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Brexit: consequences for meetings and conventions in the Netherlands

This is what meeting planners, delegates and exhibitors need to know when organising a meeting in Amsterdam after Brexit, including visas, work permits, and import and export regulations.

What does Brexit mean for UK meeting planners, delegates and exhibitors when coming to Amsterdam?

As the meeting and events industry was hit by lockdowns and travel restrictions due to COVID-19, another big change for the industry became reality at the start of 2021: the Brexit trade deal. Now we’re finding ways out of the pandemic and events are possible again, it’s time to look at what's changed between the UK and EU.

Brexit is done, but not over yet

After some years of negotiations , the UK left the European Union in January 2020  just around the time COVID-19 hit Europe. Free movement rules stayed in place until January 1, 2021, but due to the pandemic, hardly any movement was possible. As travel restrictions ease, UK meeting planners, delegates and exhibitors will only now realise the impact of Brexit when organising a meeting, conference or event within the EU. EU nationals could also face new challenges when choosing the UK as their meeting destination.

While Brexit might be done, the process to work out all the details of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement will take until at least 2026. Each step can have further impact on the UK-EU relationship in various domains (e.g. data sharing, proof of health insurance and/or travel insurance, roaming fees for mobile internet) as new rules and regulations are formed along the way. 

For now, it’s useful to be aware of the main consequences for UK nationals visiting the Netherlands and the impact you will face when organising your meeting or event in Amsterdam or elsewhere in the Netherlands. 

Questions about organising your meeting or event in Amsterdam? Contact our team

Business travel and work permits when visiting the Netherlands

If you hold a British passport and are just visiting, you often don’t need a visa to enter the Netherlands. You will be able to travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any six-month period without a visa. You will, however, still need to meet certain requirements

If you’re planning a stay of longer than three months, to work or study, for business travel or for other reasons, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the Dutch government. 

Work permit and work permit exemptions in the Netherlands

You may need a work permit (TWV) if you want to work during your stay in the Netherlands, even if your stay is less than 90 days. This might apply to meeting planners, exhibitors, speakers and other working event participants, unless they are exempt.

Work permit exemptions for UK nationals can be e.g. business meetings, closing contracts and preparation, set-up, holding or taking down an exhibition or stand for the employer abroad. 

Regulations regarding work permits and exemptions for both the EU and the UK are still in the process of development. Work permits and exemptions will be considered on a case-by-case basis for the time being. Read up-to-date information about business visits to the Netherlands and the options for short term and long term work permits

Brexit impact and consequences for exhibitors: import and export

Exhibitors and others planning on bringing commercial goods into the EU (or UK), will be faced with import and export regulations. Customs formalities are in place, even though there is an agreement.

Commercial goods – such as merchandise in your baggage – must be declared at customs. Check the rules on importing products when visiting the UK and on importing products into the Netherlands

Other useful websites

Since rules and regulations will change until the Trade and Cooperation Agreement is finalised, here are some useful websites with up-to-date information about business travel from the UK to the Netherlands, in addition to those mentioned earlier:

Amsterdam Convention Bureau is here to help

Amsterdam Convention Bureau can help you organise your meeting, conference or event in Amsterdam. We can also answer any Brexit-related questions and connect you with venues, hotels, restaurants, local transport, cultural institutions and knowledge institutes. Contact our team at or WhatsApp +31 (0)682747079. 

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