Duties and Taxes

Why do I have to pay VAT and/or import duties?

Because you are probably not familiar with a VAT and/or import duties invoice, we made a list of all frequently asked questions below. The FAQ will explain what all these duties are about.

Do you have any more questions? Feel free to call our customer service on 02 752 75 75.

What are VAT, import duties and advance fees and why do I have to pay these costs?

What is VAT and what are import duties?
VAT and import duties are taxes which may apply to products imported from countries outside the European Union.
Import duties are a way to protect countries against cheaper products from third countries. Besides import duties you will also usually have to pay value added tax (VAT). For more information about other possible costs related to your shipment, click here and go to ‘possible costs related to shipments’.

Who pays these taxes?
VAT and import duties are payable by the receiver, unless the sender or third party specified on the air waybill that he accepts the costs.

What is an advance fee?
If duties or VAT are charged for import, FedEx will pay these legally established costs on behalf of the customer in advance to Belgian customs. This allows us to deliver the shipment to you quickly. FedEx will charge 2.5% of the advanced sum to you (with a minimum of €12.50).

Why do I receive an invoice for VAT and/or import duties?
You imported a shipment through FedEx. FedEx advanced these duties and charges them to you by means of an invoice. When goods are imported through FedEx, customs formalities obviously still have to be fulfilled. In most cases FedEx will take care of the customs formalities for you. Besides any taxes you may owe, FedEx also charges expenses (see advance fee).

Why was I not aware of these taxes?

Why did FedEx not tell me about it when the shipment was delivered?
FedEx handles a €150 credit limit for private persons and €750 for companies with a valid VAT registration for the first shipment. If the duties are higher, we will give you an estimate of the VAT and/or import duties before your shipment is delivered. For the next shipment we handle a limit on the basis of payment behaviour.

What should I do if I have already paid VAT and/or import duties?

I already paid VAT when I bought the product from the supplier.
The VAT you pay to the supplier of the product is unrelated to the VAT you pay when you import the product in Belgium. This tax is levied by the national government. The VAT at import is calculated on the basis of the value of the goods, the total freight costs of the shipment and customs duties.

I have paid the VAT and/or import rights in advance.
You have paid an estimated amount of VAT and/or import duties for your shipment. This estimate was made before the shipment was effectively imported. If the estimated amount is lower than the actual taxes, we ask you to pay the difference. FedEx always follows the instructions specified on the air waybill. If anything is not clear with regard to the advance payments, please contact the sender.

According to me the sender has already paid all costs for this shipment.
The VAT and/or import duties are only paid when imported in the country of destination. The sender indicates on the air waybill who will pay the import duties and VAT. If anything is unclear, please contact the sender.

I think the taxes do not apply to my shipment

I am a temporary visitor in Belgium
You still have to pay these taxes, but you may be able to recover the costs as soon as you leave Belgium. This depends on the specific shipment and does not apply to private persons. For more information please refer to the Belgian Customs website.
Please feel free to call our customer service for more information on 02 752 75 75.

I bought the goods online
The prices advertised on websites outside the EU are usually exclusive of the taxes imposed in Belgium and the EU.
Please refer to the website of the tax administration for more information.

The shipment is a gift
Shipments with a value of up to €45 are exempted of import duties and VAT when the following criteria are met:

  • The shipment is sent from a private person to a private person.
  • The sender is a private person and the address of the receiver is a private address.
  • The shipment has an incidental character.
  • The nature and quantity of the shipment is such that the shipment is not of a commercial nature.
  • The goods are sent by the sender without requiring payment.
  • The air waybill and the pro forma invoice must contain the word ‘gift’.
  • The pro forma invoice must also contain a full description and the value of the shipment.

Goods to which excise duties apply, like tobacco and alcohol, are exempt of the exemption up to €45.

The shipment contains samples
Samples can be imported in Belgium without levying VAT and/or import rights when the following criteria are met:

  • The content of the shipment is unsuitable for sale;
  • The content of the shipment has a negligible value;

This information must be stated on the invoice and on all other paperwork belonging to the shipment. With this information customs can clear the shipment on the basis of correct data. Click here for more information.

My goods are second-hand
VAT and/or import duties are levied on goods regardless of their age or previous owner. If you buy an authentic work of art special tariffs apply if the goods meet the right criteria.

What do I have to do if I want to refuse a shipment?

How do I refuse a shipment?
In order to be classified as a ‘refused shipment’ the shipment must meet the following criteria:

  • The goods are faulty or damaged or the goods do not meet the supplier’s conditions or contractual provisions.
  • All claims have to be made before the shipments are returned or destroyed.
  • All claims must be reported within 21 calendar days after the import took place.

Click here to submit a claim or call our customer service on 02 752 75 75.

Where can I find more information?

I want more information about VAT and import rights.
Click on the links below for more information about:

I have a general question about my invoice or about my account.
Click here for contact information or call our customer service on 02 752 75 75.

How do I have to pay my invoice?

  • BACS

Contact and bank details Belgium

By bank transfer:
Name: Federal Express Europe Inc
Bank: KBC BANK
Iban : BE75437750432151
Bic/Swift : KREDBEBB

When transferring the money it is important to specify the invoice number in the comments field. If you want to be sure of the correct processing of your payments when paying several invoices together, please e-mail a payment specification to becashapps@fedex.com

  • Credit Card

Credit card:

FedEx accepts all common credit cards. Please call our customer service on +32 2 752 75 75 to make a credit card payment.

More information

  • Direct Debit

Direct debit:

You can pay by means of a direct debit mandate with ongoing authorisation. The necessary documents are available at our collections department on 0032 2 752 7988 or 0032 2 752 7488 or send your request by e-mail to becollections@fedex.com.

All information is correct at time publication and Federal Express Europe Inc accept no responsibility for information relating to third party contact details changing without prior notice. Belgian Customs make the final decision on all imports. Terms and conditions regarding your Federal Express Europe Inc invoice are printed on the reverse of the invoice.