Shipping to Belgium From the UK
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Are you looking to expand your UK business into Europe? If yes, beginning with Belgium, rightfully labelled mini-Europe, is a great European market to get started in.
Belgium offers a diverse population with a few distinctly separate socio-demographic groups, making it a leading regional test market.
The country has a relatively balanced income distribution and also enjoys one of the highest per capita incomes in Europe.
Belgian consumers and economy both are largely reflective of overall Europe.
It provides access to over 140 million European Union (EU) consumers within a 300-mile radius. This audience represents a whopping 60% of Europe’s purchasing power.
To help your UK-based business successfully ship to Belgium, this guide provides information on shipping couriers and options, duties and customs, and commonly asked questions.
Cost & delivery speeds for shipping to Belgium from the UK
When shipping internationally, picking the right courier impacts the overall shipping experience significantly. To make the right decision, it is important to understand the choices available to you and to assess them as per your shipping needs.
Many shippers tend to choose based on the speed of delivery, while others may decide on the cost-effectiveness.
Some other parameters such as customs support, compensation covers, drop-off locations’ network, etc. can also be of significance when choosing a courier.
When shipping from the United Kingdom to Belgium, Royal Mail, FedEx, UPS, Evri (The new Hermes), Parcelforce Worldwide, and DPD local are all credible players that offer a host of options.
The rates shown here have been calculated using each company’s unique calculator for a sample package of 2 kg. The value of the package was taken as 50 GBP wherever required. The prices are subject to revisions and changes.
Note: These are general options for consumers’ shipping orders directly from a courier’s store. Rates have been arrived at by using each courier’s specific calculator for a sample package of 2 kg in the month of July 2022.
To know what ShipBob offers when shipping to other countries like Belgium, please request a quote here.
ShipBob’s exact rates for customers will vary as we charge an all-in ‘total fulfilment cost’ that includes picking, packing, and shipping, among other factors.
|Royal Mail||International Standard||£12.20||3-5 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Tracked||£13.05||3-4 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Economy||£14.25||12 business days|
|Royal Mail||International Tracked and Signed||£14.95||3-4 business day|
|UPS||Express Plus||£55.57||1 business day|
|UPS||Express||£25.57||1 business day|
|UPS||Express Saver||£14.57||1 business day|
|UPS||Standard||£12.19||2 business day|
|FedEx||International Economy||£109.73||3 business day|
|FedEx||International Europe First||£133.02||1 business day|
|FedEx||International Priority Express||£121.71||1 business day|
|Evri||Evri Courier||£11.10||3-7 business day|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalpriority||£58.40||3+ business day|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalexpress||£116.58||1+ business days|
|Parcelforce Worldwide||globalvalue||£53.10||5+ business days|
|DPD local||Air Express||£68.77||2-3 business days|
|DPD local||Air Classic||£45.26||7-10 business days|
Only pick-up service prices for Parcelforce Worldwide, DPD local and Evri are of have been listed here. The package size for calculation was taken as 45cm X 35cm X 16cm (L X W X H) wherever mandatorily requested i.e., Evri, Parcelforce Worldwide, and DPD local shipping options.
There is no difference in the costs for UPS and FedEx pick-up and drop-off options.
How to choose a shipping courier
If you are looking to ship internationally it is a good idea to do research on different couriers and their shipping options.
Here is a brief overview of the top couriers’ pros and cons.
Shipping to Belgium from the UK with Royal Mail
Royal Mail has capabilities to deliver mail worldwide to over 220 countries and territories.
When shipping to Belgium from the United Kingdom, it offers a variety of options. International Tracked and International Tracked and Signed are among its fastest delivery options aiming to reach the recipient within 3-4 business days.
The primary difference between the two options lies in the trackability scale and the compensation cover value.
When to use Royal Mail to ship from the UK to Belgium
Royal Mail is ideal for someone who is looking for a reliable name and is open to a flexible delivery timeline.
The package weight limit of 2 kg, which may be 5 kg for some items, makes it more suitable for shipping lighter goods.
Shipping to Belgium from the UK with UPS
UPS has over 48,000+ employees working just within the Europe region to deliver goods efficiently. With a robust network and 45+ years of presence in the region, it has the capabilities to deliver to over 220 countries and territories across the world.
