I will return from an EU member state

  • What can I bring into Belgium from an EU member state (1) ?

    You will not pay any excise duties in Belgium on the excise goods which you purchased as a private person and for your own use in another Member State of the EU if you transport these goods by yourself. This applies only to goods for which the excise duties have already been paid in the Member State of purchase. “For your own use”means that the good will be used or consumed by you or your household.

    In all other cases the Customs will consider these goods as moved into Belgium for commercial purposes, which means that the excise duties are due in Belgium.

    To decide whether the goods are actually intended for the own use of the private person who introduced them into Belgium, the European Union has established the following criteria available to the Administration :

    • the commercial status and the reasons for travelling ;
    • the place of storage ;
    • the mode of transport ;
    • any document related to the products ;
    • the nature of those products and their quantities according to the following guide levels ( table 2 (PDF, 519.91 KB)).

    These criteria are only indicative levels that draw the attention of the General Administration of Customs and Excise to the fact that excise goods transported by private person could have a commercial character. In that case, excise duties would have to be paid in Belgium.

    The Customs will decide whether the goods are used for commercial purpose or not based only on tangible elements (that corroborate its decision).

    (1) The Member States of the EU are Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

    The territories with special tax status include the Channel Islands (Guernsy, Jersey, etc.), the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife, etc.), the overseas departments (French Guiana, Réunion, Guadeloupe and Martinique), the Aland Islands and Mount Athos... Exemptions for imports from a territory with special tax status for the EU are limited to those granted to travellers coming from non-EU countries.

  • What can I purchase in duty-free shops ?
    • When you buy in duty-free shops in an EU airport, your purchases always include excise duties and VAT. Therefore your purchases are not at all tax-free.
    • When you travel to a territory with a special tax status, when you buy in duty-free shops in an EU airport, the rules for non-EU Member States are applicable: your purchases are tax-free.