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Standard VAT rate: 21% (Jan 1996)

Reduced VAT rates: 12% restaurants

Reduced VAT rates:  6% foodstuffs, books, water, pharmaceuticals, medical, books, newspapers, cultural and entertainment events, hotels

Should you register for Belgian VAT?

In common with the other 26 member states of the EU, Belgium requires foreign (non-resident) companies to register their foreign companies (not local branches or subsidiaries) for Belgian VAT in certain circumstances.  This includes the provision of taxable goods in the following situations:

  • Importing into Belgium.  However, if the local customer is a Belgian VAT registered business, or the goods will move onwards from Belgium immediately, this can avoided.
  • Buying and selling goods in Belgium if the customer is not Belgian VAT registered (if they are, then reverse charge applies, and no registration is required).
  • Storing goods in Belgium prior to resale.  Again, reverse charge exceptions apply if the customer if Belgian VAT registered.
  • Holding live exhibitions, events or training in Belgium.
  • If a company is otherwise a non-VAT trader, but is receiving services in Belgium under the reverse charge rule.
  • The self supply of goods.
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