Belgium presents a great opportunity for companies seeking access to central Europe. Belgium boasts a strongly globalized economy with an infrastructure that serves as the crossroads to central Europe. Virtually all trans-European carriers have a significant presence in and around Belgium.
Belgium major imports include machinery, pharmaceuticals, and transport equipment. Belgium is the political centre of the European Union and strongly supportive of expanded power of EU institutions.
This post reviews things to consider when shipping from Canada to Belgium
- Delivery carrier options shipping Belgium from Canada
- Belgium customs clearance for imports to Belgium from Canada
- Shipping Shopify and other Online orders from Canada to Belgium
- IOSS and payment of VAT for ecommerce imports to Belgium and EU
- Shipping Personal Effects to Belgium from Canada
- Importing Canada origin goods to Belgium duty free under CETA rules
- Importing TO Canada for Belgium origin goods valued under CA$3,300
- Additional resources for shipping from Canada and shipping to Canada
Disclaimer: The information in Jet Worldwide online content, including this post, is for general information only and is not intended to, constitute legal and/or tax advice. Producers, shippers, exporters, importers should confirm their processes with their customs brokers, carriers and regulating authorities. All liability with respect to actions taken or not taken based on the contents of this site are hereby expressly disclaimed. The content on this posting is provided “as is”; no representations are made that the content is error-free.
Jet Worldwide provides parcel shipping solutions from anywhere in Canada to everywhere in Belgium, the EU and beyond
Import and Final Mile Delivery for Canadian Online Orders
Jet Worldwide offers Belgium and EU distribution options for higher volumes from Canadian retailers and online sellers. The processes them self enable Canadian retailers to grow their online orders to Belgium and European customers. Contact Jet's team for details.
Disclaimer: The information in this blog is for general information only. Producers, shippers, exporters, importers should confirm their processes with their customs brokers, carriers and regulating authorities.
Canadian Parcel Post Delivery Services to Belgium:
Canada Post offers the lowest cost option for individuals shipping small parcels to Belgium
Shipments to Belgium small parcels from Canada under 2 kg/ 4 pounds
Canada Post Small Packet Service to Belgium: Air, Express packet and Surface options
Shipments larger parcels Belgium from Canada
- Canada Post International Parcel Service to Belgium
- Canada Post Xpresspost service to Belgium: Delivery within 1 week
- Get a shipping Quote Belgium from Canada
FedEx and UPS delivery shipping Belgium from Canada
FedEx, UPS -along with DHL -offer quality delivery services to Belgium but they can be very expensive for individuals and medium sized businesses.
FedEx and UPS shipping options to Belgium include:
- Priority Air Express to Belgium
- International Economy Air shipping
- Get a comparison shipping quote for shipping Belgium from Canada
If you need more specific guidelines and restrictions for shipping parcels to Belgium from Canada, keep reading!
Disclaimer: The information below is meant as a general guide. We recommending working with the receiver and confirming you have the necessary paperwork before sending your parcel to Belgium.
Customs clearance for Imports to Belgium from Canada
Customs clearance requires the consignee to have a Belgian VAT number. This requires residency or representation within the country.
Common missing information we see on commercial invoice include:
For Audio/video cassettes and tapes: Information required includes the length and width of the tape, a brief explanations of the content and the reason for exportation
Software on CD's and floppy disks: Information required includes the value of software and value of the software support (the two cost of the two categories must be clearly delineated).
For information on how to value your shipment, check our our blog on valuing your shipments that you send to Belgium.
NOTE ON NEW VAT ASSESSMENT FOR ALL PARCELS IMPORTED TO BELGIUM:
While orders online orders shipped to Belgium (and all Europe Union countries) valued under €150 (around CA$220) can be imported duty free, VAT will be assessed. This includes items sold on eBay, Shopify, bigcommerce, and other e-commerce platforms. Read our blog on payment of VAT for online orders shipped to Europe.
Among the main changes are provisions for online marketplaces to be deemed the "supplier." As a supplier, the online marketplace will be held responsible for collection of VAT for online orders of up to €150. This new process, referred to as the Import One Stop Shop (IOSS), are designed to simplify the importation of online goods valued under €150. Contact Jet's logistics team for updates on new shipping options to Belgium and the European Union.
