Shipping goods between the US and Belgium can feel like trying to solve a Rubik's cube blindfolded. Struggling with the complex puzzle of understanding rates, transit times, and ever-evolving customs regulations? We've crafted this meticulous guide just for you, shedding light on the finer aspects of freight transport between these two countries. Expect insights into various types of shipping options - be it air or sea, road or rail - alongside a deep dive into the intimidating realm of customs clearance, duties, and taxes. We've poured our best advice into this guide, uniquely tailored for businesses eager to demystify international freight. If the process still feels overwhelming, let DocShipper handle it for you! As a trusted international freight forwarder, we transform challenges into victories by overseeing every tiny detail of your shipping process.

Table of Contents

Which are the different modes of transportation between US and Belgium?

Shipping goods between the US and Belgium presents its challenges and choices. Do we wave them across the ocean or fly them through the sky? Or perhaps, we plot a course over land through numerous countries? With over 5,000 miles of the Atlantic ocean to cross, sea or air freight emerge as the most practical options. Yet choosing wisely between them can turn the daunting trek into a breeze. It's akin to picking the right vehicle for a family vacation - cost, speed, and the nature of your travel companions (goods) all play in choosing the best fit. Let's deep dive into these options.

How can DocShipper help?

Shipping goods from the US to Belgium can be intricate. Luckily, DocShipper is here as your trusted ally. We streamline the entire process, manage customs, and ensure a smooth journey for your cargo. Got queries or need a free estimate within 24 hours? Our consultants are just a phone call away!


sea-freight-services from and to the USA

Sea freight from and to the US

Sea freight between US and Belgium

The mighty Atlantic Ocean forms a bustling marine highway for goods flowing between the US and Belgium, two significant trading partners. Piercing this vast expanse, cargo vessels dock at key ports like New York, Los Angeles, and Houston in the US, and Antwerp in Belgium, linking major industrial centers. When bulk or non-urgent shipments are the norms, the ocean offers wallet-friendly transportation. However, cost-effectiveness doesn't equate to simplicity.

The process, akin to a complex dance of compliance, timing, and keen planning, often leaves shippers scratching their heads. Stumbling blocks come in the form of customs regulations, variety of sea freight options, and logistical considerations, much like a difficult multi-level computer game you're trying to master. Our guide illuminates this murky path, highlighting tried-and-true strategies, useful tips and the avoided pitfalls in this intricate process to make your sea freight shipping journey between US and Belgium easier, just as a lighthouse guides ships to safe harbor.

Main shipping ports in US

Port of Los Angeles

Location and Volume: Located in San Pedro Bay, 20 miles south of downtown Los Angeles, this bustling port boasts a shipping volume of 9.5 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Engaging in trade relations primarily with East Asia, the Port of Los Angeles holds the title of America's top port by container volume and cargo value, providing high-volume access to major markets and suppliers.

Context for Businesses: If you're looking to tap into the Asian markets, the Port of Los Angeles may be a central component of your logistics strategy, given its high-volume throughput and direct transit connections to Asia.

Port of New York and New Jersey

Location and Volume: Stretching across the Hudson River, this port encompasses a shipping volume of approximately 7.3 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: It’s a key exchange point for goods, primarily with Europe and East Asia. As the largest and busiest port on the East Coast, it's central to the trade network of the North Atlantic.

Context for Businesses: Firms interested in reaching markets in Europe and the northeastern US should consider the Port of New York and New Jersey due to its vast network and extensive facilities.

Port of Savannah

Location and Volume: Located on the Savannah River in Georgia, it has a shipping volume of about 4.6 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port primarily trades with Central and South America. As the fastest-growing and fourth-largest port in the US, its geographical location allows direct service to the US Southeast and Midwest.

Context for Businesses: Those eyeing expansion in Central or South American markets might heavily rely on Port of Savannah, coupled with its intermodal efficiencies and fast transit times.

Port of Houston

Location and Volume: Nestled in the Gulf of Mexico, this port deals with a shipping volume of close to 2.9 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Large volumes of trade take place with East Asia and Europe, and it is a fulcrum for petrochemical goods given Houston's oil industry.

