Belgian Minister of Finance, Vincent Van Peteghem, announced last week that a new European Union law on shopping outside the EU will come into force on 1 July 2021. Under the new law, goods that are imported from outside the EU are no longer given preferential treatment compared with goods that are sold within the EU. Currently, and until 30 June 2021, no VAT is payable on shipments from outside the EU containing goods with a combined value less than or equal to 22 euros.
This means that VAT and any customs duties will be charged on all goods purchased in non-EU online stores that arrive in Belgium from 1 July. This also covers shipments that are ordered before 1 July but do only arrive in Belgium after 1 July. Note that all parcel deliverers will impose extra charges, not only bpost.
As a professional e-commerce company, bpost wishes to notify consumers about these additional charges. That’s why the company is launching an extensive campaign, among others on social media, to warn consumers about this change to the law, in which bpost has played no active part.
What should shoppers do?
When purchasing goods outside the EU, shoppers should check whether the online store has charged VAT.
If the merchant is registered in the new VAT system and uses the import one stop shop (IOSS), the shopper will not be charged additional VAT or customs duties on shipments up to 150 euros.
If the merchant is not registered in the new VAT system and does not use the import one stop shop (IOSS), the shopper will be charged additional VAT and possibly customs duties for the import of goods into the EU, payable separately.
Pay any charges in the My bpost app or in Track & Trace
bpost makes the payment process easier. If VAT and customs duties are charged, the shopper will be sent a payment invitation by email, text message (from the number 8152), app notification or post. This payment can be made securely in the My bpost app or in the bpost Track & Trace website. The parcel will be delivered after payment is received.
bpost always states the parcel reference in all correspondence with the customer. Recipients who are unsure whether the message relates to their parcel can always check the barcode in the My bpost app or on the T&T website.
Please note: For security reasons, as of June 2021 it will no longer be possible to pay VAT and customs duties to postwomen and men or at a bpost pick-up point.
For more information and a specific example, see: https://www.bpost.be/en/shopping-outside-eu or