Customs solutions: we keep moving you smoother

Some goods need a fast transit. Some goods need extra inspection. And some goods just need both. As the gateway to Europe, we have the responsibility to ensure a safe and secure port while minimising the impact on trade. A true challenge, that we love to take.

Trade facilitation

The port authority's trade facilitation policy actively contributes to organising efficient checks on the one hand and facilitating international trade on the other hand.

We act as a single point of contact and offer several services such as:

  • Developing tailor-made solutions for companies;
  • Defining new and simplified procedures;
  • Implementing structural improvements and eliminating bottlenecks.

These services are the result of close cooperation with all companies in the port and the authorities.

Antwerp gateway to the European customs union

The Port of Antwerp functions as a European external border for one customs union of all EU-member states. It is therefore possible to fulfil all customs formalities in Antwerp to give goods freedom of passage throughout the entire European Union.


VAT deferral

Companies importing goods into the EU via the Port of Antwerp benefit from very efficient VAT deferral legislation during import. Pre-financing VAT is no longer necessary in this case, which obviously has a positive impact on the cash flow.

Quick and efficient customs handling

Customs procedures in the Port of Antwerp are very quick. Goods can already be electronically cleared and released by Customs, before they are unloaded from the ship. The goods can continue their journey to the eventual destination in the EU without delay. 

Virtual free zone

The Port of Antwerp is not a freeport and does not have a free trade zone. Antwerp offers a wide range of alternative procedures to avoid direct import duties and levies. These procedures such as bonded customs warehousing, inward processing and extended gate result in clear cost benefits. This makes Port of Antwerp a virtual free zone.

You can download information sheets about the procedures on the right hand side of this page.

One stop shop: logistics and tax representation

More than 200 specialised logistics service providers have years of know-how and expertise to take care of the entire logistical handling and administration process of your goods.

They can act as global fiscal representative for foreign companies to handle all import formalities in case they do not have a Belgian legal entity and do not have a Belgian VAT number.

Useful links


Department Trade Facilitation


Antwerp Port Authority
Port House
Zaha Hadidplein 1
2030 Antwerp