The size of online purchases by Dutch consumers in foreign EU webshops is calculated on the basis of VAT declarations. Filing VAT returns in the Netherlands is compulsory for companies selling products to Dutch consumers from other countries, with a threshold amount of 100 thousand euros in annual turnover. It is not compulsory for those companies with an annual turnover in the Netherlands which falls below this amount. With the VAT returns as a source, it is possible to collect data on the foreign EU webshops visited by Dutch consumers.
For now, the research focuses on foreign webshops selling more than 100 thousand worth of goods to Dutch e-shoppers. As a result, the total amount spent by Dutch consumers in European webshops is underestimated. CBS is unable to provide an indication of the size of this underestimation.