The Netherlands

General overview

The Netherlands is seeing restrictions in day to day life, and the government has taken measures to contain the epidemic. On 23 March the government asked non-essential businesses to shut down in an effort to ensure citizens stay home as much as possible.

Schools and non-essential businesses are closed until 6 April, although food delivery and takeaway services remain open. All gatherings in the Netherlands are prohibited until 1 June, even those of less than 100 people. Updates on the measures the Netherlands is taking in response to COVID-19 can be found on the Government website here.

Economic situation

Headline data

On 23 March, Rabobank economists predicted that economic growth in the Netherlands will drop to 0.2% in 2020 and that GDP could decline by 0.2%. This is a result of the lockdown, subsequent decline in employment and decreases in consumption and international trade.

Government and business response

On 17 March the Dutch government announced measures in response to COVID-19 to ensure the impact on business is minimised. The measures taken are summarised below. You can find more detail on the government's business webpage here (English language).

Measures in place include:

  • Temporary Emergency Bridging Measure for Sustained Employment (NOW) to provide financial help to certain employers to pay wages. You can read more about the scheme, eligibility and how to apply here.

  • SME credit guarantee (BMKB) scheme will be extended from 16 March 2020 to April 2021 to helps SMEs affected by Covid-19 to secure bank guarantees and bridge financing. You can read more about eligibility and how to apply here.

  • Business Loan Guarantee scheme has been extended.

  • €4,000 compensation for businesses in the hospitality, travel and event organisation sectors. The terms of this compensation are yet to be announced.

Tax options for companies

  • Companies can apply for a payment extension for income, corporate, payroll and turnover tax (VAT).

  • Late payment fines have been removed, and the normal collection interest rate for paying after the payment term has passed has decreased temporarily to nearly 0%.

You can read more about the Dutch Tax Administration measures to help entrepreneurs here, in Dutch language. If Dutch isn't your primary language, you can call the Tax Information Line (residents - +31 (0) 800 0543, non-residents - +31 (0) 55 538 5385).

Companies in the Netherlands, including international businesses, can find additional information from the government on Covid-19 on a FAQ page here.

Advice to exporters

In terms of immediate activity, make the safety and well-being of teams your priority, and invest as needed to ensure a safe and healthy working environment. Many businesses are still allowing employees to work from home where this is possible. Check in with your business partners and see how they are doing and how you might be able to support them during this time.

Further insights

The Netherlands Chamber of Commerce has up to date information on the impact of COVID-19 on the Netherlands and internationally.

Invest in Holland provides the latest information for businesses in the Netherlands impacted by COVID-19 here.

Additional resources

Below you can find information and contact details for other New Zealand government and international agencies regarding their response to COVID-19.

New Zealand Government agencies
New Zealand Customs
Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI)
MFAT Export helpline
MFAT Safetravel
Ministry of Health

Global agencies

World health organisation (WHO)
Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Contact NZTE

We're available to talk to you about any issues your export business is facing due to COVID-19.

For existing NZTE customers, please contact your New Zealand-based Customer Manager.

If you're unsure who to contact or haven't worked with us before, you can call NZTE on 0800 555 888 or email below and one of our Customer Advisors will help you.