UPS has over 4,200 access points within the UK for parcel drop-offs.
There are several competitive services offered when shipping from the UK to Belgium. Its Express Saver and Standard options are both priced reasonably and are among the most speedy delivery options across a range of couriers.
When to use UPS to ship from the UK to Belgium
UPS offers some competitive options that aim to deliver within a day and at predefined slots. The Express Plus service aims to deliver as early as 9:00 am the next day.
It is a great choice for someone looking to get their packages to Belgium fast and at optimised costs.
It also offers other benefits such as a high weight limit of up to 70 kg, special small business solutions offering flat-rate shipping at affordable prices, and enhanced customs assistance.
Shipping to Belgium from the UK with FedEx
FedEx has been connecting Europe since 1984. While it is headquartered in the Netherlands in Europe, Liège, a city in Belgium is also among the two main hubs for FedEx in the region.
It is a leader in the transportation industry and can ship to over 220 countries and territories worldwide.
Among the services offered for shipping to Belgium from the UK, FedEx Europe First, an intra-European fast delivery service, aims to deliver shipments to select postcodes as early as 10:00 am the next morning.
When to use FedEx to ship from the UK to Belgium
If you want a trusted courier and are looking for quick solutions to deliver shipments to Belgium from the UK, FedEx could be a good fit for you. FedEx services are usually priced higher compared to other couriers.
A sound tracking mechanism and a high package weight limit of up to 68 kg are some more benefits that come as given when you choose FedEx.
Ecommerce businesses can enjoy special solutions such as FedEx International Connect Plus when shipping on this route. Benefits include increased cost efficiencies, an account manager, greater convenience, and more.
Shipping to Belgium from the UK with DPD UK
DPD has the expertise to get your packages to over 230 countries and territories across the world. It offers several solutions when delivering from the United Kingdom to Belgium. Both door-to-door and drop-off options are available to its customers.
It has a nexus of over 6,000 drop-off shops within the UK. These have been selected to ensure they are not more than a few minutes away from 93% of the UK’s population.
When to use DPD UK to ship from the UK to Belgium
If you prefer your packages to be trackable, want a high compensation cover option, appreciate a vast drop-off shop network, and are flexible on delivery timelines, DPD might be suitable for you.
With efforts such as an all-electric fleet, green packaging, etc. DPD also aims to be the United Kingdom’s most sustainable delivery company.
This can be of value to an ecommerce business that is looking for environmentally friendly solutions.
Shipping to Belgium from the UK with Evri (The new Hermes)
Evri (The new Hermes) can deliver packages to over 190 countries worldwide. It has over 6,000 parcelshops and lockers that provide a convenient drop-off points network to its customers within the UK.
It provides cost-effective solutions with built-in trackability for both collected and drop-off options.
Delivery to most European destinations is expected within 3-7 working days. Package weight is capped at a maximum of 15 kg.
When to use Evri (The new Hermes) to ship from the UK to Belgium
Evri offers the most cost-effective solutions when compared to a range of couriers. Although, delivery and collection are both not guaranteed. But, they enjoy high chances of success.
For someone looking for affordable solutions, trackability, and ease of dropping-off parcels, Evri might be the answer.
It works as a partner for many top retail businesses within the UK such as ASOS, John Lewis, and Debenhams. For an ecommerce business looking to engage their services, this can be reassuring.
Shipping to Belgium from the UK with Parcelforce
Whether you are looking to ship to the smallest town in Belgium, Durbuy, or to Belgium’s port city, Antwerp, or even to its capital, Brussels, Parcelforce prides itself in being able to deliver anywhere in Belgium from the UK.
For those seeking speedy solutions, Parcelforce has delivery options that can reach Belgium from the UK in 1+ business days. It also offers relatively economic solutions but those take longer.
Both home collection and post-office/Parcelforce depot drop-off options are available to its customers. Drop-offs are priced lower compared to the other couriers.
Parcelforce Worldwide provides its customers access to 11,000+ local post-office branches within the UK for parcel drop-offs. Additionally, there are Parcelforce depots available for the same service too. This makes for a vast network and brings added ease to its customers.
