DHL Aviation is the first company at Brussels Airport to obtain a license for the BE-GATE e-commerce customs clearance portal of the Belgian customs authority. Upon its launch, Belgian Finance minister Alexander De Croo said that BE-GATE is a vital instrument for swift e-commerce flows in Belgium.
Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist reminded that e-commerce was one of the pillars the airport wants to expand on. “In this respect BE-GATE is an efficient solution for all the stakeholders,
especially when paired with the community platform BRUcloud.”
At Brussels Airport some 250,000 packages are handled daily. The number of weekly customs declarations has risen from 47,789 in 2016 to 55,548 this year (+39.25%). BE-GATE uses the same data set for all (e-commerce) consignments through secured data transfer and uniform risk analysis.
DHL Aviation Customs Affairs Manager Gerrit De Sterck stressed the fact that in e-commerce speed is of the utmost importance. “You mustn’t forget that as an integrator we are also customs agents. BE-GATE enables clearance of huge volumes of e-commerce consignments.”
“It is a transparent tool enabling a fast and qualitative service. The system itself informs us if a specific shipment may be on-forwarded immediately to the end-customer or whether it has to be presented to the authorities for further checks. It is also compliant with the (European) Union Customs Code.”
12 applications so far
BE-GATE owes a lot to the expertise built up by the customs authorities at Liege Airport, who have been used to clearing TNT (now FedEx) consignments for years. “As we did not want to reinvent the wheel, we expanded it into a nationwide tool,” the customs administration claims. Within the administration it is no secret that the ‘landing’ of Alibaba at LGG has sped up the process.
To date the Belgian Customs Administration has received 12 BE-GATE applications. Of these 7 have been granted, 6 of which are still in the auditing phase. Of the applications 5 were received in the Liege customs office, and 5 in the office of Leuven, which is responsible for Brussels Airport.
Marcel Schoeters in Brussels