BELGIUM: ET.14000 LICENSE FOR “USUAL IMPORTERS”
The "ET14.000 license" is a special system of deferment of VAT due on imports in Belgium. This authorization enables its holders to pay no VAT during the customs clearance procedure (i.e. when an import customs declaration is filed by the carrier), but rather to report the amount of import VAT on the periodic VAT returns submitted to the Tax Authorities on a monthly or quarterly basis.
Since the amount of import VAT is simultaneously deductible on the same VAT return, no cash payment is required. This payment term scheme represents a major interest for companies importing goods into Belgium.
Conditions underlying the authorization
It should be recalled that an application for an "ET14.000 license" can be introduced by any importing company, regardless of whether the company is established in Belgium or is a foreign company.
However, we point out here only the conditions related to non-Belgian businesses which are key players in international trade and wishing to obtain the authorization:
- The applicant must be registered for VAT in Belgium for the purposes of its taxable transactions, and submit periodic VAT returns.
- For companies located outside the European Union, the appointment of a tax representative established in Belgium is compulsory.
- Finally, the applicant must be able to present documents proving the reality of its import activities in Belgium.
Setting up a financial guarantee
Until September 2012, an importing company wishing to take advantage of the deferred payment of import VAT in Belgium was required to pay in advance to the Tax Authorities, an amount representing 1/24th of the total VAT on imports during the four calendar quarters preceding the date of application for the license.
An administrative decision of the Belgian Tax Authorities dated September 28, 2012, cancelled the requirement to set up a financial guarantee as from 1 October 2012. Since then, importers can benefit from the special regime without prepaying a portion of VAT due.
Duration of the authorization:
The Permit is granted for an unlimited period. However, the holder has the possibility to waive its rights at any time.
To request an "ET14.000 license" in Belgium, you can download the application form in the language of your choice (not available in English) :
If this content was useful, you can also read our article on the possibilities to reclaim import VAT in Belgium when the importer is a foreign company established in the EU or outside the EU.