Moving Overseas to or From Belgium

 

As with any international move, the devil really is in the details. There are a lot of decisions you must make, from how you are getting your belongings to your new home in a new country, to what you even want to bring with you.

You will need to decide whether you need a full or half container, whether to bring a vehicle or leave it. How can you make such decisions without understanding the international moving costs? You can’t. Fortunately, this guide should give you some insights into the costs of shipping your household goods to Belgium.

Starting with estimates for container shipping is a good place to start. To ship a full container from New York to Brussels will cost between $6,900-$9,400. From Sydney, Australia, the cost would be between $12,700-$17,000. Working with a shipper is the only way to get a price you can count on.

Will I owe taxes and customs duty for my household goods?

Qualifying for tax and duty-free imports to Belgium is pretty simple. Ask these questions to see if you qualify:

  • Have you moved to Belgium within the past 12 months?
  • Have you owned these items since at least six months before your move?
  • Is your shipment free of prohibited or restricted items?

Pretty simple, right? Even without taxes, there is still a lot of paperwork you must collect. Here are some of the most important ones:

  • Valid passport with at least six months left before expiration
  • Proof of your residency outside of the country of Belgium for a minimum of 12 months
  • Proof of new residence in Belgium
  • Bill of Lading for your overseas shipment or an Air Waybill for air shipments
  • Detailed inventory with values and serial numbers
  • Residence or work permit
  • Box-by-box packing list
  • Power of Attorney to allow customs agents to handle and process your shipment
  • Proof that you have terminated residence in your home country

Remember, anything that you import to Belgium tax and duty-free cannot be sold or disposed of in any way for at least a year after you arrive. If you must, you will be obliged to retroactively pay taxes and duty on that item.

Can I bring my vehicle to Belgium?

You are permitted to import a vehicle to Belgium as long as you meet the requirements. First, you must import your vehicle to Belgium within six months of your arrival. You will not be required to pay any duty for your vehicle if it has less than 6000km of mileage and you have owned it at least six months. Outside of those mileage parameters, you can still import your vehicle, but you will need to pay tax and duty based on an assessment of vehicle value.

The first thing you must do is contact the local Douane, or customs officials. The Douane will want to see the following documents:  

  • Proof of purchase
  • Vehicle Insurance from your home country
  • License plates and registration from your home country
  • Vehicle title (no liens)
  • Driver’s License (for North Americans, also an International Driver’s License)

Remember, that in order to qualify for duty-free import, you must commit to keeping possession of your vehicle for at least a year after you arrive in Belgium.

Once you have cleared your vehicle with customs, you must obtain two additional certificates to be ready to drive. The Certificate of Conformity can be obtained from a dealer or mechanic who can assess your vehicle for conformity to European vehicle standards. This part can take a lot of time, so plan ahead. Once you have this, you can now visit the Belgian keuring center to obtain your Certificate of Roadworthiness.

Can I get help with my overseas move?

International shipping is a complicated endeavor. Your items will change hands many times on their way. How can you make sure every part of that process goes smoothly? Working with an  international shipping expert like Three Men and a Truck gives you the best chance for success. They have the tools and expertise to not only get your stuff moved, but to also keep track of your shipment every step of the way. You can’t put a price on peace of mind. Contact us today to learn more.

 

Written by Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend

Chris Townsend is a moving professional and relocation expert that has more than 10 years of experience in the moving industry. With a background that includes working in virtually every aspect of the company, he has distinguished himself as an integral part of our operations with expertise in all things related to moving.

If you have any questions about moving, our services, or anything else you think he may be able to help with, you can contact Chris by emailing him at Chris@threemenandatruck.net

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