When sending and receiving letters or parcels in the Netherlands, there are various rules, charges and services to be kept in mind.
Most post offices in the Netherlands are open Mondays to Fridays (9am - 5pm). You can purchase boxes, wrapping paper, tape and pens in most post offices, but you are generally expected to have the parcel ready to be sent. Find the nearest post office.
Dutch post boxes are usually red or orange, with two separate slots. The right slot is for letters being sent to nearby zip codes, and the left one is for mail to further destinations. Post boxes are generally emptied every weekday at 5pm, except for holidays. If you post a letter before this time, your letter should be delivered some time the next day, if sent to an address within the Netherlands. Letters sent on Saturday, Sunday or Monday are delivered on Tuesday. Find the nearest post box.
Size of letters and parcels (post box)
- Minimum size: 14 x 9 cm
- Maximum size: 38 x 26,5 x 3,2 cm
- Maximum weight: 2 kilos
Dutch postage stamps often have a number, rather than their worth printed on them. Here’s what the numbers mean:
- Dutch stamp number 1 = 1,01 euros (2023)
- Number 1 with international mark = 1,65 euros
Nowadays, you don't need to go to the post office to buy stamps. You can simply buy a stamp code online via the post.nl site or app.
Letters can be posted through post boxes, which are located on public streets.
Mailing costs for a letter (within the Netherlands) in 2023
- 0 - 20 grams: 1,01 euros
- 20 - 50 grams: 2,02 euros
- 50 - 100 grams: 3,03 euros
- 100 - 350 grams: 4,04 euros
- 350 grams - 2 kilos: 4,55 euros
Mailing costs for a letter (International) in 2023
- 0 - 20 grams: 1,65 euros
- 20 - 50 grams: 3,30 euros
- 50 - 100 grams: 4,95 euros
- 100 - 350 grams: 8,25 euros
- 350 grams - 2 kilos: 9,90 euros
Notes on sending letters
- Prices for sending letters outside the Netherlands may differ per country.
- The above are the standard costs. To send a registered or insured letter, extra costs apply.
In general, the rule is that as long as a parcel fits through a standard post box slot, it can be mailed through the post within the Netherlands (brievenbuspakje). It costs 4,15 euros to send a brievenbuspakje when paying online, 4,85 euros when paying at a PostNL shop. Parcels that do not fit through the post box need to be sent via the post office, or a parcel shop.
Costs and size for sending a parcel (within the Netherlands) in 2022
- 0 - 10 kilos: 6,95 euros (online) or 7,65 euros (at PostNL shop)
- 10 - 23 kilos: 13,20 euros (online) or 13,90 euros (at PostNL shop)
- Up to 10 kilos - 100 x 50 x 50 cm
- 10 to 23 kilos - 176 x 78 x 58 cm
Notes on sending parcels internationally
Prices for sending parcels outside the Netherlands may differ per country.
Customs clearance tax
Parcels sent from non-EU countries will have to go through customs clearance. You will be charged for VAT, customs duties and clearance tax when:
- From July 2021, all imported goods are taxed with VAT, the previous exemption for goods under 22 euros no longer exists.
- A gift is noted as being worth more than 45 euros.
Please note: these costs can turn out to be rather high, and they will be expected to be paid in cash upon delivery.
Track & Trace
For an extra charge, you can add a Track & Trace code to your parcel or letter. Once the item is underway, you can track and trace your parcel here.
In certain cases, a parcel will be delivered to the most nearby pickup point, rather than to your home address. This can be the most nearby post office or a parcel shop that is connected to the delivery company that is handling your parcel.
Most information on this page is about sending letters and parcels via PostNL. There are also other specialised delivery companies such as DHL, FedEx or UPS.