Moving and Removals to Belgium
Are you thinking of moving to the land of waffles and chocolate? you’re probably itching to learn everything you can about removals to Belgium.
A small but mighty powerhouse, Belgium is at the very heart of the EU. It offers both economic stability and a charming landscape. Although it is very easy to reach, moving house takes time and preparation; You may benefit from visiting our movers guide. In the meantime, we hope the following overview of what moving to Belgium is about will be useful
You’re moving to Belgium – welcome to the finer things in life.
Removals to Belgium: About Belgium
Belgium is a small country but one of the most densely populated in Europe. It has a long history of welcoming migrants; Around 10 million people live in Belgium today, with Brussels, Bruges and Antwerp popular cities to settle in.
The cost of living in Belgium is relatively high compared to elsewhere in Europe. However, the country is very strong economically, and there’s a rich tapestry of culture, history and heritage. The standard of living is excellent with easy transport to other parts of Europe.
The climate in Belgium is temperate with typically mild winters and relatively cool summers. Rainfall is common all year round.
Removals to Belgium: Language
As a smaller nation tacked onto the side of powerful France, you may believe that French is the only language you’ll need to get by in Belgium. Speaking French may help you, but not necessarily so, depending on where you live.
In the south of the country, in the area known as Wallonia, French is indeed the main language. But Belgium is officially bilingual, and French is only one of the two Belgian tongues.
The other language, Flemish, derives from the Flanders regions in the north of the country. Flemish is a Dutch dialect very different from French. There are some regional differences but if you are able to converse in Dutch, you won’t find Flemish a problem. If you think of the similarities between UK and US English, you’ll get the idea!
Depending on where you live, you may find official paperwork either in Dutch or in French. Brussels is primarily French-speaking but as it lies within the Flanders region, all of the paperwork is in Flemish. Therefore, if you know both you’ll have a big advantage!
Like many other western countries in Europe, many people speak English, particularly in the cities. However, in more remote regions or with the older generation, you might find a conversation in English a little more challenging. Many Flemish speakers will also be able to speak French but they are often likely to prefer conversing in English.
Removals to Belgium: Visa Requirements
Members of any other EU countries may enter Belgium without the need to obtain a visa. There is no limit on the amount of time they may remain in the country but they will need a residence permit if they decide to stay longer than three months.
Belgium is also a Schengen country which allows free movement from any other Schengen nation without any further visas required.
Visitors from outside the EU can enter the country on a short-term basis if they are from a select list of countries such as the US, Canada and Australia. Visitors planning a longer stay, or coming from other countries will need a Schengen visa.
You will find essential links for British Expats in Belgium on the UK Govt website
Removals to Belgium: Transport
If you’re planning on getting around by car while in Belgium, you might want to reconsider. Belgium has the dubious honour of being the 27th most congested country in the world. Some cities such as Brussels fare even worse.
Travelling by public transport is a much easier option. The network is extensive, well-maintained, clean and simple to use. The various types of public transport including bus, tram, train and metro system are all integrated which makes it far easier to plan your route.
Children aged under 6yrs travel free on public transport and those under 12 can also travel free on certain adult passes.
Removals to Belgium: Healthcare
The healthcare system is Belgium is absolutely exemplary and can be accessed via either private or state cover. If you are working in Belgium, once you register with Social Security your employer will make deductions from your salary to cover your contributions. Each individual must pay 7.35% to have healthcare cover but part of this is paid by your employer. Self-employed individuals have to pay the full 7.35% themselves.
Belgian healthcare covers both the individual and any dependents, and when you need care you’ll be able to choose the provider you want. Patients will normally have to pay medical costs first and then claim a refund back. It’s common for Belgian residents to have private health insurance to top up their state cover.
To call an ambulance in Belgium, you dial 100 which is also the same number for the fire brigade. The police can be called in an emergency by dialling 101.
Removals to Belgium: Moving to Belgium
As a country that is economically stable and with a wealth of opportunities, moving to Belgium is a common request for many transport companies. If you choose a reputable international moving company, they will be very familiar with the route as well as the regulations which govern entry.
You can bring your household items into Belgium without paying duty providing that you have owned them for at least six months prior to entry. You can also import a motorcycle or car providing you’ve had it for at least six months, paid the relevant taxes at purchase and it meets the Belgium standards for safety.There is a lot of paperwork associated with moving and transporting goods to Belgium which is subject to change so make sure you stay up to day with any requirements.
Whether you choose our Load & Go or our EasyMoves solution, European Moving can help you with your removal. We shall be able to provide advice on a whole range of removal issues you may not have encountered before.