1 / When do I have to pay import taxes?
In most cases, fees are required for the importation of goods into the country of destination. These charges depend on local regulations, the type of goods being imported and their value. Each type of good is listed under a customs code and importing countries apply tax according to this customs code.
However, some countries apply special rates or have a tax exemption on certain goods. For example, the import of original works of art or antiques in the United States is exempt from taxes.
2 / Are you able to determine in advance how much I should pay?
Unfortunately, we do not know all the rates for each item in each country. From experience, we know some rates for the United States. A search on the internet can often answer some of your questions.
For specific advice, feel free to contact a customs agent in the destination country who can assist you with your questions.
In Belgium, the duties and import taxes are collected by the Customs and Excise Administration. You can visit their website at:http://fiscus.fgov.be/interfdanl/fr/index.htm
for further information regarding fees and taxes.
3 / Will there be customs controls?
Yes, customs controls may be carried out, but are not frequent. Customs can open packages to check the contents. A note is then placed on the package stating that it has been checked.
If this happens, the originator (sender or recipient) is responsible for paying all additional costs (additional transportation fees for scanning and returning the package, storage costs, etc).
4 / Who should handle the customs clearance?
For each item, there are two customs declarations, one in the country of departure and one in the country of arrival.
Nous nous occupons dans tous les cas du dédouanement au départ.
We deal with all types of customs clearances.
Upon its arrival at destination, a package must be cleared (for shipments outside the EU).
Clearance can be done by the recipient himself, by a customs agent of their choice or by the customs agent of the airline or shipping company. Clearance fees and any import taxes will be invoiced upon arrival. For basic items, the customs agent of the shipping company is often a convenient solution.
For some difficult countries or for specific goods, we recommend that you contact a customs agent to advise you with relevant information on the best way to declare the goods. Consider this for countries like China, Russia, Asia and all of Africa in general.
5 / What happens once a package has arrived? What must the recipient provide in order to receive his package?
For door-to-door deliveries, an arrival note is sent to the client or he or she may be contacted by phone once the package has arrived at the airport or port of destination.
A local staff will ask the recipient if he or she already has a customs agent or if s/he needs one. If the recipient needs an agent to provide clearance services, s/he will need to provide a commercial invoice or a pro forma invoice and a Power of Attorney (POA) allowing the agent to clear the goods on his or her behalf. Entry taxes will be determined and an invoice will be sent to the client with costs for the customs clearance and local taxes.
Once these fees are paid, the parcel will be delivered to the final destination.
6 / I am organizing an event / exposition, but I do not want to pay import taxes in the country of destination. Is this possible?
This is definitely possible; it is called temporary importation. The customs of the exporting country will need to be informed that goods are leaving, but should not be taxed on their return. The importing country should also be informed that the goods are intended to be returned so there is no need to tax the importing country. This requires that the goods are re-exported after the exhibition. We handle temporary export and import procedures.
7 / What does the customs of the importing country require to ensure that the goods will be exported again after the exposition?
When the package arrives in the destination country, a deposit equivalent to the import taxes is requested. This deposit is blocked in an account and can be recovered once the package is re-exported.
8 / What does the customs of the exporting country require to ensure that the goods returning from the exhibition are the same goods that left?
A list of the goods must be provided with two sets of color photos for each item. These photos are presented to customs upon departure and are compared to the items upon their return.
9 / What happens if an item is sold at the exhibition?
If an item is sold at the exhibition, customs will need to be informed so that the import tax on the item sold is deducted from the deposit.