When do I need a transit licence for military goods?

If you want to transship military goods in the Netherlands, you sometimes require a transit licence. A licence or consent is required for trading in light weapons and ammunition.

EU licensing and notification requirements for military goods

Companies that forward military goods via the Netherlands are subject to a licensing requirement or a notification requirement. This applies to products that appear on:

Licences for the transshipment of military goods

A licence is required whenever military goods are transshipped in the Netherlands. You can apply for a transit licence – and various other licences – through Customs’ Central Import and Export Office (CDIU) (link in Dutch). 

No licensing requirement

You do not need to apply for a licence for military goods that are transported through Dutch territorial waters or airspace without docking or landing. Nor is a licence required for the transit of NATO materiel or military goods that originate in an EU member state and are destined for another EU state.

Notification requirement for transit without transshipment

If you are forwarding goods via the Netherlands without transshipping them, you will be subject to a notification requirement. This applies to transit to or from the following countries:

  • Australia;
  • Japan;
  • New Zealand;
  • Switzerland;
  • EU member states;
  • NATO member states.

Transit notification for military goods

Companies can submit a notification for the transit of military goods via the Berichtenbox voor bedrijven (‘notification box for companies’, link in Dutch) at Ondernemersplein.nl. The CDIU’s website has information on other ways of submitting a notification or registration.
The government can still require a licence at any time, for example if there are indications that the country of origin did not check the goods or if the destination of a shipment appears to change during transit.

Applications for a licence or consent for trading in light weapons and ammunition

Trading in certain light weapons and ammunition without a licence or consent is prohibited.
Businesses can submit applications for a licence or consent to the CDIU.