Reclaiming unpaid goods in the Netherlands

Jan Willem de Groot
2 min readApr 16, 2021


How do you reclaim the goods you have delivered in the Netherlands in accordance with Dutch law?

Reclaiming goods under Dutch law

Under Dutch law, the right of reclamation is based on a legal provision that allows you to reclaim delivered goods if the debtor does not pay. “
The right of reclamation is stipulated in the Dutch Civil Code does not have to be agreed upon, and applies when Dutch law applies. The right of reclamation can therefore be used when no (legally valid) retention of title has been agreed upon.
Revocation of the right of reclamation by the unpaid seller is, as is evident from the above-quoted article of Dutch law, effected by means of a written statement to the non-paying buyer.

Invoking the right of reclamation in this way also leads to the dissolution of the purchase agreement, but this also means that the buyer’s right of ownership lapses. The purchase is considered cancelled as soon as the purchaser receives the written statement.
As a result, the seller regains ownership of the delivered goods.

The right of reclamation can be used both for the purchase and exchange of movable property, but not for registered property, such as ships or aircraft.

Unlike normal dissolution under Dutch law, in the case of the right of reclamation the buyer’s right of ownership lapses. Ownership reverts to the seller. Although there is no retroactive effect, there is a so-called effect on the property.

Under Dutch law, the buyer against whom the right of reclamation is exercised is obliged to return the item still in his possession to the seller. If the buyer refuses to do so, the seller can claim revindication in a court of law.

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