(Country code: BE)
Maximum Coverage = Maximum Declared Value for Carriage for the Priority™ Worldwide service.
Senders should determine import restrictions from the country's authorities before posting:
- animal products and foodstuffs of animal origin
- bees, leeches and silkworms
- coffee, tea, and spices
- colouring matter
- cotton and certain fibres
- electrical equipment or parts
- empty eggs
- hides and skins, raw
- inorganic/organic chemicals
- indecent photos and film
- fish and crusaceans
- fruit and nuts
- mechanical appliances
- plants, flowers and foliage
- products of milling industry
- pharmaceutical products
- sports requisites
- stuffed birds
- textiles and textile articles
- toys and games
- vaccuum sealed paint tins
- vegetables and vegetable products
- wood and wooden articles.
Meat, meat products, milk, and milk products must be accompanied by a veterinary certificate from the country of origin.
The importation of pre packaged foodstuffs is subject to compliance with labelling regulations.
The importation of seeds, fruits and nuts is subject to quality inspection, as well as phytosanitary inspections.
The importation of weapons is subject to public security inspections.
The importation of toys must satisfy all labelling conditions.
The importation of appliances or electronics require original invoices/receipts.
Prescriptions and medications require a health certificate from the country of origin, as well as inspection upon importation.
In addition to items considered non-mailable matter, the following are prohibited:
- bearer bonds and bank notes
- bird carcasses
- chain letters
- empty ink and laser toner cartridges
- foodstuff of animal origin
- lottery tickets and advertising
- live animals and products of animal origin
- photograph and films, indecent.
The importation of certain classes of merchandise may be prohibited or restricted to protect the economy and security of Belgium and other EU member states to safeguard consumer health, well being and to preserve domestic plant and animal life. Some commodities are also subject to an import quota or a restraint under bilateral trade agreements and arrangements. In addition to Customs requirements, many prohibited or restricted imports are subject to laws and regulations administered by other Belgium Government agencies for which the Belgium Customs Department is the enforcer. These laws and regulations may, for example, prohibit entry; limit entry to certain points; restrict routing, storage, use, require treatment, labelling or processing as condition of release. Customs release only takes place when the additional requirements are met. These requirements apply to all importation types, including shipments made by mail. The exporter should make certain that the Belgium importer has provided proper information to (1) permit the submission of necessary information concerning packing, labelling, etc. and (2) ensure that necessary arrangements have been made by the importer for entry of the merchandise into Belgium.
The following commodities may be prohibited or restricted for entry into Belgium:
- all licensed goods
- all goods subject to phytosanitary controls (plants and vegetable products)
- CFC's and Halon's
- coins and bank notes
- counterfeit or pirated goods
- diamonds and diamond powder must be cleared at the Diamond Office in Antwerp - No exceptions
- electronic cigarettes
- furs of wildlife animals
- goods bearing false origin statements in any form
- goods infringing copyright / trademark
- goods not meeting safety standards
- goods that require import approval from the Ministry of Agriculture CANNOT be accepted for movement via PriorityTM Worldwide service
- gems, gemstones and carved gems
- narcotic drugs and psychotropic substance
- precursors (Biochemical)
- products of animal origin
- products containing biocide dimethylfumarate (DMF)
- radar-and detection equipment for cars
- some agriculture products
- tobacco products
- unregistered pharmaceutical products
- waste products
- wine, wine grapes, wine concentrate, etc.
U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration export permit.
Shipments destined to or being withdrawn from a foreign trade zone.
Letters of Credit (however, shipments covered by a Letter of Credit calling for a "Courier Receipt" as defined by Article 25 of UCP 600 may move via PriorityTM Worldwide service).
Certificate of Registration shipments (CF4455).
Shipments moving into or out of Foreign Trade Zones or bonded warehouses.
Articles consigned as "Unsolicited gifts" are acceptable and will be allowed entry free of any duty or VAT providing the shipment is valued at less than 45 EURO originated from and consigned to an individual, and are individually wrapped. Multiple gifts can be consigned in one shipment so long as the individual parcels enclosed are individually tagged with the recipients name, are individually wrapped and the value does not exceed the per person limit of 45 EURO. Shipments consigned to companies as gifts for an individual may be denied entry as gifts and will be subject to full duty and VAT. Generally, most articles can be consigned as gifts, except those articles noted prohibited or restricted for import (see General Import Prohibitions and Restrictions).
