Importing a Vehicle From a Non-European Union Country

Find out about the tax, customs and registration requirements for vehicles imported from outside of the EU...

This is a more complicated, and lengthier, process than importing a vehicle from within the EU. As a result, many people either choose not to import their vehicle, or find they require the services of a specialist broker or agent. Bringing a vehicle into Belgium from outside the EU as part of personal and household effects can mean that it is exempt from customs duties and VAT. However, the owner must have lived outside the EU for at least the previous twelve months, have bought the car outside the EU and have driven it for at least six months prior to arrival, have already paid the VAT equivalent in another country, and must subsequently keep the vehicle for personal use for a minimum of twelve months following import. Customs clearance must be given before starting the registration process.
  • Belgian customs (Ministère des Finances Services Douane/Ministerie van Financier Kantoor Douane) At: Rue Picard 1-3, 1210 Brussels
  • To find a local customs office: Custom Office contacts
Belgian customs must be provided with the following documents:
  • Letter requesting exemption from customs duties and VAT
  • The bill of sale/invoice for the car
  • Certificate of ownership or title
  • Receipt to prove payment of sales tax (VAT equivalent)
  • Certificate of insurance for at least the six months prior to import
  • Proof of residency outside the EU for at least 12 months prior to arrival in Belgium
  • Shipping document for personal effects
If a vehicle has been owned for less than six months, or does not meet the requirements for import duty exemption for any other reason, the owner will be liable for both customs duties and VAT based on the market value of the car.

Registration and plates

Essentially, the process is the same as for EU vehicles. The vehicle still needs its own Belgian licence plates, and to obtain these the same documentation will be required by the DIV. Note: the DIV issues only one licence plate (plaque); the vehicle owner will have to make up the other or have it made. DIY kits can be bought from auto supply shops.

Further Information