More than half of the goods entering the Netherlands are either in transit or re-exported. Re-exports means the goods are temporarily under Dutch ownership, often undergoing minimal processing. Transit trade means goods remain under foreign ownership throughout. In 2014, a total of 591 billion kilos of goods entered the Netherlands, 34 percent of which were in transit, while 20 percent were re-exported, according to figures released by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) today.
The value of goods in transit and re-export is even higher when measured in euros: transit trade was good for 39 percent while re-exports accounted for 27 percent of the inbound flow. Combined, they make up two-thirds of the total value of goods entering the Netherlands, at a value of 625 billion euros. The remaining one-third was for domestic consumption or for processing by the Dutch industry.
Certainly, the flow of goods leaving the Netherlands contains not only transiting or re-exported goods, but also products made in the Netherlands, which represent one-third of the total value of exported goods.
The value of outbound goods in transit and more significantly in re-exports is slightly higher than that of the inbound flow. For re-exports, this is due to the goods having undergone some processing in the Netherlands. For instance, re-packaging of goods, addition of a user manual, diluting of liquids or a reduction in product temperature to prolong its shelf-life.