Context for Businesses: If your business strategy includes distributing petrochemical goods to Asian or European markets, the Port of Houston could play a significant role due to its superior logistics infrastructure.

Port of Seattle

Location and Volume: Located on the US West Coast, the port handles a shipping volume of 1.6 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Key alliances primarily rest with East Asia and Alaska. The port’s maritime activities support both cargo and passenger intake, contributing to local economic growth.

Context for Businesses: If you're considering serving the Pacific Northwest, Alaskan or Asian markets, the Port of Seattle's diverse cargo and passenger capabilities may align well with your business objectives.

Port of Tacoma

Location and Volume: Found in the Puget Sound of Washington state, this port deals with a shipping volume of around 2.1 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Active trading relationships primarily involve East Asia and Alaska. As the closest U.S. port to major ports in Asia, it provides shorter transit times.

Context for Businesses: For businesses aiming to expedite Asian trade or strengthen connections in the Pacific Northwest, the Port of Tacoma serves as a strategic logistics hub due to its geographic advantage and efficient operations.

Main shipping ports in Belgium

Port of Antwerp

Location and Volume: Situated at the heart of Europe, the Port of Antwerp is a crucial component in the continent's import and export activities, with a shipping volume of 9.6 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The Port of Antwerp facilitates trade with key economies like China, the USA, and India. Furthermore, its location positions it as a vital gateway to Central and Western Europe.

Context for Businesses: As it's the second-largest port in Europe, if your business is geared towards this market, the Port of Antwerp can serve as a pivotal point in your shipping strategy thanks to its extensive network and large shipping volume.

Port of Zeebrugge

Location and Volume: The Port of Zeebrugge, located on the Belgian coast, is a pivotal logistical and industrial point strengthening Belgium's trading capacity. This port reported a shipping volume of 2.8 million TEU.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: Zeebrugge specializes in handling liquid natural gas and new automobiles, making it instrumental for trade with countries like Sweden, the UK, and Russia.

Context for Businesses: Zeebrugge is renowned for its well-connected inland waterway links. If you're involved in the automobile industry or energy sector, the strategic importance of this port cannot be overstated in your logistics plan.

Port of Ghent

Location and Volume: Located in Flanders, the Port of Ghent, part of the North Sea Port, generates a shipping volume of approximately 71 million tons of goods yearly.

Key Trading Partners and Strategic Importance: The port maintains active trade with countries like Germany, the Netherlands, and Brazil. It is particularly important for handling cereal, fruit, paper, and chemical product imports.

Context for Businesses: If your company is related to these sectors or is planning to venture into these markets, the Ghent Port's infrastructure and deep-sea capacity make it an important point for consideration when planning your shipping strategy.

Unlock hassle-free shipping

Make shipping between the US and Belgium effortless with DocShipper, your trusted and experienced freight forwarding partner. Our ocean freight experts take the complexity out of the decision process, weighing factors like cargo volume, shipping speed, and cost to suggest whether consolidation or a full container is best for your business. Don't hesitate, reach out now for a free estimation to simplify your shipping needs!


How long does sea freight take between US and Belgium?

In general, sea freight from the US to Belgium takes approximately 1-2 weeks. This transit time covers a range of factors including the specific ports used, the weight of the cargo, and the nature of the goods. Remember, these are just average figures. You might want to get in touch with a seasoned freight forwarder like DocShipper to get a precise estimate tailored to your specific requirements.

Average Transit Times in Days for Sea Freight:

US Ports Belgium Ports Transit Time
Los Angeles Antwerp 25-26 Days
New York Ghent 20 Days
Houston Zeebrugge 24 Days
Savannah Liege 23 Days

*These transit times are just averages. Contact a freight forwarder for the exact timelines based on your specific needs.

How much does it cost to ship a container between US and Belgium?

