BLF GT - shipping to the Netherlands

Should I expect high import duties if I choose DHL shipping for my BLF GT to the Netherlands? Any idea how much it would be, and how much it would be via the ‘alternative’ method?


Yes, probably.
It will most likely be around >40€

When you are lucky, you don’t have to pay additional taxes when choosing the alternative shipping. Chances are that you have to pay the same amount when the customs check your package.

Alternative shipping will be cheaper. Here in Germany DHL wants €12,50 plus tax for taking care of customs (in addition to the actual taxes which need to be paid). Without DHL you only pay the taxes, but it takes longer.

It depends.

If it will be send by DHL I think you have 100% chance to pay taxes and import duty.

But when it’s send by the alternative way you have less chance. But it will be send in 2 packages, so basically double the chance to pay taxes but probably it would have a lot lower value.

If there’s less than €23 declared on the packages I hardly ever get taxed. Last package was a $170 luxmeter, with $20 on the package.
If there’s an option I always choose unregistered untracked, it always gets through customs unopened, is not slower, and I hardly ever loose packages.

You might still have time to emigrate. :stuck_out_tongue:

Regular package and small parcel are two different ways of custom clearence in most countries. Things that you described above work when size and/or weight are under limit (2-2.5kg).

A worst case scenario if you choose DHL would be: DHL will tax the package based on the shop’s price and ignore whatever is put on the package (this has been my experience so far). What I’ve seen that price is about $250. Shipping costs are also included, not sure what they are but I’ve seen numbers like $20 thrown around, so the total taxed price will be about $270. Using this website you can see that the minimal extra costs will be about 80 euros. This does not include the fee that DHL will ask for doing the taxes for you (I think that is about an additional 15 euros).

So… I’d say wait a bit longer and do not use DHL. So far I’ve always been lucky and have never been taxed with the regular shipping options from China, while the both times I’ve used DHL they properly taxed me.

Yes EU and other tax hungry places better choose alternative :wink:

Buying goods online coming from a non-European Union country

Customs duty

On the basis of the data provided in the customs declaration, the supporting documents that accompany it and any information which they may request, the competent customs officers determine, impose and collect Customs duties that are due.

Customs duty is calculated as a percentage of the customs value of the goods:

The percentage or rate varies depending on the type of goods. You can check the tariff applicable in the TARIC databaseSearch for available translations of the preceding link•••.
The customs value is made up of:
the price paid for the goods,
the insurance cost,
the shipping cost.
See how the customs value is calculated in the EU Member States.

In some cases additional duties may be charged, depending on the country of manufacture of the goods. The TARIC databaseSearch for available translations of the preceding link••• coves all measures relating to tariff, commercial and agricultural legislation.
Customs Duty is not due for goods, provided directly to the buyer when their value does not exceed 150 euros.

This exception does not apply to perfumes and toilet waters, tobacco or tobacco products and alcoholic products which are subject to special limits on the quantity provided.


The import VAT is calculated as a percentage (VAT rate) of the taxable amount.

The VAT rate is the one applicable in the country where the goods are being delivered.
You can check the VAT rates applied in each countrySearch for available translations of the preceding link•••.

The taxable amount is made up of the customs value plus the duty paid and the transportation and insurance costs up to the first place of destination within the EU.
VAT is not due when the total value of all goods in a consignment (value not inclusive of customs duties or transport costs) is less than a threshold. The threshold may vary from 10 euros to 22 euros, depending on the EU country. For an overview see the pie chart below (information available for 24 Member States). Certain countries (like Sweden and Poland) however, exclude mail orders from the exemption. This exception does not apply to tobacco or tobacco products and alcoholic products.

The import VAT may either be included into the overall delivery price or not.

If the import VAT is not included in the price paid to the seller (which is the common situation), you will have to pay it to the postal company or express courier, or directly to the customs if you clear the goods at customs yourself. In the latter case, the procedure differs according to the country.
If you pay all inclusive, you will be paying import VAT to the seller when paying the total price. But if the import VAT is not properly estimated by the seller, or if the seller fails to ensure the transfer of this VAT amount to the customs, you must be aware that national legislation can hold you jointly liable.

You should check with your national tax administration (national links/websites), which has the competence in this matter.

you can always tell DHL, even an Express parcel they ask you for money at your door to turn in to the regular tax office,
They will shortly after that notify to do a customs declaration in a letter,
Usually an e-mail with attachment of Invoice and billing information is enough

it is far more efficient than going there in person which usually takes 20 minutes if no one is in front of you

and the delay is at most 4-5 working days and you do not pay any other fee than the Tax

all LED lights are 19% MwSt. only

Thanks for all the comments!

DHL from abroad (even EU) to NL is a disaster anyway. For the Xth time, my track and trace shows that I wasn’t at home today. While I was. Doorbell in perfect working order. Package should have been delivered before 1800 and at 1907 it said “recipient not present”. Security cams show that their truck wasn’t even at my street between half an hour before or after that time. Courier just didn’t bother. And, as I said, this is not the first time.
From China to NL, the cheapest shipping option is most reliable (though perhaps not fastest) and I never had to pay any duties.

Same happend to me lately within Germany ! :person_facepalming:
No need to go abroad.