United States to Belgium
Country or Territory Regulations Topics:
Commodity Specific Stipulations
There are special stipulations on the following commodities when shipping to Belgium. If you plan to ship one of the commodities listed below, be sure to adhere to the following stipulations in order to avoid delays and holds at customs.
- Products Of Animal Origin are goods which contain at least partly material derived from the body of an animal. These products can be divided in food or non-food.
Food means any substance, whether processed, semi-processed or raw, which is intended for human consumption, but does not include cosmetics or substances used only as pharmaceuticals.
Non-Food (not intended for human consumption) includes animal by-products, animal feed, samples for testing or research purposes (food-grade or non-food grade), and in vitro diagnostics (IVD).
Animal products and animal by-products are often subject to a veterinary inspection. These products can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC). In addition those products must undergo veterinary checks at an approved Veterinary Border Inspection Post (BIP) when entering the EU & EFTA countries or territories (EU regulations are aligned for EU countries or territories and NO; IS; CH; LI).
For UPS shipments arriving in the EU by air, Cologne is the first point of arrival /BIP. Inspections will be processed at Cologne but final customs clearance process will be issued in the destination country or territory.
Additional charges for Vet-inspection will be applicable see Brokerage Services and Charges.
Generally, each type of Product of Animal Origin has specific import requirements that must be met. Food which is subject to veterinary inspections must:
Come from an EU listed Third Country or Territory (no safeguard measures in place)
Come from an EU approved establishment . Registered producers are listed under the following link: http://ec.europa.eu/food/international/trade/third_en.htm
Be accompanied by appropriate Health Certificate(s), signed by a veterinarian of the competent authority of country or territory of export. Photocopies of the Health Certificate will not be accepted.
Be appropriately packaged and labelled, indicating the nature, ingredients, quantity/ weight, the country or territory of origin and manufacturer.
Any foodstuff coming from non-approved establishments, sent as samples for testing purposes, can only be imported with a permit/license from a respective national veterinary authority. The permit/license must be send to the border inspection point responsible for the veterinary inspection. Delays may occur as the license needs to be provided already at the time of inspection.
Any non-compliant shipment must be returned at shippers expense immediately. The following exemptions apply to non-commercial shipments / gift shipments or purchased by private individuals for private consumption):
Meat, meat products, animal fat - max. 10 kg from Faroe Island and Greenland.
Fish and fish products (with intestines and organs removed) - max. 20 kg from all third countries or territories; no limitation from Faroe Islands.
Other animal products (for example, honey, egg, frog, live mussels - max. 10 kg from Faroe Islands and Greenland, and max. 2 kg from all other third countries or territories).
- Tickets for events like stage performances, football matches or concerts must be sent as non-doc shipments. The invoice must show the manufacturing cost of the ticket.
- Fish and fish products are considered animal products.
- The European Union (EU) has placed an import ban on Honey from certain countries or territories. Before shipping Honey to a European Union country or territory, it is highly recommended to contact your local chamber of commerce or your importer for detailed information. If the importation is allowed by the European Union, the shipment must be accompanied by an original health certificate provided by the shipper/producer, otherwise, importation will not be possible. Furthermore, a vet inspection at the first point of arrival into the EU is required, even for sample shipments. Brokerage accessorial charges will apply and an import delay may occur. If the shipper fails to verify the import regulation of the destination country or territory and sends honey which is prohibited by the European Union, then all charges that may apply for the respective shipment will be billed back to the shipper.
- All shipments require an invoice.
- If the value exceeds limits specified in the UPS Tariff, an IHVW contract will be required.
- Customers must use an authorized UPS / MBE (Mail Boxes Etc) Store, UPS Customer Center or ISC Approved Shipper to ship personal effects.
The UPS Store, Mail Boxes Etc, UPS Customer Center or ISC approved shipper will be required to identify personal effect shipments on the shipping label by placing "Personal Effects" in the Reference Field of a UPS "smart" label or in the Special Instructions Field of a UPS waybill. They must also clearly indicate 'Personal Effects' shipment on the Commercial Invoice.
Personal Effects are classified as used items (owned for a minimum of 6 months) intended for the consignee's personal use. Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis. "Personal Effects" must be clearly stated on the invoice and goods description.
All of the following documents must be scanned into DIS/SIR and originals on the package:
An inventory list with estimated values with the reason for importation (holidays, move, relocation) A confirmation that the goods are older than 6 months and that they are intended for personal use only A photocopy of passport or ID card Any items intended for any other use, such as wholesale or retail sales, business purposes, or for distribution are not considered personal effects and cannot be shipped on this basis.
Excisable goods (for example, perfume, alcoholic drinks, tobacco), medicine and perishable food can not be cleared as personal effects.
Personal effects shipments are not allowed in combination with Return Services.
- The UPS waybill must indicate whether the samples are marked or mutilated.
Marked or mutilated samples of a low value can be imported duty and tax free.
For non-mutilated samples, the duty and tax free importation depends on the case by case decision of the responsible customs officer. If not accepted, the samples must be cleared within a formal customs declaration. A detailed invoice needs to be provided with product description and intrinsic value of the goods according to GATT / customs valuation.
