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International Trade Scheme

With the International Trade Scheme the Dutch government intends to provide a practical and flexible arrangement for maintaining international trade contacts. Companies can register a plan with the Labour Office (UWV). Once the plan is approved, foreign workers who perform work for the purpose of that plan can be employed without a work permit.

A plan may be eligible if it involves international trade, services or cooperation. The UWV will assess this based on the nature of the plan, its value and/or the nature of the related activities. Examples could include a collaborative project or the delivery of a machine/software. In some cases, attending a training course and/or holding business meetings could also fall under the International Trade Scheme.

The employer may submit an application for the approval of a plan to the UWV. The UWV will decide on whether to register a plan on the basis of this scheme within five weeks.Use our expertise to get your
International Trade Scheme
project permit.
The UWV will test whether the plan qualifies as a plan under the International Trade Scheme and/or whether or not the related activities are competitive. In this regard, it is important to be able to show an existing relationship between the employer established in the Netherlands and the company abroad where the workers are employed, and that the workers are coming to the Netherlands in order to perform specialist and/or managerial work. Registering a plan represents a major advantage for an employer. It namely provides certainty about the employment of the relevant worker in contrast to the existing exemptions for business meetings or training, for example, by which the employer must assess for itself whether the conditions are being met.

Once the UWV has approved the plan, the employer established in the Netherlands can register the relevant workers by means of a registration form. The foreign workers can start work immediately. The Minimum Wage and Minimum Holiday Allowance Act applies to these foreign workers. If a worker will remain in the Netherlands longer than 90 days out of a 180-day period, a residence permit must also be requested from the Immigration and Naturalisation Service.

Kroes Advocaten can assess whether your plan is eligible for the international trade scheme and also assist you with the application for the approval of the plan, the registration of workers and any residence permit applications.

Need advice?
Pieter is the specialist.

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