Gifts are acceptable for import into Belgium and may qualify for exemption from duty and taxes providing that the goods are bona fide gifts, are tendered from an individual, and are addressed to an individual in Belgium. Shipments deemed not acceptable as gifts due to the value declared (goods valued up to 45 euros) or the commodity shipped (not all articles are acceptable) are subject to normal duty and taxes as well as any related licensing requirements. Customs will make the final determination as to whether articles presented as gifts qualify for this type preference treatment. Gift shipments should be tendered with the following documents and statements:
- airway bill
- commercial Invoice (required regardless of value for gifts)
- the description provided on both the Air Waybill and Commercial Invoice should specify the description of the actual goods enclosed and be followed with this statement or similar "Unsolicited gifts not for resale or other purpose".
For Gifts originating outside the European Community consigned to Belgium:
- alcohol (depending on alcohol %) - usually 1 liter
- for tobacco - 50 cigarettes, 25 cigarillos, 50 grams of smoke tobacco
- perfume - 50 grams (toilet water - 0.25 liters)
- value limit of 45 euro per shipment
- wine - 2 liters.
For Gifts originating inside the European Community consigned to Belgium:
- coffee - 500 grams
- for tobacco, alcohol, wine, perfume same limits as from outside the European Community
- tea (Thee) - 100 grams
- value limit of 118 euro per shipment.
Information regarding Customs can be found in "Customs Requirements" of the Canada Postal Guide.
In addition, commercial goods mailed to Belgium must include an invoice. Some goods require a Certificate of Origin.
Articles do not require an invoice if all of the following apply:
- no single item within the article exceeds 248 euros in value
- the addressee is a private person
- the goods are of a non-commercial nature and are not for sale
- the article does not exceed 372 euros in value.
The following is a list of the general documentation that is used to facilitate import and export processing requirements for shipments entering or exiting the commerce of Belgium.
All goods shipped from outside the European Community to Belgium must have a Commercial Invoice. The invoice must contain and or reference the following information:
- Air Waybill or Bill of Lading number
- complete delivery address if different from invoice address
- consignee's full name and address with phone number
- county of Origin
- full and complete description of the goods (including HS numbers if possible)
- INCOTERMS (Terms of Sale - if possible show freight and insurance charges separately)
- number of packages
- shipper's full name and address with phone number
- total quantity, unit value, units of measure and currency of the goods (fair market value)
- total weight of the shipment (gross and net)
- VAT number of the consignee (if company).
Invoices are required for all dutiable shipments relating to commercial transactions between companies; companies and individuals, regardless of the value. Commercial Invoices should show freight, insurance and similar charges as separate items when applicable, regardless of the INCOTERM (International Commercial Terms of Sale) used on the transaction. It can be in any official language for import shipments and, if required by customs, must be accompanied by a translation. When translations are requested, it must be furnished by a party who is knowledgeable of the transaction.
Additional descriptions and in some cases statements may be required and should be provided on the invoice in order to avoid possible customs delays and to assure proper classification and processing:
- a declaration of antiquity (for qualifying goods over 100 years old)
- a declaration of USED personal belongings, for shippers of seeking duty and tax exemption
- audio/video cassettes and tapes - the length and width of the tape, a brief synopsis of the content and the reason for exportation
- fabric breakout (composition of fabric 100% Cotton) for textiles and textile products shipped
- footwear breakout that identifies the gender, shoe type and construction of the shoes
- if samples of commercial goods are shipped, the appropriate description of the type of sample 'mutilated samples' or 'marked samples not for resale' should be provided as part of the description of the goods themselves.
- if gift shipments, shipper must identify the gifts as "unsolicited gifts not for resale or other purpose".
- software on CD's and floppy disks - The value of software must be shown separately from software support.