- In order to avoid wrong customs declarations at import, it is mandatory that the exporter provide very detailed information about the shoes (for example, what kind of leather, what material used for soles and uppers, what kind of shoes (sport shoes, sandals, boots), who is to wear the shoes (children, women, men).
- Soft drinks and energy drinks are subject to excise duties. Any substance in any form used for the manufacturing of soft drinks or energy drinks (for example, extracts used in the manufacturing process) will be subject to excise duties, even if imported separately.
- Most of modern test reagents for diagnostic research are built on antibodies which are generated from animal tissue. There are two types of antibodies, the monoclonal antibodies and polyclonal antibodies.
Monoclonal antibodies are generated in vitro. Tissue from animals are taken (e.g. blood) and infected with certain substances or pathogens. The blood cells react with the production of antibodies which are than harvested and used for the production of the test kits. Due to the in vitro production and the controlled way of production those types of test kits are not subject to veterinarian control if it is a commercial production.
Polyclonal antibodies are gained from living animals like rabbits. They are infected with the substances / pathogens and the animals are producing antibodies. The antibodies are harvested from the blood stream of the animals. Test reagents with polyclonal antibodies are subject to vet inspections.
Shipment documents (commercial invoice or declaration on letterhead) should include:
the place of origin of the material
the quantity of the material, in weight or volume
a description of the material/ animal source
catalogue number and price (if available)
additives (e.g., sodium azide, glycerol), their source (e.g., whole serum, supernatant, ascites), and purification, if any.
protocols the recommended protocol or datasheet indicating any unique fixation, detergent, blocking, or incubation conditions.
the intended use (commercial/ manufacturing; research/ testing)
the name and address of the shipper
the name and address of the receiver
Commercially packaged, ready-to-use In Vitro Diagnostics (IVD) containing products of animal of origin, do not require a Vet-inspection, if compliant with Directive 98/79/EC on In Vitro Diagnostic Medical Devices. A declaration of conformity (CE-marking) must be provided for each individual commodity (e.g. reagents, test kits, immunosorbent assays such as ELISA kits).
- A certificate of origin is not required for the import clearance of textiles. The need of a certificate of origin for the import clearance was reversed on October 24, 2011.
The country or territory of origin must be stated on the invoice for each invoice line. If the customs authorities doubt the correctness of the declared country or territory of origin they may request an additional proof which might be a certificate of origin.
- Data shipments require an invoice with the character of the USB stick (storing intercompany data) and the value of the USB Stick.
Prohibited or Restricted Commodities
In addition to the commodities which UPS prohibits to all countries or territories served (listed here), it is prohibited to ship the following commodities to Belgium.
- Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted ISC contract service.
The contractual service covers the customs clearance of alcohol at the port of entry where duty, VAT and excise duty must be paid. A customs clearance of alcohol for free circulation with a subsequent transport of alcohol under the excise duty suspension regime is not possible. The customs clearance in Belgium and the subsequent transport to another EU member state is not part of the service. A transit in bond from the port of entry to the customer or his broker is not an option.
Alcoholic beverages are subject to excise duty. Excise duty applies usually on the amount of beverage and the percentage of alcohol. The information must be shown on the invoice.
Additional rules apply on the import of wine and wine products. Please check under wine.
- Endangered plants and animals protected by the multilateral treaty of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), must be accompanied by a valid CITES Certificate.
All import, export, re-export and introduction from the sea of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a licensing system.
Shipper needs to provide the following documentation:
Invoice with the scientific name and CITES certificate.
Additional charges will be applicable. Products of animals or plants subject to CITES can only be accepted under a special contract for International Special Commodities (ISC).
- Based on the EU regulation 2009/669/EC certain foodstuffs (for example tea with origin China) imported from certain third countries or territories are subject to increased level of official controls due to contamination risks of these products by aflatoxinson and pathogens. These controls are carried out at Designated Point of Entries (DPE) defined by each member state.
The import of feed and food originating in or consigned from Japan following the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power station and not subject to vet inspection can only be imported into the EU through Designated Point of Entries (DPE). They must be accompanied by a declaration attesting that the goods are either harvested or processed before March 11, 2011, originated from a prefecture other than the ones affected by higher levels of radiation or if originated from an affected prefecture have been subjected to laboratory analysis determining the level of certain radionuclides (regulation 2011/297/EC).
The customs office responsible for our import sites are not defined as DPE. Commodities subject to import controls at a DPE can't be imported with UPS.
- Guns and gun parts can only be imported with an import license. The original license must be provided with the declaration. Delays will occur.
- UPS provides International Dangerous Goods service for shipments between the U.S. and selected European countries or territories by contract only.
Accessorial charges of US$40.00 apply as follows:
- Hazardous Materials Class 9 (HAZ)
- Hazardous Materials All Other Classes (HAN)
- Medicine is only available by a doctor's prescription. The prescription must be delivered to a doctor who has physically examinated the patient, not by an online consultation.
