What Do You Have To Do?


When you first arrive at SHAPE to take up your post, you may import all your belongings from a third country free of duty and tax, but only if some conditions have been fulfilled (proof of 6months of ownership and use in the precedent third country of residence and no residence in Belgium before).
  • We call this the "moving customs duty exemption”.
  • It applies only if you have come from a third country (USA, Canada, Norway, Turkey, etc.) and NOT from EU.
  • It applies only once.
Again when arriving at SHAPE to take up your post, you are also entitled to import temporarily all kinds of personal goods (including vehicles such as cars) free of duty and tax, if you make a customs declaration (NATO Form302) and on the condition that you will re-export all these goods by the end of your posting in Belgium.


On the contrary, when during your posting at SHAPE you return back from a non-EU country with souvenirs (leisure travel or mission travel); you may also import some goods free of duty and tax within certain limits:
Goods worth no more than 430EUR (more or less 325USD) and within certain quantities for alcohol beverages and tobacco products.
See our website about TRAVELLERS’ ALLOWANCES

You will find some further explanations in English below.

2.1. If you’re travelling from outside the European Union(1) or from territories with a special tax status(2)

When travelling from a non-EU country (1) or from an area with a special tax status (2), like any other citizen you will be subject to customs checks.
If you have goods to declare, please do use the red channel.
Use the green channel only if you are sure that you have nothing to declare or if you are bringing into the EU no more than the allowances mentioned here after.
These allowances are granted regardless whether the goods have been bought on the domestic market or with a tax refund because of their exportation out of the country (e.g.: goods bought in a tax free shop at the airport).
Remark: If you arrive by air and are transferring to a flight to another EU country, at the transfer point you will only to declare goods in your hand luggage. You do not declare your checked luggage until you collect it at your final destination.

Allowances for goods you bring into the EU with your personal luggage and for no commercial purpose:

 Tobacco products:    If you are under 17, you can neither have the "tobacco products” allowances, nor the "alcohol and alcoholic beverages” allowances.
 Cigarettes  200 pieces  
 OR  OR  
 Cigarillos  100 pieces  
 OR  OR  
 Cigars  50 pieces  
 OR  OR  
 Smoking tobacco  250 grams  
 Alcohol and alcoholic beverages:    
 Beer:  16 litres  
 Non-Sparkling wines:  4 litres  
 Distilled beverages and spirits of an alcoholic strength exceeding 22% vol.; indentured ethyl alcohol of 80% vol. and over;  1 litre  
 OR  OR  
 Distilled beverages and spirits, and aperitifs with a wine or alcohol base, r ratafià, sake or similar beverages of an alcoholic strength of 22% vol. or less; sparkling wines, fortified wines;  2 litres  
Other goods than those mentioned
 worth 430EUR for air or sea travellers or 300EUR in total for other travellers If you are under 15, limited worth 175 EUR 

2.2. Excluded goods

If you bring in goods for professional reasons, for resale or in larger quantities than normally brought in by someone for non-commercial purposes, you are not entitled to the travellers’ allowances described above.

2.3. Bringing in goods exceeding the quantity or value allowances

If you are importing more than these allowances (regarding value and/or quantity), you must declare the goods to the customs authorities: You must pay the corresponding import duties and taxes on it. If you do not, you may get a fine in addition to the taxes that are due.
When the imported quantity of tobacco products, alcoholic beverages, perfume, exceeds the quantity allowances, you will only pay taxes on the quantity exceeding the allowances. If you bring in another good that is worth more than allowances for "other goods” (430EUR or 300EUR), you will pay taxes on the total amount.

2.4. If you’re travelling from an EU country (1) with goods on which taxes have been paid

If you bring in Belgium goods on which tax has been paid in another Member State of the European Union, you do not have to pay any tax or duty on them (as all taxes have already been paid in the country where you have bought them).
Travellers coming from a Member State of the EU may bring goods into Belgium without any restriction regarding quantity or value.
Nevertheless, excise duties remain due for tobacco products and alcoholic beverages introduced for commercial purposes.
In order to decide on the commercial nature of the goods introduced, the customs authorities may ask you some questions on the commercial status, the grounds for importation, the place of storage or the means of transport used as well as any document relating to these products, the kind of goods and the quantity imported according to the following indicative limits.

Indicative limits for EU excise goods

 a)Tobacco products:
 Smoking tobacco

 800 pieces
 400 pieces
 200 pieces
 1 kg 
 (cigars with a maximum weight of 3-g each) 
 b)Alcoholic tobacco:
 Distilled beverages
 Intermediate products
 10 litres
 20 litres
 90 litres
 110 litres 
 (e.g., Port, Pineau des Charentes, …)
 (maximum 60 litres of sparkling wines)
(1) The Member States of the EU are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
(2) The EU territories with a special tax status are: the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey, the Canary Islands (Gran Canarias, Tenerife…), French Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Äland islands and Mount Athos. The allowances for travellers coming from these territories are the same as for travellers coming from non-EU countries.
You are entitled to:
  • Definitively import but only once after your arrival at SHAPE any personal vehicle (land, air, sea) under the "moving duty procedure” if you meet the exemption conditions
  • Temporarily import a limited number of 2vehicles (see notice here under VAT chapter)
  • Purchase free of VAT a vehicle in Belgium according to certain rules (see notice here after on VAT).


To comply with customs, a customs declaration will be completed and presented at our office.
With this declaration (NATO Form 302 or standard customs declaration), certain documents must be added such as title of ownership, invoice, list of the goods, insurance, SHAPE ID card.
Ask your NMR or your civil authorities to complete this form.


You are entitled to purchase tax-free (import duties, VAT and excise duties) all goods available inside the Carrefour Shop if you can justify your entitlement by showing your SHAPE ID card.
Alcoholic and tobacco products can be purchased also tax-free but within certain limits in RIS and in the Carrefour Shop (in Carrefour, only wines, including sparkling wines and beers).
Anybody with SHAPE ID card but not entitled to fiscal privileges may purchase all goods available, all taxes included inside the Carrefour Shop or in shops other than RIS.


Attention: in any case, you ARE NOT ALLOWED to sell, transfer, or otherwise dispose of the items you purchased or imported under a customs procedure except as provided below.
  1. If you desire to sell the item you must coordinate with the Belgian Customs Office located at Room111A of Building210, SHAPE or at Chièvres, to close your case without payment if you sell this product to another entitled person or to pay duty and VAT if you sell it to any other person without tax entitlement.
  2. If you PCS with the item on your person or ship the item in your household goods or luggage, there are no tax consequences. A breach of Belgian customs and tax regulations can result in fines by Belgian tax authorities and adverse administrative action by your Forces.

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