Transporting animal products to the Netherlands

Do you intend to transport animal products from abroad to the Netherlands? This is governed by rules that depend on whether or not you are travelling within the European Union (EU), or if you are entering from outside the EU. Examples of animal products are meat, dairy products, eggs and leather.

Last updated on 21 April 2022

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Overview of animal products

Examples of animal products are:

  • cheese
  • milk and milk products
  • eggs
  • meat
  • fresh or processed fishery products
  • skins
  • hunting trophies (an animal or its head, skin or any other body part as a souvenir).

Transport of animal products to the Netherlands from the EU

You may bring animal products such as meat or dairy products from the EU to the Netherlands for your own use. However, there are conditions for the commercial import of animal products.

Transporting animal products from outside the EU to the Netherlands

The transport of animal products and food from outside the EU to the Netherlands is governed by strict requirements. For example, you almost always need a health certificate.

Applying for a health certificate

A health certificate can be requested from the authorities in the local area. You can find out who the local authorities are by contacting the Dutch embassy in your country.

A health certificate provides the following details of what you are transporting:

  • a description of the type of animal products
  • the weight
  • the country of origin of the animal product
  • the EU country which is the destination of the animal product.

Animal products without a health certificate

As a rule, a certificate is necessary, but there are also exceptions. The Belastingdienst (Tax and Customs Administration) provides an overview of animal products for which a health certificate is not required.

Restriction on protected animal products

Endangered animals and plants cannot be transported to the Netherlands. This also applies to animal and vegetable products. That means that if you buy an ivory figurine at a foreign market, you will not be allowed to bring it back with you to the Netherlands.

The Douane (Customs) has developed an app that allows you to see which products you can and cannot bring into the country (in Dutch).

Laws and regulations

European Animal Health Regulation (EU) 2016/429, Article 143

Besluit dierlijke producten (in Dutch)

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