Money and duty free for Belgium
Currency & Money
Belgium switched from the Belgian Franc to the Euro (EUR; symbol €) in 2002. Notes are in denominations of €500, 200, 100, 50, 20, 10 and 5. Coins are in denominations of €2, 1 and 50, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cents.
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard and Visa are widely accepted in the major cities and towns; take cash for smaller villages. Be aware that some petrol stations and local shops only accept a nationwide payment system known as Bancontact or Proton. In these incidences you’ll have to use cash or, alternatively, you can buy pre-loaded Bancontact cards from the post office.
Cashpoints compatible with international banking networks are located in all towns and cities, as well as airports, major train stations and other spots. They usually offer an attractive exchange rate, although be aware that most banks charge a fee for withdrawals made abroad.
Travellers’ cheques are no longer widely accepted; it’s quicker and easier to withdraw cash from an ATM.
Mon-Fri 0900-1200 and 1400-1600, Sat 0900-1200.
Currency exchange can be made in most banks and post offices as well as in some train stations, airports and exchange offices near major tourist sites.
Belgium duty free
Belgium is within the European Union. If you are travelling from the UK, you are entitled to buy fragance, skincare, cosmetics, Champagne, wine, selected spirits, fashion accessories, gifts and souvenirs – all at tax-free equivalent prices.
If you are travelling from within the EU, there is no limit on the amount or value of goods you may import, providing your goods are for personal consumption. Goods imported for commercial purposes are subject to duty and the following guideline amounts are in place to determine whether this is the case:
• 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or 1kg of tobacco.
• 10L of spirits over 22%, 20L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%, 90L of wine (no more than 60L of sparkling wine) and 110L of beer.
If you are arriving from a non-EU country, the following goods may be imported into Belgium by travellers over 17 years of age without incurring customs duty:
• 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco.
• 4L of wine and 16L of beer and 1L of spirits over 22% or 2L of alcoholic beverages less than 22%.
• Other goods up to the value of €430 for air and sea travellers and €300 for other travellers (reduced to €175 for children under 15).
Restricted imports include firearms, narcotics, plants, animals and their products. Endangered species must be accompanied by a CITES permit.