The lowdown on sending parcels to the Netherlands
Seeing as it takes less time to travel from London to Amsterdam than it does to reach Glasgow, it's easy to see why so many Brits visit the Netherlands. In fact, around 1.8 million trips are made every year, with people boarding the planes, trains and automobiles that leave from various points in the UK. With more than 40,000 adventurous souls choosing not to book return tickets, the British expat population continues to grow too.
With all of this considered, it's easy to see why individuals and businesses across the UK may need to send parcels to the Netherlands from time to time. Before doing so, however, there are a few things that need to be considered.
The European Union
The Netherlands, like 27 other countries, is part of the European Union (EU). In fact, it's actually a founding member, having been present in 1993 when the politico-economic union was established. This is good news for British parcel-senders, as it means that items being sent across its border don't require any special customs documentation.
More than this, there aren't too many unusual restrictions on the types of things that can be sent.
What can't you send?
The Netherlands' 'prohibited' list, as mentioned, is pretty much the same as those enforced by all other EU member states. This means the list includes the following (among many other things):
- Live animals, and animal products
- Live trees and other plants
- Vegetables and various other food products
- Firearms, explosives and other weapons
While you may already feel familiar with the full list, it's worth running through it again before sending anything, just to be sure. It can be found either on the Netherlands' official post office website or on the Universal Post Union's prohibitions page.
As is the case with most countries, the Netherlands does have the odd unique restriction on its list. The main one here relates to the country's gambling laws, which prohibit those outside from sending any unauthorised documents concerning lotteries or what it terms as foreign 'games of chance' across the borders. This will include certain betting slips and scratch-cards, for example.
While there's only 222 miles between the UK and the Netherlands' capitals, there will be opportunities for your item to get damaged if it's not packaged properly. As such, it's important to use strong materials and to allow sufficient space inside for padding. Once this part is done, use strong tape to cover all openings.
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Sending parcels to the Netherlands