Shipping Canadian Shopify Orders to Belgium and the EU
Jet Worldwide is building international shipping solutions for Shopify, Canada's leading e-commerce platform. Building on Jet Worldwide’s decades of Canadian cross-border parcel shipping experience, our team is currently developing Shopify-integrated solutions for shipping to Belgium and the entire European Union, allowing businesses to “self-fulfill” their orders.
For updates on the latest international shipping solutions for Canadian online orders, connect with Jet Worldwide’s e-commerce team.
VAT Rules for Imports to Belgium and the European Union
All goods imported to the EU are subject to VAT. E-commerce shipments valued under EUR 150 can be imported via One-Stop Shop (IOSS) processes that allow sellers and online marketplaces to charge VAT at the point of sale and remit it directly to the authorities.
For details on IOSS and the otherEU’s VAT rules, visit: Publications Office of the European Union.
Import Clearance of Parcels to the Belgium
Virtually all carriers submit their information to customs electronically (EDI). Required fields necessary for EDI include:
1. The consignee’s VAT/ IBLC number (the lack of this information is a common cause of customs delay)
2. EORI number
An EORI number is assigned to importers and exporters by most European countries and is used in the process of customs entry declarations and customs clearance for both import and export. An EORI is number is stored both nationally and on a central EU EORI database primarily for statistical and security purposes.
3. AEO number (if applicable)
AEO is a privileged status granted to qualified entities. European countries grant Authorized Economic Operator/ AEO status to qualified companies who meet common criteria that includes customs compliance, appropriate record-keeping, financial solvency and, where relevant, appropriate security and safety standards.
4. Terms of sale of the shipment/ Incoterms.
Unless stated otherwise on the customs invoice, the default option for carriers is to assume the duty/ VAT fees will be paid by the consignee (Delivery Duty Unpaid). For information on valuation and Inco-terms, click here.
Shipping Personal Effects to Belgium
Personal effects to Belgium are eligible for clearance free of duty and taxes. The requirements of personal effects include:
- A detailed commercial invoice with a detailed listing of each item.
- A statement “PERSONAL EFFECTS. USED ITEMS NOT FOR RESALE”
Notes on Sending Personal Effects to Belgium
Shipment cannot include restricted items
Articles less than one year old and new items (such as gifts, souvenirs and clothing are not considered personal effects by customs and not exempt from duty/ VAT).
Personal effects are often subjected to inspection by Belgium customs to ensure compliance.
- Shipping of excess baggage to Belgium: Generally, it is simpler and easier to ship your personal effects as excess baggage when you travel. Carrier excess baggage fees for a couple of bags is most often less expensive than shipping separately without having to manage the entry requirements (discussed above).
- Shipping a box or several boxes: Jet Worldwide provides solutions shipping of international personal effects Spain from Canada via economy air. Get a shipping quote Belgium from Canada via Jet.
- Shipping a household/ container level: For shipping a full household, it is best to contact a moving specialists to arrange for packing and ocean transport.
Shipping product samples to Belgium from Canada:
Some product samples to Belgium can be considered exempt from duty and VAT. However, it is important to check with the consignee to ensure the necessary criteria is met.
Requirements for duty free importing of sample to Belgium include:
- Only a single item of each sample can be sent (for example, a pair of shoes is considered two items).
- “Mutilated” Items accepted as samples: Mutilation criteria include such things as having a prominent hole on the article, cutting a sleeve off a shirt, a hole in a single shoe
- “Marked” items accepted as samples: The item must be marked with word "SAMPLE" must be indelible contrasting ink and in such a manner that it can be easily seen upon inspection.
- Invoice Requirements: Parcels to Belgium containing samples must be noted on the invoice for customs. Wording that can be used include:
- Mutilated Samples, Not for Resale
- Marked Sample, Not for Resale
Note: Imported samples owned by individuals abroad also may be granted exemption from customs charges but require a special entry. If you wish to temporarily import a sample item of commercial value to Belgium, the requirements include:
Security deposit in amount of duty and tax, plus 10%.
