Today, 27 June 2019, Finance Minister Alexander de Croo, together with the CEO of Brussels Airport Company, Mr Arnaud Feist, and the general administrator of Customs and Excise, Mr Kristian Vladimir, inaugurated the new customs control zone at Brussels Airport.
In order to indicate clearly where passengers can declare their goods, Brussels Airport has invested in improving the visibility of the red and green exits (for goods to declare or nothing to declare respectively). Furthermore, Brussels Airport Company also installed new baggage search benches which provide more privacy for travellers if they are checked by customs.
Alexander De Croo, Minister for Finance, said: “Customs officers at Brussels Airport check more than 100,000 passengers on the import and export of goods every year. Thanks to the efforts of Brussels Airport, the customs staff will from now on perform their duties under better conditions, including more privacy for travellers when they are checked. This is a nice improvement for the customs service at Brussels Airport.”
Arnaud Feist, CEO of the Brussels Airport Company, said: “In line with our objective of constantly improving passenger experience at the airport, Brussels Airport has invested in an entirely new customs control zone. This new zone will provide a more pleasant passage through customs for all our passengers and guarantees the necessary privacy in case their baggage is checked. The signage to and visibility of the customs control zone was also improved. This investment offers the customs officers a contemporary and comfortable workplace where they can perform their duties in serenity.”
Just before the holiday season, it is important to make travellers aware of what they can and cannot bring when they return from holiday.
The customs officers who check the luggage of travellers look in particular for:
– Rare plants and animals [CITES – Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora].
– Purchases from outside the EU for which import duties and taxes may be due.
– Counterfeit products
– Cigarettes and alcohol subject to strict restrictions
– The documents of pets
– Amounts in cash of more than €10,000
In 2019, Customs will focus in particular on the quantity of cigarettes and alcohol and the presence of CITES products and bushmeat in the baggage.
Some figures on customs controls at Brussels Airport:
• 117,482 travellers from third countries (coming from outside the EU)
• 9,262 Intra-Community travellers (travelling only within the EU)
• 1066 incidents of illegal importation
• 49,578 travellers got a cash check
• €1,740,439 of customs and excise duties and VAT on imported goods 1/2
• 89,428 travellers from third countries (coming from outside the EU) checked
• 6,386 Intra-Community travellers (travelling only within the EU) checked
• 503 cases of illicit imports
• 23,743 travellers were checked for the amount of cash they had on them
• €2,023,019 of customs and excise duties and VAT on imported goods
Forewarned is forearmed, so it is better to bear in mind that Customs will monitor strict compliance with the rules during the holiday period. For more information, travellers can always consult the brochure ‘Wijs op Reis’ [Travel Wisely].