Pay VAT if importing wine from Belgium?

I am looking to order wines from a Belgium shop. When going through the checkout process the shop applies VAT. Is that correct? I thought there’s no VAT if exporting out of Belgium.

My understanding is that you wouldn’t pay VAT; I’m guessing the vendor isn’t set up to handle that type of transaction.

If you end up paying VAT, you can then apply for a refund. I work for BMW and when I go to Germany I pay VAT on most everything, and then we submit refunds off my expense reports.

HOWEVER, maybe not in Belgium. I don’t know exactly what “Intra-Community” means, but it says this:

Some categories of expenditure don’t allow any VAT refunds; in Belgium these categories are the following:

the deliveries and the Intra-Community acquisitions of manufactured tobaccos;
the deliveries and the Intra-Community acquisitions of alcoholic beverages, not including those destined to be resold or to be supplied in the context of providing services;

I’m not sure alcohol always qualifies for a VAT refund.

A VAT refund is different than not being charged VAT up-front. I do believe he should not me charged VAT up front. And knowing how governments work/don’t work I’m not sure I would want to wait around for a refund, if that’s even possible.

To what country are you ordering? Not sure about the details but if you order within EU then some retailers seem to be able to apply VAT (+excise duty) applicable for the country of delivery/sale. Usually the larger ones. Guess that requires establishing a VAT number in that country and can probably more work than smaller retailer would have resources to handle…


Lots of confused posts here. If you are ordering for delivery in Belgium then you pay Belgian VAT when ordering.

If you are ordering for delivery direct to the US then in theory no Belgian VAT should be charged. However few small merchants online systems would be set up to deal with this so the answer as always on such cases would be to give them a call.

Wines in belgium. Ship to USA. Called and was told they are required to VAT. SHRUG

Well if they are exporting them directly they are wrong, but so is using VAT as a verb. Move on, lots of wine that comes hassle free. Ordering wine from abroad is rarely a cost saver at the end of the day IME.

VAT is charged upon purchase. You may request a VAT refund, but not all merchants participate. The only way VAT is not charged is if the wines are in bond prior to purchase.