The magic question - what are the shipping costs between the US and Belgium? Well, like an elusive treasure, ocean freight rates can vary widely, owing to a myriad of dynamics. The Point of Loading, the final destination, the carrier chosen, the nature of your goods, and even fluxes in the market can all play their part in determining the cost. Because of these, we simply can't stamp a fixed price tag on the process. But don't worry, our shipping specialists are equipped to dive into your unique case and fish out the best rates for you. We understand that each freight forwarding journey is distinct, and we're here to steer you toward cost-efficient solutions. So, let's set sail together on your global trading adventure.

Special transportation services

Out of Gauge (OOG) Container

Definition: An OOG Container refers to those containers accommodating Out of gauge cargo—items too large to fit into a standard-sized shipping container in terms of height, length, or width.
Suitable for: Businesses shipping large and irregularly sized machinery, industrial equipment, or construct materials between the US and Belgium.
Examples: This can include manufacturing appliances, heavy machinery, orsembles or vehicle parts.
Why it might be the best choice for you: When your cargo can’t fit into a standard shipping container due to its dimensions, the OOG container offers a flexible and safe alternative to ensure your goods reach their destination without damage.

Break Bulk

Definition: This is the process of shipping goods as break bulk cargo, or items that are loaded individually instead of in containers.
Suitable for: Ideal for businesses that transport oversized or heavy goods such as machinery, which require special handling and can’t fit into standard containers.
Examples: Ships propellers, turbines, generators, construction equipment are commonly shipped via this method.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If you're shipping heavy and outsized items that can't be broken down into smaller units, break bulk might be the most efficient and cost-effective method for you.

Dry Bulk

Definition: Dry bulk shipping refers to the transportation of homogenous bulk goods such as grains, coal, or sand in loose cargo load, directly loaded into the ship’s hold.
Suitable for: Ideal for shipping large amounts of un-packaged goods.
Examples: Common dry bulk items include coal, grain, and mineral ore.
Why it might be the best choice for you: This method can be cost-effective and facilitate faster loading and unloading, particularly suitable if your business handles commodities or raw materials in large quantities.

Roll-on/Roll-off (Ro-Ro)

Definition: Ro-Ro vessels are specifically designed to carry wheeled cargo like cars, trucks, semi-trailers, and trailers that are driven on and off the ship on their own wheels or using a ro-ro platform vehicle.
Suitable for: Perfectly designed for businesses dealing with vehicles and machinery that can be rolled.
Examples: Cars, trucks, tractors, and even railway wagons can be efficiently transported using ro-ro vessels.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your business revolves around vehicles or wheeled machinery, this could be the most secure and efficient option, as it minimizes potential lifting damage.

Reefer Containers

Definition: These are temperature-controlled containers, also known as refrigerated containers. They're insulated and equipped with an integral refrigeration unit to keep the products at the required temperature.
Suitable for: Ideal for businesses shipping perishable goods between the US and Belgium.
Examples: Businesses dealing with perishables like fruits, vegetables, dairy products, or pharmaceuticals commonly use reefer containers.
Why it might be the best choice for you: If your products require a specific temperature control during transit, the use of reefer containers ensures the freshness and integrity of your goods upon arrival.

At DocShipper, we’re here to help you navigate these sea freight shipping options and find the best match for your specific needs. Feel free to contact us for a free shipping quote within 24 hours.

air-freight-services from and to the USA

Air freight from and to the US

Air freight between US and Belgium

Air freight is your go-to solution when time is invaluable. Imagine shipping a batch of freshly manufactured electronics from the US to Belgium - you want them to reach fast, intact, and ready for sale. Far speedier than ocean or land transport, air freight ensures your small, high-value goods like electronics, medical equipment, or fancy chocolates reach their destination swiftly and securely.

But hold on! Putting all your eggs in the air freight basket without thorough planning can lead to wasted dollars. Picture packing a dozen apples but paying for a whole fruit truck. That's the mistake you're making if you miscalculate the weight of your shipment. And what about missing out on those secret trade tips that could have saved you some extra cash? It's these overlooked elements we'll explore in this guide, to help you fly your shipments smartly and cost-effectively.

