The new portal is specially designed for the growth market of e-commerce and is aimed at accelerating and increasing the efficiency of customs clearance in the cross-border flow of goods
BE-GATE was developed on the initiative of the Belgium Customs and Excise Department and is claimed to be unique in Europe. The new platform is already supported by four important e-commerce hubs, the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge and the airports of Brussels and Liege.
A free-of-charge customs portal, BE-GATE is designed for processing large amounts of data and, says the Port of Antwerp, guarantees rapid clearance of customs applications. A high number of arrival notifications can be transmitted simultaneously via an officially customs-approved form.
For shipments of less than or equal to €22, this form also serves as a declaration of release for consumption. For all other shipments, an additional declaration in the Belgian customs software solution PLDA PaperLess Douanes et Accises (Paperless Customs & Excise) is required.
Retailers also automatically receive information on those shipments that have been selected for customs control. All other shipments are released immediately. In addition, the software solution provides a recommendation for the concrete determination of the customs value on the basis of defined criteria, if the customs value cannot be determined by an alternative method.
BE-GATE can be used within the framework of customs regulations for free circulation, customs warehousing and outright export. The prerequisites are that the economic operator has a registered office in Belgium and a status as a customs agent. In addition, an intermediate warehouse or a location approved as a customs warehouse, the authorization for the use of the simplified declaration and a comprehensive guarantee are required.
Excise goods, goods subject to licenses and goods subject to special restrictions and control measures are excluded from the use of BE-GATE.
In export, BE-GATE can be used for shipments with a value of up to €1,000 euros and a weight of less than 1,000 kg. Otherwise, an additional declaration in PLDA is required
Werner Rens, Head of Marketing Department, Belgium Customs and Excise, said: "As partners we invest in platforms and procedures to optimize this network. That way we can meet the e-commerce players’ expectations about integrated gateways. Moreover, our sea- and airports are centrally located in Europe. This optimal location and connectivity make Belgium a unique hotspot for omni channel logistics.
"With BE-GATE, we have developed an efficient and effective e-commerce tool that prevents delays in the supply chain due to lack of transparency and communication."