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New customs procedure at the Antwerp Port

Customs authorities in Belgium have recently started to implement a new customs procedure for all shippers’ own containers and tanks that are empty (with or without residue) discharging in Antwerp.

As from end of June 2018, it is mandatory to report all shippers’ own containers on the import customs manifest even when they are empty or only contain residue.

The possibility to report containers as empty containers exists. Shippers’ own containers with a gross weight of 100 kg or less will be reported to customs as empty containers and will automatically be released by customs. No customs formalities are required from the receiver / importer.

On the other hand, shippers’ own containers reported as full (gross cargo weight over 100 kg), have to undergo a full customs clearance. Customs have advised that an IMA or T1 document is mandatory in this case and that an oral declaration is no longer accepted.

Shipping instructions:
It is of utmost importance that your shipping instructions only reflect the weight of the contents of the containers. The tare weight of the container should never be included in the gross cargo weight on your shipping instructions.
In case of residue containers, only mention the weight of the residue in the shipping instructions. For an empty container, we recommend to mention 1 kg.

On the import side:
If the gross cargo weight on the bill of lading / arrival notice is higher than 100 kg, please organize an import clearance document IMA or T1 to clear the import customs manifest accordingly. If the tare of the container is included in the manifested cargo weight, you can also ask the shipper to correct the manifested gross cargo weight. As soon as the weight has been updated, the customs manifest can be corrected accordingly.

Source: Hapag-Lloyd
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