Air Cargo vs Express Air Freight: How should I ship?

Making the choice between traditional air cargo and express air freight can feel like a high-stakes game when your business's efficiency hangs in the balance. Simply put, while air cargo typically shares airline space, express air freight flies high on its own dedicated plane. This quick guide will help you figure out the best route for your shipping needs between the US and Belgium. You'll soon have the clarity to choose a method that's as unique as the goods you're transporting.

Should I choose Air Cargo between US and Belgium?

When transporting goods between the US and Belgium, you might find Air cargo a reliable and cost-effective choice. Its efficacy increases particularly for shipments exceeding 100/150kg (220/330 lbs). Long-established airlines such as Delta Air Lines and Brussels Airlines offer extensive services in this sector. However, remember that air freight may have longer transit times due to scheduled flights. Make your choice considering both your budget and timetable.

top global air freight companies in the U.S.

Should I choose Express Air Freight between US and Belgium?

Express Air Freight, a bespoke service employing dedicated cargo planes devoid of passengers, offers an advantageous choice for smaller shipments. Are you sending packages under 1 CBM or weighing 100/150 kg (220/330 lbs)? FedEx, UPS, and DHL are remarkable international couriers that provide swift, reliable delivery between the US and Belgium. Their vast logistics networks ensure fast clearing of customs and expedited delivery. Choosing Express Air Freight can significantly cut down your shipping time, making it a viable choice for urgent or valuable cargo needs. So, if time is a crucial factor for you, opting for express air service could be a wise decision for your business.

Top global courier express companies in the U.S.

How long does air freight take between US and Belgium?

The average transit time for air freight shipments from the United States to Belgium is typically between 3 to 5 days. Please note, the length of time can vary depending on factors such as the specific airports used, the weight of your goods, and the nature of the cargo. For accurate and precise shipping times tailored to your unique needs, it's recommended to consult a freight forwarder like DocShipper.

What is the difference between volumetric and gross weight?

Gross weight refers to the actual weight of your shipment, including packaging. It is the straightforward weight that you get when you place your boxed item on a scale. On the other hand, volumetric weight, sometimes known as dimensional weight, is a pricing technique for commercial freight transport, which uses an estimated weight that is calculated from the length, width, and height of a package.

To calculate the gross weight in air freight shipping, simply weigh your packaged item. However, the calculation for volumetric weight is a tad more complex. For Air cargo, the formula is: Length(cm) x Width(cm) x Height(cm) / 6000 = Volumetric weight in kg. In Express air freight, instead of 6000, we use 5000 as the divisor.

For instance, consider a box measuring 50cm x 40cm x 30cm and weighing 10kg. When we use the Air cargo formula, the volumetric weight is (50x40x30)/6000, equaling 10kg. In Express Air freight, the volumetric weight is (50x40x30)/5000, which equals 12kg. A 10kg gross weight in lbs is 22.0 lbs while a 12kg volumetric weight in lbs is 26.5 lbs.

These calculations are pivotal as freight charges are often based on the higher value between the gross weight and volumetric weight of the shipment. Therefore, understanding gross and volumetric weight can help you optimize your packaging and potentially save on shipping costs.

Door to Door Transport from and to the USA

Door to door transport from and to the US

Door to door between US and Belgium

Unraveling the concept of international door-to-door shipping - it's an all-inclusive service where your goods are picked up directly from your location in the US and delivered seamlessly to the desired destination in Belgium. This method simplifies processes, saves time, and offers unmatched convenience. Interested in exploring the perks of door-to-door shipping? Let's dive in!

Overview – Door to Door

Door to Door shipping from US to Belgium transforms complex logistics into a hassle-free process. No need to stress over multiple carriers or juggle customs clearance! This service bundles all tasks into a single solution, offering simplicity and peace of mind. It's one of the top picks for our clients at DocShipper because it saves valuable time, although it might bear slightly higher costs. Despite the price tag, businesses cherish its convenience in overcoming international shipping challenges. So, if tangled logistics has been your hurdle, Door to Door shipping could be your perfect answer. An effortless, all-around solution for your needs!

