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International convention and customs procedures of Belgium

International Conventions
Member of the World Trade Organization (WTO)
Member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
Party to the Kyoto Protocol
Party to the Washington Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora
Party to the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal
Party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer
Party to the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls For Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies
Party to the International Coffee Agreement
International Economic Cooperation
Belgium is a member of the following international economic organisations: Benelux Economic Union, ICC, OECD, European Union, IMF, G-9, G-10, WTO, among others. For the full list of economic and other international organisations in which participates Belgium click here. International organisation membership of Belgium is also outlined here.
Non Tariff Barriers
At the European level, agricultural products are protected within the Common Agricultural Policy. Textile products from China, Belarus, North Korea, Montenegro, Kosovo and Uzbekistan are subject to particular formalities and import licenses or control procedures (such as export documents and monitoring documents).
Customs Duties and Taxes on Imports

Operations carried out within the EEA are duty-free.
The Common Customs Tariff of the European Union applies to goods originating outside Europe. Generally the duty is relatively low, ranging from 5.0% to 14% on industrial goods. However, many products have reduced duties or no duties at all by virtue of trade agreements (according to Eurostat, around 70% of the imports that enter the EU do so at zero tariff).
Agricultural products imported from outside the EU are subject to the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), with custom duties on these items being supplemented with a system of variable levies or other charges.

Customs Classification
The Combined Nomenclature of the European Union integrates the HS nomenclature and supplements it with its own subheadings with an eight-digit code number and its own Legal Notes created for Community purposes. In order to get exhaustive regulations and custom tariffs rates regarding their products, exporters shall refer to the TARIC code and its database, which includes all applicable customs duties and all customs trade policy measures for all goods.
Import Procedures
Customs procedures include, apart from importing with payment of duties, the following tax exemption procedures: release for consumption, transit or temporary admission, customs warehousing, inward processing, processing under customs control.

As part of the "SAFE" standards set out by the World Customs Organisation (WCO), the European Union has set up a system of import controls (Import Control System- ICS), which aims to secure the flow of goods at the time of their entry into the customs territory of the EU. This control system is part of the Community Programme eCustoms, which requires operators to pass an Entry Summary Declaration (ENS) to the customs of the country of entry, prior to the introduction of goods into the customs territory of the European Union. The EU recently introduced a new import control system called ICS2 to implement the EU customs pre-arrival security and safety programme.
The Single Administrative Document (SAD) is the official model for written declarations to customs. The SAD describes goods and their movement around the world and is essential for trade outside the EU, or of non-EU goods. Goods brought into the EU customs territory are, from the time of their entry, subject to customs supervision until customs formalities are completed. 

Since 1 July 2009, all companies established outside of the EU are required to have an Economic Operator Registration and Identification (EORI) number if they wish to lodge a customs declaration or an Entry/Exit Summary declaration.

The TARIC (Tarif Intégré de la Communauté) is available to help determine if a licence is required for a specific product. Furthermore, the European Commission maintains a trade helpdesk for exporters and importers with information regarding import restrictions of various products.

For more information please visit the European Commission's portal dedicated to Taxation and Customs Union.

Importing Samples
Samples are acceptable to Belgium and exempt from all Duty and VAT. A Certificate of Origin will not be required for import - only a standard Air Waybill or Bill of Lading and Commercial Invoice will be needed.
Belgium is part of the ATA Carnet convention.

Imported samples of commercial value owned by individuals abroad also may be granted exemption from customs charges. Security is required in the amount of duty and tax chargeable, plus an additional 10%. Samples are allowed to stay in Belgium for up to one year. Such samples are not permitted to be sold, put to normal use (except for demonstration purposes) or utilised in any manner for remuneration.

To go further, check out our service Import controls and Export Controls.

For Further Information
Paperless Custom and Excises Procedure
NCI Multiburo

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Latest Update: July 2024