Customs at Schiphol: What can/cannot travel with you?

You can take many things with you when you travel to or from the Netherlands, with a few exceptions. Custom rules exist for items like drinks, tobacco, medicines, meat, fish, (products made of) protected animal and plant species, as well as large sums of cash.

Customs monitors what you bring into the Netherlands

You can bring many items with you to or from the Netherlands, with a few exceptions. Customs enforces these rules to ensure that prohibited items do not enter the country.

Forbidden items

These items should never be packed in your baggage:

  • Drugs such as hashish, cocaine, heroin, crystal meth or other narcotics
  • Real or fake weapons, pepper spray, ammunition or explosives
  • Protected or endangered animal and plant species, as well as any item(s) made from them. Examples include crocodile leather shoes or jewellery made of ivory.

Customs rules for specific items

Separate rules apply for the following items if you wish to bring them into the Netherlands:

  • Medicines
  • Counterfeit products
  • Pets
  • Meat, fish and dairy
  • Vegetable, fruit, flowers and plants
  • Ancient or antique items
  • Large sums of cash

Items that attract a tax levy

A maximum value of € 430 may be imported with you from countries outside the EU. Taxes will be due for items which exceed that amount. Cigarettes, tobacco or alcohol may also attract additional taxes if you exceed the permitted amount. The number of cigarettes or alcoholic beverages you can bring with you depends on whether you enter the Netherlands from the EU or beyond.

Customs rules for foreign travel

There are customs rules which govern what you are allowed to take with you, even when you exit the Netherlands. You are never permitted to take drugs, weapons, rare or endangered animal or plant species with you in your baggage. If you wish to take € 10,000 or more in cash out of the EU, you must also submit a Customs Declaration.

All countries have their own customs and import rules. Those rules usually include animal products, food items like vegetables and fruit, as well as plants and flowers.

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