Customs and Excise oversee the import and export of certain goods entering and leaving our country. They guard the country against practices that might be harmful for honest trade and the environment and/or might be of a criminal nature.

For travellers this implies principally that the permitted amount of certain imported goods from abroad must not be exceeded, for instance spirits, tobacco, perfume...

Exemption from VAT and excise duty

Since 1 December 2008 a new directive on the exemption from VAT and excise duty applies in the EU.

If you bring in no more than the allowances, you may use the green channel at the customs exit.

You bring in goods coming from outside the European Union(1) or from Territories with a Special Tax Status(2):

Tobacco products(3)

200 cigarettes or
100 cigarillos or
50 cigars or
250 grams of smoking tobacco

Alcohol or alcoholic beverages(3)

4 litres of non-sparkling wines and
16 litres of beer and
either: 1 litre of distilled beverages exceeding 22% vol;
or: 2 litres of distilled baverages of an alocholic contant of 22% or less

Other goods than those mentioned before(4)

Presents, ... worth 430 euro for air or sea travellers or 300 euro in total for the other travellers.

You have nothing to declare.

You bring in goods from an other EU country and the quantity is maximum:

Tobacco products
800 cigarettes or
400 cigarillos or
200 cigars or
1 kg smoking tobacco

Alcoholic beverages
Distilled beverages: 10 litres
Intermediate products: 20 litres (Port, Pineau des Charentes, ...)
Wines: 90 litres
Beer: 110 litres

You have nothing to declare.

In case of doubt, please contact the customs office at the airport.

(1) The member states of the EU are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Ireland, Italy, Kroatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
(2) The territories with a special tax status are: the Channel Islands (Guernsey, Jersey,... ), the Canary Islands (Gran Canaria, Tenerife,...), Guyana, Guadeloupe and Martinique, the Aland Islands, Mount Athos, ...
(3) The allowances for tobacco products and alcohol and alcoholic beverages do not apply to travellers under 17 years of age.
(4) This allowance is limited to 175 euros for travellers under 15 years old and for crews of the means of transport used in international travel when travelling in the case of their work.

If you bring in more than the allowance you have to use the red channel.

Use the red channel if you import more than the allowances.

If you bring in the following goods coming from outside the European Union you must declare the goods to the customs authorities:

  • if you bring in goods for professional reasons or resale
  • if you bring in goods in larger quantities than normally bought in by someone for
    non-commercial purpose
  • goods that are forbidden to bring in or when you can only bring them in with a special licence (arms, munition, textile, etc)
  • goods that are submitted to sanitary controls (protected animals or plants, food, etc)
  • goods that are worth more than 430 euro (for air or sea travellers) or 300 euro (for other travellers)

When you bring in the following goods from an other EU Country or from territories with a special tax status:

  • goods for professional reason or resale
  • if you bring in more than the allowances

In case of doubt please contact the customs office at the airport.

Imitation goods

Imitation goods are illegal copies of legally protected brand names. In many cases this concerns imitation designer clothes, pirate software for computer games or pirate copies of films and music. Their origin lies mostly in criminal organisations.

Indications that the goods are pirated are often noticeable in the country of purchase. They include an extremely low price and/or unusual sales outlets.

More details are available on (French) or on (Dutch).

Protected species of plants and animals

Customs also ensures the correct application of the regulations and treaties concerning the import and export of protected species of plants and animals and their derived products, as well as products that are not allowed to be imported because of their danger to the health of the general public and animals.

For more information please surf to


Specific information

Tax refund
For specific information regarding tax refund you can contact the Customs office at the airport (on the departures level).
Telephone: +32 2 578 93 30 (between 7:00 am and 10:00 pm).

Other customs-related matters
For all other customs-related questions, you can contact the Customs Office 24/7 on number +32 (0)2 572 46 40.

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