Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands share the same currency – the euro, no matter if you find your coins covered with the Belgian or Dutch King or the German eagle.
Throughout the Euregio Meuse-Rhine basic EU rules on finances apply and you do not have to worry about currency exchange rates. Note that you also have – principally- free roaming between Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
Fun fact: Maastricht Treaty founded the Euro as the single currency in 1992, as a blueprint for European integration.
Different rules and regulations might apply, depending on country and bank account. This is also for fees when paying by debit card. Find some useful hints on payments, transfers and checks and bank accounts (“europa.ec”) each with sample stories to have practical examples.
Contactless & Cash
For moving across your Euregio, keep the following rules of the thumb in mind:
- In the Netherlands, debit cards are always accepted. Cash can be refused, and this contactless payment continues to strike many Germans (“businessinsider.de”, German only).
- In Germany, cash is always accepted. Debit cards are likely to be refused for minor amounts in smaller shops. The “German love of cash” is apparently historically routed due to “BBC.com”).
- In Belgium, cash is always accepted. As in Germany, contactless payment is increasing, not least due to the Corona-pandemic (“Grenzecho”, German only”)
Value added tax: MwSt, BTW & TVA
- Belgium (TVA/btw): 21% normal tariff, 6% reduced tariff – and, interestingly, 12% on tires
- Germany (MwSt): 19% normal tariff, 7% reduced tarif. During the Corona-crisis until december 2020, both were reduced.
- Netherlands (btw): 21% normal tariff, 6% reduced tariff. Unlike in Belgium, there is no extra tarifs for tires.
Support on customer rights
Head to the following institutions when you face difficulties with shopping across the border or wonder about your customer rights:
- Germany`s “Verbraucherschutzzentrale.de“/”Stiftung Warentest” (DE only)”
- Belgium’s test-aankoop.be” (NL / FR)
- The Netherlands` “consumentenbond.nl” (NL only) provide support.
The European Support on Customer Rights has useful information on various aspects of daily life on a European scope.