Belgium simplifies VAT import warehouse scheme
For businesses importing goods into Europe for the first time, the Belgian VAT authorities have introduced an attractive simplification of the requirements. Importers will no long have to put up a bank guarantee to cover the deferred import VAT bill.
When bringing goods into the European Union for the first time, known as free circulation, an import VAT liability arises. Importers must pay this before the country’s customs will generally release the goods.
To help encourage the development of a Belgian import and distribution industry, the government created an import VAT deferment scheme which required a deposit to be made with the Belgian government, typically worth several months VAT.
The Belgians will now drop this requirement from 1 October 2012. Any companies with deposits already in place will be able to submit an application for a refund after 1 January 2013.
In addition, importers will alternatively be able to appoint a local VAT fiscal representative to bring the goods in under their VAT number. This will eliminate the need for many importers to register for Belgian VAT.