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Stocking goods in Flanders

Are you starting logistics operations in Flanders or Europe? Below is the 2nd of 5 possible business scenarios – ranging from a representative office to a fully-fledged international distribution center – for structuring your logistics activities.

The region’s population has a high level of education, and the same goes for the general knowledge level. Highly skilled (technical) workers are essential to keeping our new and existing activities up and running in Puurs. Add to that the dedicated, results-driven mindset of people in Flanders,
and we have exactly what it takes to be successful in the pharmaceutical industry.

Luc Van Steenwinkel
Managing Director, Pfizer Belgium


  • No legal entity in Belgium.
  • You own stock (finished goods), stored in Belgium with a third-party logistics provider.
  • No other activity in Belgium.

Direct tax aspects

  • Under Belgian tax law, you have a Belgian establishment.
  • If your country has signed a double tax treaty with Belgium, a pure stock is not a taxable Permanent Establishment (PE).

Indirect tax aspects

  • Within the EU: only VAT liabilities.
  • Outside the EU: VAT and customs liabilities.
  • Storage of goods is never a PE for VAT purposes.
  • VAT registration is needed if you put the goods into free circulation in the EU (non-EU businesses need to appoint a VAT representative – global or individual; EU businesses can apply for direct registration).
  • To avoid pre-financing of import VAT, an import VAT deferral license (an ‘ET 14.000 license’) without any cash guarantee can be used.
  • However, supply of goods to Belgian, EU or non-EU customers is generally subject to VAT:
    • VAT exemption possible for intra-EU supply of goods and export supplies to non-EU;
    • reverse-charged or local VAT if goods remain in Belgium.
  • Bonded warehouse benefits apply.
  • Customs and excise duty implications (import/storage formalities, valuation, paperless declarations and electronic communication).
  • Input VAT can be deducted via the periodic VAT return as a Belgian VAT registration occurs.

Did you know?

Bonded warehouses allow importers to postpone payment of import duties and import VAT until the final destination of the goods is known. The bonded warehouse can perform customs-approved forms of handling to add value, such as re-packaging, conservation, testing and marketing. Companies with bonded warehouses across the EU can obtain a single EU authorization. This enables the smooth transport of goods between bonded locations. 

Interested in setting up logistics operations in Flanders?

Let us help you!

  • We can introduce you to other companies, banks and regulators
  • We organize site visits to real estate locations
  • We assist with all legal aspects of setting up a business
  • We're an official government agency
  • Our services are completely free
  • We are a team of international experts

Receive our handbook to setting up logistics in Flanders

  • It's completely free.

  • Learn about Flanders’ central location and intermodal infrastructure.
  • Get to know your future partners in logistics innovation.
  • Discover financial incentives and fiscal advantages for your business.
  • Choose your ideal scenario for starting operations in Flanders.

Handbook to setting up logistics in Flanders

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