checks whether you meet the conditions of the BPM exemption for removal goods. After approval, the car is released and the car can be picked up.

Domestic transport and storage

It's not allowed for vehicles to drive on public roads without a valid license plate mounted on the car. In addition, the car's registration and insurance must be in order before it is allowed on public roads. In many cases, it is therefore advisable to outsource transport and storage up to the issue of the Dutch registration. We can facilitate both transport and storage on our secure site for you.

Converting the car in accordance with European requirements

Lighter conditions apply to the admission of a vehicle as household goods. For example, no individual type approval is required if you move to the Netherlands from outside Europe (i.e. the United States, Canada, Dubai or Norway). However, there are technical requirements that the car must meet. Think of the correct lighting (parking lights, side indicators and rear fog light). In our specialized workshop, we convert vehicles daily in accordance with European requirements, so that this will not cause any delays in the import process.

Click here for more information and requirements of importing as moving goods from outside the EU.

Dutch inspection and registration

After transport, customs clearance and conversion in accordance with European requirements, the next step is the inspection at the RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority). For moving goods vehicles particularly, it's recommended to outsource this procedure. The inspection, technical conversion, secured storage on site, BPM handling and mounting of luxury license plates are then fully taken care of. When ready you're able to enjoy your own car on the Dutch roads completely carefree.

Hit the road carefree!

When the import, conversion, inspection and BPM handling are complete, the RDW (Netherlands Vehicle Authority) will include the vehicle in the vehicle registration register. You will then receive the Dutch registration certificate sent to your home address and, after you have arranged the insurance, you can hit the road carefree!

Want to know more about the household goods import and BPM exemption, or are you about to move back to the Netherlands? Feel free to contact us for advice at import@vdsautomotive.com or by using the contact form.