Belgium is working to attract UK businesses into the country by offering easier access to the EU.
The charm offensive has stepped up a gear as it continues to evolve and streamline customs processes and offering the opportunity for strategic partnerships.
Werner Rens, of the Belgian Customs Authority, said at a British Chambers of Commerce event that: “Becoming an authorised economic operator (AEO) in Belgium means you become a VIP, as far as Belgian customs is concerned.
“When doing closed border trade with the EU, Belgian customs offers the opportunity to displace the customs office, meaning that the business does not bring goods to customs for physical checks because the warehouse can become authorised as an ‘approved place’.
“And as an ‘approved place’, your warehouse is recognised as a customs office.
“In Belgium, we really believe in the extended gateway principle, which means moving the border posts away from the main ports in an effort to alleviate congestion and keep the supply chains flowing.”
Some UK sectors have been left reeling by the effects of Brexit for real, with the dairy industry amongst the biggest losers with milk and cream exports, in particular, dropping 96% year-on-year.
But tools such as becoming an authorised economic operator, as well as understanding and getting to grips with customs declarations, incoterms and rules of origin can help firms to adapt to a new trading environment.