Trade facilitation

For some goods, quick transit is crucial. Others need some extra checks. As the gateway to Europe, we bear a great responsibility for guaranteeing a safe and reliable port, while limiting the impact on trade at the same time. We will gladly take on that challenge.

Trade facilitation

The Port Authority's policy aims on the one hand to actively contribute to the setup of efficient auditing, and on the other to facilitate international trade. 


We act as a unique point of contact and offer support in a range of areas:


  • Developing custom solutions for companies
  • Developing new and simplified procedures
  • Implementing structural improvements and eliminating bottlenecks


This policy is made possible thanks to smooth collaboration with all the companies operating at the port, as well as the authorities involved.


Gateway to the European customs union


The port of Antwerp acts as the European external border of one customs union for all EU Member States. This makes it possible to fulfil all your customs formalities in Antwerp. That way, goods can move freely all across the European Union.


Customs processes at the port of Antwerp run exceedingly quickly. Goods can be cleared electronically in advance and released by customs, even before the ship has been unloaded.


Reverse-charging VAT (fiscal representation)


Companies importing goods into the EU via the port of Antwerp will enjoy very efficient legislation for reverse-charging VAT upon import. This means prefinancing VAT is no longer needed, which of course has a positive impact on cash flow.


Virtual free trade zone


The port of Antwerp is not a free port and does not have a free trade zone. However, Antwerp does offer many alternative procedures for avoiding direct import duties and levies. These procedures, such as bonded warehouses for customs purposes, inward processing and the "extended gate" will make for clear cost savings. This turns the port into somewhat of a virtual free zone.


One-stop shop: logistical and tax representation


More than 200 specialist logistical service providers have years of know-how and expertise that they can use to process the full logistical handling and administration for your goods.


They can also act as a tax representative for foreign companies in dealing with all the import formalities if those companies do not have a Belgian legal presence or a Belgian VAT number.


Useful links



Department Trade Facilitation


Antwerp Port Authority
Port House
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp