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How to treat empty containers in Belgian maritime ports?

Mon, 09 Apr 2018 by Customs 4 Trade

The directives on how to treat empty containers have been published by the Belgian customs administration.

These directives apply to ‘empty’ and ‘residual containers’ that are supplied by maritime vessels. A container is regarded by customs as a ‘residual container’ when it has been unloaded as much as possible and part of the content cannot be removed from the container without being cleaned (so called ‘empty uncleaned containers’, where the content that cannot be removed has no commercial value). This container can be considered ‘empty’ and can be immediately released. If the container is not considered ‘empty’, a customs declaration is needed.

These directives are, for the time being, only to be applied to containers that are transported with a transport contract (b/l) (the so-called ‘shippers owned’ containers) and not to the other containers (the so-called ‘empty repositionings’). The directives will become mandatory from 1 July 2018, but they can now already be implemented.

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