- Download our Moving to the Netherlands Guide (PDF)
Rotterdam is Europe’s largest port. It's efficiently run, so there should be few delays on the Netherlands' side of the shipment. As always with removals, it helps to keep documentation such as invoices, inventories, carrier arrival notices and customs forms.
Removals from within Europe could be handled by train which should be quick and affordable. Expats moving from outside of Europe will have the choice of sea or air freight. Shipping by sea takes longer than air freight but is usually the cheaper option. It's worth shopping around for quotes.
It may be a good idea to send the most important belongings that will be needed immediately by air freight, while less urgently needed items can follow by sea freight.
Shipping pets to the Netherlands
When shipping pets, expats should ensure all the required documentation, including a pet passport or an authorised veterinary certificate translated into Dutch, is in order and that vaccinations and microchip insertion have been carried out.
Pets must be vaccinated against rabies at least 21 days prior to departure and may need to be quarantined for a month in the Netherlands.
Dog owners must register their dogs with the local town hall and municipal tax office within two weeks of arriving. An annual dog tax is charged in most Dutch cities, depending on how many dogs someone owns.
To find out if an animal can be brought into the country, expats must check the official website for the Ministry of Agriculture, Nature and Food Quality.
Shipping a car to the Netherlands
Public transport in the Netherlands is efficient and cycle paths are extensive, so many residents don't feel the need to own a car. Those expats who wish to ship their car over to the Netherlands will need to hire a moving company that specialises in car shipping. The moving company will advise on options, including container or roll-on/roll-off shipping – where cars are simply parked and secured on a vessel for ease of transporting it on and off.
Cars must pass a technical inspection and be formally registered and follow the procedures required by the RDW (Rijksdienst voor het Wegverkeer), the national vehicle authority. Within two weeks of arriving in the country, the vehicle must have a Dutch licence number. Note that processes differ depending on whether the car comes from an EU or non-EU country.
Expats who own and drive a vehicle must pay relevant taxes in the Netherlands and get car insurance.
►Read Moving to the Netherlands for more information
Are you an expat living in The Netherlands?
Expat Arrivals is looking for locals to contribute to this guide, and answer forum questions from others planning their move to The Netherlands. Please contact us if you'd like to contribute.
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