Why should I use a Door to Door service between US and Belgium?

Ever dreamed of shipping your goods from the US to Belgium as effortlessly as ordering a pizza? Here's why Door to Door service could be your logistics genie!

1. Simplicity is Golden: With Door to Door service, your goods are picked up directly from your location, eliminating the need for you to arrange transport to a centralized shipping location. This cuts down on stress and lets you focus on what you do best – running your business.

2. Timely Delivery: Urgent shipments are handled with priority. Your trusted freight forwarder will coordinate all stages of transport, ensuring your goods arrive in Belgium not only safely, but also swiftly.

3. Custom Care: Have complex cargo? Door to Door service is custom-tailored to respect the uniqueness of your freight, handling all the nuances with precision. Whether it's delicate electronics or hefty machinery, rest easy knowing your shipment is in expert hands.

4. End-to-End Responsibility: This service handles all aspects of the shipping process from origin to destination. This includes trucking at both ends, relieving you of the hassle to arrange last-mile delivery once your shipment arrives in Belgium.

5. Convenience Reloaded: Above all, Door to Door service adds tremendous convenience. Your role? Simple. Pack the goods, fill out the necessary paperwork, and trust your freight forwarder to take care of the rest. Better yet, it comes with real-time tracking, so you’ll always know where your shipment is.

Compared to a pizza delivery, Door to Door service might be a tad more complex, but hey, it sure beats the stress and anxiety of traditional shipping methods, doesn't it?

DocShipper – Door to Door specialist between US and Belgium

Experience effortless shipping from the US to Belgium with DocShipper. Trust us, experts in comprehensive freight forwarding, to manage your logistics end-to-end. From packaging, transportation, customs clearance to final delivery, we shoulder all responsibilities so you can focus on your core business. Work directly with a dedicated Account Executive who will ensure your shipping needs are met swiftly. Contact us today for a free estimate within just 24 hours or solicit advice from our free consultation service. We're standing by to make your shipping experience seamless and worry-free.

Customs Clearance in the U.S.

Customs Clearance US

Customs clearance in Belgium for goods imported from US

Customs clearance: a crucial but complex junction on your shipment's journey from the US to Belgium. It's a labyrinth of duties, taxes, quotas, and licenses, often springing unexpected fees that can throw off your budget. Without thorough understanding, your valuable goods risk becoming ensnared in bureaucratic red tape. But fear not, this guide will delve into these intricacies to help you navigate the process confidently. Remember, the team at DocShipper is always ready to assist, taking on all the complexities of any shipment, any location, any good. To kickstart the process, keep your goods' origin point, their value, and the HS Code at hand, and reach out to us any time for an estimation that keeps your project budget intact. Let's start this journey together.

How to calculate duties & taxes when importing from US to Belgium?

Understanding the financial implications of importing goods from the US to Belgium could be the key to profitable trade operation. The first thing to understand is that the calculation of customs duties involves multiple components: the country of origin, the product's Harmonized System code (HS code), the declared customs value, the applicable tariff rate, and any specific taxes or fees associated with the product. Importantly, the first step in this process is pinpointing exactly where your goods were originally manufactured or produced. This identification lays the groundwork for the rest of the calculation, ensuring you accurately apply the right terms based on the origin. Armed with this knowledge, you can master the complex world of customs, turning it from an intimidating obstacle into a manageable part of your shipping journey.

Step 1 - Identify the Country of Origin

Knowing your goods' exact country of origin sits at the heart of successful international shipping. So why is this a critical first step?

1. Defines Eligibility for Trade Agreements: The U.S. and Belgium are party to several trade agreements. If your goods originate in the U.S., they may benefit from reduced duties under these agreements.

2. Determines Duties and Taxes: Customs authorities use the country of origin to calculate any duties and taxes payable.

3. Influences Import Restrictions: Some goods may face import restrictions in Belgium depending on their origin.

4. Impacts Documentation Requirements: Certain provenance documents might be necessary based on the origin.

5. Helps Establish Product Compliance: The country of origin can affect compliance with Belgium's product standards and regulations.

