Customs’ taxes on online purchases

Last Monday we had a discussion in class about taxes on products that were purchased online. The amount of tax and when you have to pay them or not was unclear. On the website of the Dutch customs we found that on all items bought trough the net (from companies outside of the Netherlands) there actually should be duty paid. This obviously reduces the attractiveness of online purchasing. The amounts vary, based on the product types that are imported. However, customs only check imported packages randomly. So not everyone is paying, while actually it is mandotory to declare. The customs website claims the following:

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