Belgium: regulations of VAT return in case of import of goods

In principle, when goods are imported in Belgium, import VAT is immediately due to the Belgian customs authorities at the moment of the physical import. This import VAT can then be recovered through the Belgian VAT return.

However, several months pass before this import VAT can effectively be deducted. To avoid this pre-financing, under certain circumstances the taxpayer can apply for a so-called special import license allowing him/her to pay the import VAT through the periodic VAT return and to immediately report it as deductible VAT in the same return as well. Through this reverse charge, no import VAT has to be paid effectively to the customs authorities.

However, this import license previously has only been granted under the condition of a deposit that is equal to 1/24 of the VAT due on the actual imports during the four quarters preceding the application.

The Council of Ministers agreed that the license for deferral of import VAT payment will no longer require a deposit. The license as such will not be changed and therefore the license number granted to companies in the past will remain valid. Also the other conditions concerning the license remain unchanged (e.g. no license can be requested for occasional imports).

For new license requests filed as of 1 October 2012, no deposit will be required anymore.

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