Consider these points and navigate through the complexities of international freight. Seek advice from your freight forwarder to understand how the origin of your goods affects their journey from the U.S. to Belgium. They can guide you with specifics on trade agreements, restrictions, and how to streamline your import process.

Step 2 - Find the HS Code of your product

The Harmonized System (HS) Code is a standardized numerical method to classify traded products. It is recognized and used by nearly 200 countries and is the basis for customs tariffs and gathering international trade statistics. Knowing your product's HS Code is essential since it's utilized in many shipping documents and affects how much you'll pay in duties.

If you're not yet familiar with your product's HS Code, the most straightforward approach is to request it from your supplier. Suppliers often have a clear understanding of the products they deal with, including their corresponding HS Codes and any related regulations.

However, should you find yourself unable to acquire these from your supplier, you can still make the discovery process easy. We are here to guide you through a simple, step-by-step method. The first step involves using an HS lookup tool. Visit the Harmonized Tariff Schedule page to use the tool. Once you're on the page, proceed by typing your product's name into the search bar. Look for the Heading/Subheading column in the listed results; this is where the HS Code will be displayed.

Importantly, it needs to be stressed that accuracy is critical in selecting the appropriate HS Code. A misstep in this area may cause delays in shipping and even attract fines due to non-compliance. The use of an incorrect code might also impact your duty fees, either overpayment or underpayment.

That's all it takes to find your HS Code. Indeed, knowledge is power in this case.

Here's an infographic showing you how to read an HS Code.

hs code finder

Step 3 - Calculate the Customs Value

You're importing from the US to Belgium, and you're scratching your head – What's this 'Customs Value,' and how is it different from my product value? Easy enough! Customs Value is not just about the original price of your goods. It's what customs officers use to calculate duty and it includes three crucial elements:

1) the price of your goods,
2) your international shipping costs,
3) and your insurance costs.

Let's say you've got goods valued at $1000, with international shipping at $200 and insurance at $50. Your Customs Value, hence, is $1250. By taking these steps, you ensure a smooth customs clearance, avoiding any surprise costs or delays. Remember that meticulous documentation is key to a smooth process!

Step 4 - Figure out the applicable Import Tariff

The import tariff is essentially a tax placed on goods imported from another country. This is widely used within international trade and serves to protect domestic industries. Belgium, being a part of the European Union (EU), utilizes the EU’s Combined Nomenclature (CN) system. This is a method of designating and coding all kinds of goods, via eight-digit code numbers.

To identify the applicable tariff for importing your goods from the US, you'd use the TARIC System - European Customs. Here's how:

1. Enter the Harmonized System (HS) code of your product, this code is an internationally standardized system of names and numbers for classifying traded products.
2. Choose 'US' as the country of origin.
3. The tool will provide the applicable duties and taxes for your product.

For instance, if we consider an HS code 62063000, pertaining to 'Women's blouses of synthetic fibers', the TARIC system tells us that there's a 12% duty rate on this product category when imported from the US.

Say, your 'Cost, Insurance, and Freight' (CIF) value to import this product is $10,000. To calculate the import duties, simply apply the tariff rate to the CIF costs ($10,00012% = $1,200). This would be the import duty you need to pay.

Remember to always validate this information with the local custom authorities. This step is critical in ensuring smooth customs clearance and avoiding potential penalties or delays.

TARIC System - European Customs

TARIC System - European Customs

Step 5 - Consider other Import Duties and Taxes

In addition to standard tariff rates, importing goods into Belgium from the US may trigger other costs based on product nature and origin. These can include excise duty levied on specific goods like alcohol or tobacco, and anti-dumping taxes imposed on goods sold substantially below their normal value.

Let's consider VAT, a key component most avidly scrutinized. For instance, consider you've shipped goods with a total value of $1000 USD, and the tariff rate is 5%. Your duty would be $50. Belgium's standard VAT rate is 21%, so you'd calculate this based on the total value + duty ($1000 + $50), equating to $220.5 in this example.