When to use Parcelforce to ship from the UK to Belgium
If you are looking to send packages of up to 30 kg, want the ease of a drop-off location, and are looking for a trusted name, Parcelforce Worldwide may be the courier of choice for you.
Additional benefits like full trackability are available for some options.
Also, while a compensation cover of up to £100 – £200 is included, you may be able to secure your package further to a value of up to £500-£2,500 at additional costs.
Duties & taxes when shipping to Belgium from the UK
To safeguard national interest and the local industries, all countries levy duties and taxes on imports. The relationship of the country of import with that of the country of export impacts the nature and extent of duties levied.
Post-Brexit, the United Kingdom does not enjoy the trade benefits that came with being a part of the EU single market. This means goods exported from the United Kingdom to the EU are now subject to applicable customs and duties.
A VAT of 21% is charged as standard on all goods imported to Belgium from the UK. However, some categories may attract a lower rate of VAT.
Social housing and agricultural products are charged with a 12% VAT. A 6% VAT is charged on basic foodstuffs, water, hotel services, property restoration, and some other supplies.
If the goods being bought are under the value of €150, the online merchant may be able to collect the applicable VAT at the time of purchase. This is possible if the seller uses Import One Stop Shop (IOSS).
If the seller is not registered, duties will have to be cleared at the time of import. In such a scenario, the courier will likely charge some fee for clearing the formalities on your behalf.
All items above €150 are charged with necessary customs and duties at the time of import in Belgium. The same is calculated by the Belgian customs department. VAT on these goods cannot be paid up at the time of purchase.
Gifts up to the value of €45 are exempt from VAT or customs duties. Only those items are considered gifts that are sent from individual shippers and not companies.
Some items such as alcohol and tobacco may require special permissions and certificates for importation into Belgium. These may also attract additional excise duties.
Belgium customs information
Once the goods reach Belgium from the UK, they are presented for customs clearance.
Customs authorities require that a set of documents such as the Summary Declaration, Single Administrative Document (SAD), necessary certificates wherever applicable, etc. be presented before any customs duties are levied.
To be able to file for customs declarations within the EU, a business needs to have an Economic Operator Identification and Registration (EORI) number.
Post the necessary dues have been calculated and collected, the goods are cleared for entry into the country.
A courier company facilitating the customs process for an importer or shipper may charge an additional brokerage fee for the services rendered.
Since customs information is subject to change, it is advised to review this on the official website before shipping the goods. You can visit Belgium’s customs department’s website here.
Prohibited items when shipping to Belgium
Every country follows a list of items it prohibits from importing. This is usually reflective of the country’s laws and is appointed to protect the rights and beliefs of its citizens.
Belgium too prohibits many items from being imported. Additionally, some items are restricted. This means the restricted items might be permitted in predefined numbers to authorized organisations with duly certificates/permits or to importers with necessary approvals.
In addition to country-specific lists, each courier also follows a prohibited items list that it does not transport.
It is recommended to review these lists before shipping. This can help you avoid last-minute delays and hassles.
Items you can’t ship to Belgium from the UK
|Jewelry (with some exceptions)|
|Counterfeit or pirated goods|
|Cigarettes, cigars, and cigarillos|
|Eggs and poultry|
|Weapons and explosives|
|Narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances|
Since these lists are subject to revisions, be sure to check the customs website before shipping.
What ecommerce businesses need to know about shipping to Belgium
Belgium’s capital city, Brussels, is often labelled “the capital of Europe”. It is called so because many influential international organisations including the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) are headquartered here.
This affluent and multicultural country is also the UK’s 8th largest trading partner. Belgium’s overall internet penetration is at 83% and is higher than the EU’s average (73%).
The Kingdom of Belgium has Dutch, French, and (to a limited extent) German language divisions that affect consumer characteristics.
To an ecommerce business, such information can be useful since being aware of the local nuances is important when marketing products.
Read on below to get more insights that can help you better understand the Belgian market.
1. Use market similarities to your advantage
Belgium’s business culture is similar to that of the UK. British goods carry a good reputation. A product that has won in the British market has a good chance of finding success in the Belgian market as well.
Owing to its location and past, Belgium’s educational system is oriented toward foreign language learning.
The country fairs very high in the English Proficiency Index and English speakers can be found in large numbers.
