Major change in customs duties as of 1 January 2014

Wouter Villette 9 December 2013


In the course of the past months, we had the opportunity to draw your attention to a major change to customs duties applicable in the EU as from 1 January 2014.

Today, (three weeks from the deadline) we once again want to stress the potential impact of this modification on the customs duties your company pays.

In October 2012, the European Union adopted a regulation amending the EU Generalised System of Preferences (GSP). As a rule, goods originating from GSP beneficiary countries benefit from reduced (or zero) customs duty rates upon importation into the EU.

As from 1 January 2014, the following countries will no longer benefit from the GSP:

Gulf countries

Latin America

Asia

Africa

Others

Saudi Arabia

Argentina

Malaysia

Gabon

Belarus

Kuwait

Brazil

Kazakhstan

Libya

Russia

Bahrain

Cuba

Palau

Qatar

Uruguay

Brunei Darussalam

United Arab Emirates

Venezuela

Macao

Oman

This means that, as from 1 January 2014, standard customs duties will apply on all products originating from these countries when imported into the EU.

As a matter of example, Methanol (methyl alcohol) originating from Qatar (and currently imported under a 2% preferential customs duty rate into the EU) will be subject to a 5.5% rate when imported into the EU as from 1 January 2014.

Do not hesitate to contact Lionel Van Reet +32 497 05 11 81 or Dirk Aerts +32 473 91 06 20 to evaluate and (where possible) mitigate the impact on your company.