Remember, these values are illustrative; actual amounts could differ. Successfully importing involves proactively staying current on duty and tax regulations to avoid unforeseen expenses, keeping your company's bottom line healthy and thriving.

Step 6 - Calculate the Customs Duties

Calculating customs duties in Belgium for your goods from the US follows a straightforward equation. Start with the customs value of your goods. If the goods attract VAT, add this to the total. Similarly, in the case of anti-dumping taxes or Excise Duty, these should also be included in the final calculations.

Let's look at three examples demonstrating this:

- For a $3000 shipment with a 3% customs duty but no VAT, you simply multiply $3000 by 3%. Your total duty would be $90.

- Take a shipment of $5000 with a 2% customs duty and a 21% VAT. You would calculate 2% of $5000 (=$100) and then apply VAT at 21% on ($5000+$100= $5100), amounting to $1071. So, your total cost would be $5000 + $100 + $1071 = $6171.

- Finally, consider a $8000 shipment, with 2% customs duty, 21% VAT, 5% anti-dumping tax and 10% Excise Duty. Calculate each percentage on the $8000 base ($8000 2% = $160, $8000 21% = $1680, $8000 5% = $400, $8000 10% = $800). Add up all charges with the base value, to get your total: $8000 + $160 + $1680 + $400 + $800 = $11040.

The customs clearance process may be tricky, but fret not - DocShipper is here to help. We handle every step of customs clearance around the globe, ensuring you don't overpay. Get in touch for a free, personalized quote in less than 24 hours.

Does DocShipper charge customs fees?

As a customs broker, DocShipper takes care of customs clearance for a fee, but the actual customs duties and taxes go straight to the government, not us. It's like your tax return: we help you fill it out, but you pay the taxman directly. Rest assured, we'll provide all the paperwork from the customs office to prove you haven't paid a penny more than you should have.

Contact Details for Customs Authorities

Required documents for customs clearance

Ever felt swamped by paperwork when shipping goods across borders? We're here to streamline the process. Let's demystify key customs documents - the Bill of Lading, Packing List, Certificate of Origin, and Conformity Documents (CE standard). We're with you every step, making international logistics less daunting.

Bill of Lading

If you're moving goods between the US and Belgium, don't underestimate the power of the Bill of Lading. This official paper trail not only records the journey of your cargo but signifies the shift in ownership, critical for all your customs processes. Now, let's talk the modern way - electronic or telex release. This hi-tech option eliminates the need for a physical copy, making your trade faster and more environmentally friendly. And for those of you utilizing the skies, meet your new best friend - the Air Waybill (AWB), the air cargo equivalent. Practical tip? Lane preference matters! If you turnover goods more frequently, air cargo with AWB is worth the investment while sea freight is budget friendlier for larger, less-urgent shipments. Remember, every document counts in seamless cargo transitions!

Packing List

Imagine you're sending a gift box to a friend in Belgium. Just as you'd include a note detailing what's inside - say, a baseball cap, a book, and imported chocolates - when shipping goods from the US, you'd need a Packing List. It's that simple note on a much larger scale, outlining specifics like product numbers, descriptions, and quantities in your shipment. But accuracy is not optional, it's essential. Whether you choose sea freight for large, less time-sensitive shipments (say, hundreds of spare auto parts), or air freight for smaller, urgent orders (a new phone model before a major launch event, perhaps), customs inspectors in Belgium and the US rely on your Packing List to verify your shipment and assess duties. Your business could face delays, fines, or even shipment rejection if even a single widget’s worth of information doesn’t match. So, ensure accuracy when creating that Packing List. Your shipments depend on it.