English is also an accepted business language. This further adds to the ease of doing business for a British ecommerce business.
2. Favorable and convenient location
Located between France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, Belgium is a small country at the heart of European politics.
For a UK-based ecommerce business, Belgium’s geographical proximity is an advantage. The country also has good transport links making travel between the two countries convenient. One can easily attend meetings in Belgium and be back in the UK within a day.
Many international organisations and multinational companies are housed in Belgium. Its central European location, strong economy, robust logistical infrastructure, and diverse population all make it an attractive destination for commercial activities.
3. Prepare for a diverse market
Belgium is a multilingual country with Dutch, French, German, and English-speaking populations. This diverse market is also reflective of the larger European market and serves as a good testing ground for a business looking to expand in the EU.
While this can be exciting for a cross-border ecommerce business, a diverse market such as this can also be perplexing.
Though the acceptance of English is a plus for a British business, you must prepare to communicate according to the population targeted.
The existing law of the country on labelling requires that consumers of the targeted market be able to read the product information. Therefore, for a new brand, usage of both Dutch and French on labels is an oft-opted practical solution.
When targeting German communities around the Belgian-German border, featuring information in German on labels is recommended.
There may be some additional requirements for specific products such as textile, etc. It is best to check with requisite authorities for the same.
Take your business international with ShipBob
Ready to ship globally without the additional stress and headaches?
ShipBob is a global omnichannel fulfilment partner that makes selling internationally accessible and affordable.
Selling internationally can be challenging, time-consuming, and costly. But with ShipBob, you’re given everything you need to serve customers across the globe while saving time on logistics.
We not only take care of picking, packing, and shipping your orders to Belgium with a fulfilment centre in the UK and other locations across the world, we also offer upfront fulfilment costs that include customs, duties, and additional taxes.
By partnering with ShipBob, you eliminate the need to manage retail fulfilment, logistics operations, and hire labour.
“While we’re based in the US, a quarter of our sales are international. It looks like international sales will overtake US sales in a few short years — so we are definitely using ShipBob’s international fulfilment centres!
We’ve found that there is consistent demand for our products abroad, and ShipBob’s ever-expanding global fulfilment network enables us to tap into that demand much more cost-effectively.
Currently, we have stock in ShipBob’s fulfilment centres in the UK, Canada, and Australia. We’ve also just begun moving into ShipBob’s fulfilment centre in Poland, as we have customers in Germany as well! With new locations being added all the time, ShipBob will help us service customers in more and more countries around the world over time.”
Aaron Patterson, COO of The Adventure Challenge
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Shipping to Belgium FAQs
You can find below answers to some of the most commonly asked questions on shipping from the United Kingdom to Belgium
What’s the cheapest way to ship to Belgium from the UK?
Evri’s Parcelshop option is the cheapest way to ship from the UK to Belgium. Even the collection option, Evri Courier, is priced affordably. The maximum parcel weight limit permitted is up to 15 kg.
What’s the cheapest way to ship large packages to Belgium from the UK?
You can ship packages up to 70 kg with UPS Standard service at competitive prices. For packages up to 15 kg, Evri offers affordable shipping rates.
UPS also offers flat-rate solutions for small businesses that start as low as £10.19 for packages weighing up to 70 kg.
What’s the fastest way to ship a package to Belgium from the UK?
UPS’s Express Plus service aims to deliver packages from the UK to Belgium by the next morning, 9:00 am.
Do I have to pay customs duties and fees when shipping to Belgium from the UK?
Belgium levies a 21% import VAT on all goods imported from the UK. Some categories like social housing and agricultural products may attract a reduced VAT of 12%.
Others such as basic foodstuffs, water, hotel services, property restoration, and some other supplies may attract an even lower VAT of 6%.
Excise duties may be applied to categories such as alcohol, tobacco, coffee, etc.
In addition to VAT, customs duties and courier handling fees may also be levied wherever applicable.
What’s the easiest way to ship something to Belgium from the UK?
UPS would make for a convenient choice when shipping from the UK to Belgium. This is as along with the long-standing reputation it offers next-day delivery options, competitive pricing, pick-up service, a reasonable domestic drop-off network within the UK, and built-in tracking.