Furthermore, if a medicine is ordered with a prescription receipt provided after consultation by a Belgian doctor in medicine, the product must be sent to an pharmacist who is recognized as importer.
Only items without prescriptions can be sent to Belgium, but in general limited to basic vitamins.
- Valuable Commodities
Belgium has introduced new legislation that prevents precious stones, platinum and gold, as well as checks and vouchers which are accepted in retail trade as payment, from being accepted for inbound Belgium packages and shipments, unless they are transported by a private security company.
UPS is not registered as a security company and as such these Items cannot accepted for transportation by UPS into Belgium and will not be eligible to receive an IHVW contract.
- It is possible to clear perfume through the UPS simplified customs procedure at the customs office where UPS Brokerage operates. Perfume is not covered by the deminimis threshold and has to be declared within a formal declaration. Only a limited amount or perfume can be imported without duty and VAT as gifts (see gift exemptions).
- According to the customs legislation, living plants, parts of plants, fruits, vegetables and seeds are considered as plants.
A Phytosanitary Certificate must accompany all shipments of plants. Most plants require a phytosanitary inspection by the responsible Belgian authority.
It is not possible to clear plants through the UPS simplified customs procedure at the customs office where UPS Brokerage operates. The local customs house is not allowed to clear plants. All shipments must be forwarded under customs bond to an authorized broker, assigned by the importer, who is allowed to clear the goods at a designated customs office.
Accessorial charges will apply and import delays will occur.
- The European Union (EU) has implemented specific conditions and detailed procedures for the import of plastic kitchenware (HS-Code 3924 1000 11) made of polyamide and melamine and originated in or consigned from China or Hong Kong (regulation 284/2011). Tableware (for example plates, flatware, cups) are excluded from the restrictions. The reason for the new regulation were notifications and alerts by the European 'Rapid Alert System'-kitchen tableware was recognized which exceed the thresholds of aromatic amines and formaldehyde released into food.
Based on the regulation, controls must be performed at the point of introduction into the EU by the competent authorities. They include documentary checks on all consignments and identity or physical checks (including laboratory checks) on 10% of the consignments. All consignments of kitchen tableware (HS code 3924 1000) originated or consigned from China or Hong Kong must be accompanied by a declaration confirming that it meets the requirements concerning the release of primary aromatic amines and formaldehyde. The declaration shall be accompanied by a laboratory report that the consignments fulfill the requirements.
The goods and declaration must be examined at the first point of introduction into the EU.
The consignments shall be notified at the first point of introduction at least two working days in advance.
Our main points of entry (Cologne, Germany and East Midlands, United Kingdom) are not competent to perform the checks and forwarding under bond is prohibited without the checks. Products covered by the new regulation and destined to the EU can't be accepted by UPS. Exporters should clearly state on the invoice the material and the country or territory of origin of plastic kitchenware to avoid holds on commodities not subject to the regulation.
- Products made in Iran are prohibited in our service due to a current embargo.
- The importation into, or exportation from Belgium) of any rough diamond is prohibited, from whatever source, unless the rough diamond has been controlled through the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). Rough diamonds, which have become known as conflict diamonds, are defined as diamonds used by rebel movements to finance military action opposed to legitimate and internationally recognized governments.
The KPCS is a joint government internationally recognized certification system that imposes extensive requirements on its members to enable them to certify shipments of rough diamonds as conflict-free and prevent conflict diamonds from entering legitimate trade.
- See Plants.
- It is not possible to clear any kind of tobacco or tobacco products through the UPS simplified customs procedure at the customs office where UPS Brokerage operates. UPS is not authorized to declare tobacco products on behalf of the consignee. UPS is also not able to send tobacco products under bond to an alternate broker. The products must be destroyed under custom control.
- Shipping of alcoholic beverages is only permitted ISC contract service. For general service restrictions please see info under alcoholic beverages.
Wine and wine products are subject to excise duty. The excise duty is calculated based on the alcoholic strength by volume. The information must be shown on the invoice.
The import of wine and wine products is also regulated by a market organization of the European Union with rules on labelling and presentation of wine and additional documentation. The Importation of wine and wine products are subject to the presentation of a:
Certificate showing drawn up by a competent body, included on a list to be made public by the Commission, in the products country or territory of origin.
An analysis report drawn up by a body or department designated by the products country or territory of origin, in so far as the product is intended for direct human consumption.
No certificate or analysis report need be presented for products originating in and exported from third countries or territories in labelled containers of not more than five litres fitted with a non-reusable closing device where the total quantity transported, whether or not made up of separate consignments, does not exceed 100 litres.
The labels of wine and wine products have to show some the following compulsory particulars like the category of the product (e.g. wine, sparkling wine, liquor wine), the protected designation or protected geographical indication if the wine has such a protection, the actual alcohol strength by volume, an indication of provenance, an indication of the bottler or an indication of the producer or vendor in case of sparkling wine and other product categories of sparkling wine.
The rules are laid down in EU regulation 2009/491. The regulation can be checked on the EU website http://eur-lex.europa.eu/homepage.html.