Commercial Invoice

Creating an error-free Commercial Invoice is critical when shipping goods from the US to Belgium. This document serves as a record of the transaction and provides customs with crucial details about your shipment. It should include the seller and buyer information, a thorough description of goods (including HS codes), quantities, prices, Incoterm, and the country of manufacture. Misalignments between your Commercial Invoice and other shipping documents can cause costly delays. So, ensure consistency, particularly with the Bill of Lading or Air Waybill. For example, if your shipment contains 50 cartons of ceramic cups, this same detail should reflect across all documents. Use a careful eye, double-check details, and remember - an accurate Commercial Invoice is a big step towards a smooth customs clearance.

Certificate of Origin

Navigating through US-Belgium shipments? A Certificate of Origin (CO) is your key to smoother journeys. It proves where your goods were made and it's paramount to complete it correctly - your products' origin can unlock preferential duty rates, easing your export costs. Picture this: You've got a shipment of artisan chocolates made in Wisconsin, heading for Brussels. With that CO clearly indicating a U.S. origin, you could take advantage of a reduced customs rate and save a chunk of change. So, never underestimate the power of correctly stating the country of manufacture on your CO. It's more than a paperwork necessity, it's a roadmap to potential savings.

Certificate of Conformity (CE standard)

Nailing customs between the US and Belgium often comes down to your Certificate of Conformity (CE standard). This isn't just about quality assurance; it's a certification that your item meets all EU health, safety, and environmental regulations. When you see a CE mark, think of it as the product's passport into the European market, Belgium included. A good practice for you, being in the US, might be to compare these standards with your own domestic guidelines to ensure you're fully covered on both ends. Stay proactive and keep your goods moving swiftly by securing this indispensable document ahead of time.

Your EORI number (Economic Operator Registration Identification)

When shipping between US and Belgium, securing an EORI Number is crucial. This unique identifier is central to the EU's system for tracking imports and exports - it's your business passport for shipping goods, so to speak. And yes, it's a requirement for US-Belgium freight too. Applying for one isn't too daunting; simply visit the Belgian Customs and Excise website to kickstart your registration and streamline your business operations. Remember, an EORI Number isn’t just another piece of paper; it becomes your life-line in the international shipping cosmos, ensuring smooth sailing (or flying!) of your cargo across borders.

Get Started with DocShipper

Experience a hassle-free customs clearance between the US and Belgium with DocShipper. We handle every intricate detail, so you can concentrate on growing your business. Tired of endless paperwork and delay? Let our experts guide you through the process. Contact us now, and get a free quote within 24 hours. We make global shipping easy.


Prohibited and Restricted items when importing into Belgium

Ever felt confused about the dos and don'ts of importing goods into Belgium? It's crucial to understand the stringent rules Belgium enforces on certain items. Missteps can lead to costly fines or shipment delays. Let's clarify the murky waters of prohibited and restricted imports to help streamline your business operations.

Are there any trade agreements between US and Belgium

Absolutely! The U.S. and Belgium enjoy a robust trade relationship under the framework of the U.S.-EU economic partnership. While there's no unilateral FTA, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), a major trade initiative between the U.S. and EU, is under discussion. This could potentially reduce tariffs, making your shipments more cost-effective. Stay alert to new developments, as they might influence your logistics strategy.

US - Belgium trade and economic relationship

As a critical relationship that dates back to post World War II, the US-Belgium trade has been marked with consistent growth, robust investments, and strategic partnerships. Accentuated in sectors such as pharmaceuticals, technology, and manufacturing, the US exports to Belgium valued at $31.6 billion in 2020. Likewise, Belgian exports to the US, largely diamonds and pharmaceuticals, reached nearly $23 billion the same year. Weaving a rich tapestry of economic interdependence, the US has invested an impressive $75 billion in Belgium, powering a myriad of businesses, while Belgium reciprocated with $88.2 billion worth of investments in America. This thriving exchange between the respective nations underscores the integral role of import-export businesses in shaping and driving this mutual success story.

Your Next Step with DocShipper

Are you overwhelmed by the complexities of shipping between the US and Belgium? Fear not! DocShipper's experts handle the nuances of cross-Atlantic logistics, ensuring that your goods traverse oceans and borders seamlessly. Ready for stress-free transport, all-inclusive service, and fair prices? Get in touch with us and transform your shipping experience today!


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