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How to apply for an article 23 license in The Netherlands

Dutch companies that import goods to the EU, should consider the advantages of the article 23 license, to avoid any VAT duties on import.

When importing goods to the Netherlands (EU)  a company must typically file an import declaration at the Dutch customs. Based on the value of the goods, the VAT must be paid immediately. Custom duties might also apply.

The VAT that is paid on import, can be declared at the very next VAT Return and can be charged back. This means that companies need to pay the VAT in advance, which will affect their liquidity. 


To improve their liquidity, and avoid paying any VAT on import, Dutch companies can apply for the so-called Article 23 License.
This means that no VAT is due at customs in The Netherlands, instead, the VAT is declared in the next VAT return. 


Foreign entrepreneurs can not apply for an article 23 license themselves, they will need to engage with a tax representative. INCO can help you and your business to acquire this license.

The Main Advantage

-Rent of an (external) office

-Rent and decoration of an independent part of the private residence (only if the independent part has its own entrance and facilities like a toilet etc. and you earn at least 70% of your income from this place

-Depreciation and purchase of office furniture, equipment and inventory

-Printing (writing paper, envelopes, business cards etc.)

-Supplies (tonier, ink cartridges)


-Cleaning costs

Tax representative

As we have mentioned above, non-resident companies can not apply for the license themselves therefore they need the help of a tax representative. This tax representative must fulfil the following requirements:


  • The tax representative must be established in the Netherlands;

  • The tax representative must provide financial security for VAT;


When a foreign entrepreneur has appointed a tax representative, the entrepreneur usually is not obliged to register itself, with the Dutch Tax Authorities, as a taxpayer for VAT, when no other business is conducted in the Netherlands. 


These tax representatives can take care of the following:


  • Completing and filing the VAT return;

  • Completing and filing the intra-community transaction declaration;

  • Applying the reverse charge mechanism on import.


INCO can help you acquire this article 23 license. We can also help you with all of your other tax-related issues and questions, please do not hesitate to contact us for more information.

INCO Business Toolkit



Our experts have combined their knowledge and strengths to create a tool we call the Business Toolkit. 

The Business Toolkit will help you and entrepreneurs from around the globe to truly understand the Dutch market, regulations and laws. And will enable you to take a deep-dive into the topics displayed below. 

This way you will easily get up to speed with our Company formation process, Dutch Accounting and our corporate services. 

Make sure to check out our handy checklists, explainer video's and extensively written Whitepapers too!