I will return from a non-EU member state

  • What can I bring into Belgium from a non-EU member state(1) ?

    Goods having no commercial character contained in your personal luggage are exempted from import duties and taxes within certain limits (Downloadable file see table 1 (PDF, 23.99 KB)).
    You will be granted an exemption in the following cases :

    • You purchased goods in these countries all taxes included ;
    • You purchased goods in these countries with reimbursement or relief from taxes based on their export (for instance: purchases in a duty-free shop of an airport) ;
    • You were offered goods as a gift.

    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.

  • Which exit do I take when returning from a non-EU member state ?

    When you return home from a country - that is not a member of the European Union (1) or from a territory with a special tax status (2) you can always be submitted to a Customs check.

    If you have something to declare :

    • choose the red lane (or “Goods to declare”) in order to leave the airport.
    • use only the green lane (or“Nothing to declare”) when you are sure that you have nothing to declare or that the quantity of goods that you bring back does not exceed the threshold of the exemptions mentioned in the Downloadable file first table (PDF, 23.99 KB).

    The choice of which exit you take constitutes a declaration. When customs notices that you are importing forbidden goods or quantities exceeding the exemptions, you will not only have to pay the due duties and taxes at import, but also a fine.


    Remark :
    If you come to Belgium by air from a third country via an airport located in another Member state of the European Union, you must declare only the goods contained in your hand luggage to the Customs of this first airport where the transfer takes place inside the EU.


    (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.

    (2) The territories with a special tax status are the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, etc.), the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria,Tenerife, etc.), the DOM (French overseas departments that is to say French Guiana, the Reunion island, Guadeloupe and Martinique), the land islands and the Mount Athos, etc. The travelers coming back from the territories with a special tax status of the EU only enjoy the exemptions applicable to the non-EU Member countries.

  • Which goods are excluded from the exemption ?

    The exemption does not include :

    • goods needed for professional purposes ;
    • goods intended for resale ;
    • goods imported in far greater quantities than those commonly acquired at once by private individuals.

    You must declare these goods because the import duties and taxes are due.

  • What if I import goods in greater quantities ?

    If you import goods in greater quantities than those for which exemption is granted, you must declare them to Customs in order to avoid the payment of a fine in addition to the taxes due.

    • Customs will only tax those quantities that exceed the maximum (quantities) of tobacco products and/or alcoholic beverages allowed by the exemption.
    • Customs will collect taxes on the total value of the imported object from the category ‘other goods’ (Downloadable file see table 1 (PDF, 23.99 KB)).
  • What can I purchase in duty-free shops ?
    • Your purchases in duty-free shops in an EU airport are exempted from any tax (and are unlimited) if you travel from an EU Member State to a non-EU country by means of a non-stop flight or by a stop flight in a Member State of EU (but with any possibility to get your hold luggage back at this stop over).

    As a general rule, those purchases are intended to be used or consumed only in the non-EU country and are not intended to be re-imported into the EU.

    • When returning to the EU however, you will only enjoy the exemptions mentioned in Downloadable file the first table (PDF, 23.99 KB). You must pay the import duties and taxes on your purchases exceeding the exemption.
  • What to do when traveling with valuables ?

    When you travel to non-EU Member States and take valuables in your luggage, please ask for information from Customs in order to know formalities to be able to re-import these goods duty-free when returning to EU journey.