As Belgium wants to simplify the import and export of goods, it introduced the BE-GATE customs platform on 6 June. The portal, which was designed for the growth market of e-commerce, aims to increase the efficiency of customs clearance in the cross-border flow of goods.
BE-GATE was developed as part of the initiative of the Belgium Customs and Excise Department. The new platform is supported by four e-commerce hubs, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge and the airports of Brussels and Liège.
The free-of-charge customs portal BE-GATE aims to process large amounts of data and guarantees quick clearance of customs applications. A high number of arrival notifications can be transmitted at the same time, through an officially customs approved form.
Retailers will also automatically receive information on those shipments that have been chosen for customs control. All other shipments are released right away. Moreover, the software solution provides a suggestion for the concrete determination of the customs value on the basis of defined criteria, if the customs value cannot be determined by another method.
What is more, BE-GATE can be used within the framework of customs regulations for free circulation, customs warehousing and outright export. The prerequisites are that the economic operator has a registered office in Belgium and a status as a customs agent. Additionally, an intermediate warehouse or a location approved as a customs warehouse, the authorization for the use of the simplified declaration and a comprehensive guarantee are needed.
Excise goods, goods subject to licenses and goods subject to special restrictions and control measures are exempted from the use of BE-GATE.
In export, BE-GATE can be used for shipments with a value of up to 1,000 euros and a weight of less than 1,000 kilograms. Otherwise, an additional declaration in PLDA is necessary.
Providing a comment on the platform, Werner Rens, Head of Marketing Department, Belgium Customs and Excise. mentioned that:
As partners we invest in platforms and procedures to optimize this network. That way we can meet the e-commerce players’ expectations about integrated gateways. Moreover, our sea- and airports are centrally located in Europe. This optimal location and connectivity make Belgium a unique hotspot for omni channel logistics
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