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Customs & Regulatory Updates

Imports through the Port of Antwerp more attractive
20 December 2012

New regulations for VAT on imports Port of Antwerp

All importers who import non-EU goods into Belgium through the port of Antwerp under a Belgian VAT number will face positive changes.

At present, importers who bring goods into Belgium have to pay VAT immediately when the goods physically enter the country. This VAT can be recovered in the periodic VAT declaration, but this requires costly prefinancing. Currently it is also possible to defer VAT, but this is conditional on payment of a deposit. Prefinancing or deposit could be avoided by importing through a different port, but ending up with higher transport costs.

As of 1 January 2013 a new system comes into force for deferring VAT on imports. Prefinancing will no longer be required. VAT on imports is automatically deferred until the periodic VAT declaration and a deposit is no longer required. This will have a positive impact on cash flow and makes imports through the port of Antwerp more attractive.


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