For some products, an Import License is required to be provided and tendered to customs when the goods are presented for import clearance. A license requirement is identified by customs or the designated agency (European Union licenses, national licenses, and surveillance forms, etc.) based on the type of commodity being imported and or the country of manufacture of the goods. There are several types of licenses required for imports:
- CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) License
- CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species Wild Fauna and Flora) Import and Export Licenses
- General Import Licenses are required for some
- munitions /arms
For some products it is sufficient to apply for an Import License with Invoice, Packing List and Bill of Lading / Air Waybill as proof. For some products you will require an Export License, Invoice, Air Waybill, etc. to ask for an import license.
Some Import Licenses are only valid when accompanied with a Certificate of Origin, etc.
For more information on licensing requirements for your products please see 'Useful Contact Information'.
Textile Certificate of Origin
Certificates of Origin may be required for the importation of textile products valued at over 45 Euros. Exemptions from this include; marked and mutilated samples, luggage made of textile materials, canvas bags, bona-fide gifts and personal effects. The country of origin is required to be stated on the Commercial Invoice. If preferential duty is claimed, supporting documents, such as Form A is required.
Exceptions from the Certificate of Origin, Declaration of Origin requirement include:
- bona-fide Gifts
- canvas bags
- luggage made up of textile materials
- properly marked and mutilated samples
It is recommended to provide a Certificate of Origin for every commodity subject to import licensing and/or quota restrictions from some origin countries and is required for all textile products imported into Belgium. A sample of the Certificate of Origin and Declaration of Origin is provided in the Global Trade Manager Document Library.
Please note: If some textile products are coming from countries with quantity maximums (quota), an Export License (from the originating country) may be required in addition to the Certificate of Origin.
Bilateral agreement quotas or "quantitative limits of import" have been assigned to specific countries for specific products to allow the controlled importation of specific products. Quotas do not prohibit the free flow of commodities, but aid the importing country to control the amounts imported and to avoid negative impact to local industry.
Dangerous goods certification
In addition to the standard documentation noted above, some goods may require DG certification. Examples of some commodities that may require dangerous goods certification are perfumes, liquor, chemicals, etc.
Preferential Certificate of Origin documents (EUR 1, Form A, ATR)
Belgium is a participating member in many trade groups and has some bilateral and multilateral preferential agreements, which offer preferential tariff/duty rates for qualifying goods imported directly from nations, which are granted these preferences. The Preferential Certificate of Origin must be properly completed by the exporter and validated by the locally designated agency or ministry in order to be honoured at the time of import. If your goods qualify for preferential treatment it is good to have an agreement between the supplier and consignee to ensure that they are always provided prior to the products being shipped. A Preferential Certificates of Origin is only necessary for those commodities subject to DUTY. Also note that in some countries, fees are associated with obtaining the documents and that the cost of obtaining the preference certificate may outweigh any benefit derived from a reduced rate of duty. Generally, shipments valued below 500 euro will not benefit from the issuance of a preference certificate, but the exporter should verify this prior to export as rates of duty vary by commodity.
If your goods qualify but the exporter fails to provide the proper preferential document, goods will be processed under normal entry processing and the importer will be required to pay full duty.
Low Value Preference Declarations are acceptable for some qualifying goods shipped from countries where preference agreements exist. A declaration may be provided on the Invoice in lieu of a Preference Certificate for most shipments valued between 5110- 6000 euro. Shipments that exceed 5110-6000 euro require the appropriate preference certificate to receive reduced duty benefit. Differences in the various preference agreements reached with Belgium's trading partner nations dictate at which value the preference declaration may be applied. You may contact customs locally or Belgian Customs for more information.
- Agrim/Agrex (cap-license for agriculture products, etc.)
- CE-label (for quality and safety ex. Toys etc.)
- fabric, footwear breakout
- Low Value preference declarations (for qualifying goods)
- phytosanitary (for plants and vegetable products)
- veterinary health (for animal products not for human consumption)
- veterinary health (foodstuff for human consumption)
- VI1 (for wine, grape, grape juice)
- waste certificate.
Below is a summary of the new rules for EU deminimis value effective January 2012:
• A commercial shipment below 22 Euros: no duty or VAT collected
• A commercial shipment between 22 Euros and 150 Euros: no duty but VAT collected
• A commercial shipment over 150 Euros: duty and VAT collected.