Sample items must be exported from Belgium within one year
The items cannot be sold and used only for demonstration purposes
Sending Goods for Trade Shows
Being the centre of the EU, Trade Shows in Belgium are common. At Jet Worldwide, we get many inquiries for sending trade show items to Belgium. Most trade shows have arrangements with a dedicated customs broker to facilitate the efficient clearance of trade show items - such as booths and promotional material. We advise our customers to check with the Trade Show organizer and send Jet the instructions. We have local Belgium affiliates that can assist with a full range of support for managing your trade show logistics in Belgium.
Sending Parcels to Belgium containing Gifts
"Unsolicited gifts" sent to individuals in Belgium valued less €45 can be cleared free of duty/ VAT. Multiple gifts can be consigned in one shipment so long as the individual parcels enclosed are individually marked with the recipients name, are individually wrapped and the value does not exceed the per person limit of 45 EURO.
For individuals shipping small gifts to Belgium the best option is often Canada Post's small packet service.
Gifts sent to companies are not eligible for duty/VAT free status. We recommend to our customers who wish to send a gift to a company that they select our Delivery Duty Paid / DDP Service.
Items otherwise restricted do not qualify for the gift exemption. Belgium customs can be strict on allowing a gift exemption and want to make sure only “bona fide” gifts to individuals are exempt from duty/ VAT.
When sending a gift, be sure to clearly describe the item being sent and value. Also, include the notation that the items are “unsolicited gifts that have no commercial value and not for resale.”
General Standards for shipping to Belgium from Canada
Before sending your international parcel, it is best to check with the importer to ensure specific standards are met. As a member of the EU, Belgium enforces all EU directives such as :
- EU safety directives
- “CE” markings
- Electrotechnical Standardization
- Regulated batteries and accumulators (mercury content)
- Eco-label for personal computer
- Telecommunications standards
- When the origin declaration is completed for multiple shipments of identical originating products within the meaning of Article 19.5, indicate the period of time for which the origin declaration will apply. The period of time must not exceed 12 months. All importations of the product must occur within the period indicated. Where a period of time is not applicable, the field can be left blank.
- For EU exporters: When the origin declaration is completed by an approved or registered exporter the exporter's customs authorization or registration number must be included. A customs authorization number is required only if the exporter is an approved exporter. When the origin declaration is not completed by an approved or registered exporter, the words in brackets must be omitted or the space left blank. For Canadian exporters: The exporter's Business Number assigned by the Government of Canada must be included. Where the exporter has not been assigned a business number, the field may be left blank.
- "Canada/EU" means products qualifying as originating under the rules of origin of the Canada-European Union Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement. When the origin declaration relates, in whole or in part, to products originating in Ceuta and Melilla, the exporter must clearly indicate the symbol "CM".
- These indications may be omitted if the information is contained on the document itself. (5) Article 19.3 provides an exception to the requirement of the exporter's signature. Where the exporter is not required to sign, the exemption of signature also implies the exemption of the name
Duty Free Shipping FROM Belgium TO Canada: Low Value Duty Free
Canadian Customs (CBSA) has harmonized the value for which formal proof of origin is waived at CAD$3300, for all of Canada’s current Free Trade Agreements (including CETA)
This means that, proof of origin documentation (i.e., Certification of Origin, Certificate of Origin, origin declaration), is not required in order to apply preferential tariff treatment for shipments valued at CAD$3,300 or less.
Proof of Origin for Shipments Valued at CAD$3,300 and Less
For commercial importations valued at CAD$3300 or less, customs will accept a certifying statement on the Commercial Invoice stating that the goods originate in Belgium and qualify for preferential treatment under CETA.
The statement must include either the country of origin for the imported goods, reference that the request is being made under CETA provisions. Here is a sample statement:
“I hereby certify that the goods covered by this shipment qualifies as an originating good for the purposes of preferential treatment under Canada European Free Trade Agreement CETA”
Important Note: Claims for preferential tariff treatment over the CAD$3300 low-value threshold must be supported by the applicable proof of origin required by CETA . Refer to the Canadian Customs CBSA ‘Origin of Goods' webpage to confirm the requirements for your shipment.
Learn more about Jet Worldwide
Important Note: The information in Jet Worldwide online content, including this post, is for general information only and is not intended to, constitute legal and/or tax advice. The content on this all Jet Worldwide posts are provided “as is”; no representations are made that the content is error-free.
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