Frequently Asked Questions
What is an E-certificate?
An E-certificate is an electronic document which is issued after a positive real-time validation of one’s fiscal privilege and enables Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts and their staff members to purchase products and services without VAT.
What is the difference between the VAT-Free Service and The VAT-Reimbursement Service?
The VAT-Free Service is the possibility to buy without paying the VAT on the moment of the purchase itself.
The VAT-Reimbursement Service is buying VAT included on the moment of the purchase and getting reimbursed the VAT amount later on.
Is Diplomatic Card the only Service provider who can offer both Services, the VAT-Free Service and the VAT-Reimbursement Service?
Yes, only Diplomatic Card can offer you both Services simultaneously for the New E-certificate; The VAT-Free Service and the VAT-Reimbursement Service for both Official Use and Private Use. Only Diplomatic Card can guarantee the VAT-Free Service.
What about the new E-certificate?
The new E-certificate will replace the 450 VAT exemption document, the 451 VAT exemption document, the old E-certificate and the website www.VATEXEMPTION.be. It will also give you more privileges. See further.
What are the 7 major changes with the new E-certificate?
- You have to sign a contract with your chosen service provider.
- For Private Use the new exempted minimum purchase amount will be € 50,- and for Official Use € 125,-
- You cannot fill in your new E-certificate yourself through vatexemption.be any more as your chosen service provider has to fill it in for you.
- The retailer/supplier has to respect your contract with your chosen service provider and he cannot send your invoices to another service provider then the one you have chosen.
- You and not the retailer/supplier have to send your invoices to your chosen service provider.
- The retailer/supplier has to reimburse the VAT amount to your chosen service provider based on the new E-certificate so he is not allowed to send the reimbursed VAT amount to another service provider.
- You can sign a contract with only one service provider at the same time
How can I obtain a new E-certificate?
By signing up with us a new contract you will receive your VAT Card which will enable you to get automatically the new E-certificate for both services, namely the VAT-Free and the VAT-Reimbursement Service.
- Immediate VAT-Free (connected stores)
Get your new personal VAT Card and buy immediately VAT-free at all our connected stores. For each purchase with your new VAT Card the new E-certificate is created following the validation of your fiscal privilege.
- VAT-Reimbursement (non-connected stores)
Just scan your invoice and send it by e-mail to email@example.com. We will process your purchase, create for you the new E-certificate and take car of your VAT-Reimbursement.
When will the 451 & 450 forms become obsolete?
These documents cannot be used anymore after the transition period starting on August 1st and ending on December 31st 2017.
What is the new privileged minimum purchase amount for Personal Use and Official Use?
From the moment you have signed the new contract, starting from the 1st of August 2017, the new minimum purchase amount for Personal Use is € 50,- excluding VAT and the new minimum purchase amount for Official Use is € 125,- excluding VAT, when using the new E-certificate.
Can I also enjoy the new privileged minimum purchase amount of € 50,- for Personal Use with the 451 VAT exemption document?
No, the 451 VAT exemption document does not allow you to enjoy this new minimum amount of €50,-. Only with the new E-certificate you are allowed VAT exemption from € 50,-
Can I also enjoy the new privileged minimum purchase amount of € 50,- for Personal Use when I go to www.vatexemption.be and fill in by myself the E-certificate?
No, this is not allowed as only the new E-certificate, which cannot be filled in by yourself anymore, can offer you this new privileged minimum purchase amount of € 50,- for Personal Use.
Can I obtain VAT exemption for services?
Yes, you can from the moment you have signed the new contract and starting up in the following month you have signed the new contract.
Can I make use of a basic VAT-reimbursement service for which I do not have to pay?
Yes, Diplomatic Missions and Diplomates can make use of a basic VAT-reimbursement service for which they do not have to pay if they want to choose for such a basic service. Please contact us for more information.
Do I need to send the original invoice per post?
No, just scan your invoice and send it by e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org and we take care of all the rest. Receipts, order forms and duplicata invoices however are not admissible.
Do I need to make a copy of the invoice?
No, you do not need to make a copy. Just scan your invoice and send it by e-mail to us.
Can I obtain the VAT reimbursed from purchases done at any Retailer in Belgium?
Yes. Ask in the non-connected store for your original invoice which includes the information required by the Belgian Ministry of Finance. The word ‘facture’, ‘factuur’ or ‘invoice’ should be mentioned. Other information has to be clearly visible on the document:
- The invoice number and date of the purchase;
- Your name and address (the name must be the name of the diplomat who signed the contract – the account holder);
- The name and address of the supplier;
- The VAT number of the supplier;
- A description of the goods and / or services;
- The total amount without VAT, the VAT percentage and total VAT amount.
Scan your invoice, send it by e-mail and let our Support Desk process your purchase. Following the validation of your fiscal privilege by the VAT administration, an E-certificate is created. Subsequently the VAT amount will be reimbursed onto your personal bank account by Diplomatic Card Company just after the VAT reimbursement by the supplier.
As a family member of a Diplomat, on who’s name should the invoice be made?
At non-connected stores, you should ask for your invoice on the name of the account holder – being the Diplomat who is accredited in Belgium and who signed the contract. The Belgian VAT Administration does not allow invoices to be created on the name of a family member. Those invoices cannot be accepted.
At our connected stores, your invoice is made automatically VAT free and on the name of the account holder, so you do not have to worry about anything.
Where can I buy directly VAT-free on the spot?
You can use your personal VAT Card and mobile phone to buy VAT-free on the spot at all our connected stores. Find more information on our Network page.
Can I use my VAT Card abroad?
No. Your entitlement to VAT exemption is granted by the Belgian authorities because your mission is located in Belgium. The use of the VAT Card is thereby limited to within the borders of the Kingdom of Belgium.
Is it possible to block my VAT Card in case of theft or loss?
Yes. Your VAT card can be blocked by calling our Support Desk on 02 402 30 93.
Is there a cost to be paid for the plastic VAT Card by ordering, theft, loss or replacement?
No, you do not have to pay anything for the plastic VAT Card itself.
How long does it take to have my personal plastic VAT Card delivered?
It takes on average five working days to deliver your VAT Card. For your convenience VAT Cards are sent to the official address of your mission.
What are the costs associated with this service?
Please take contact with the Support Desk.
Do I have to activate my customer account or VAT Card before I use it?
No. You can start using the VAT Card upon reception. No need for activation.
How does my personal VAT Card work at the point of sale of our connected stores?
At all our connected stores, VAT-Free invoices are automatically issued on the name of the account holder – being the Diplomat who is accredited in Belgium. You pay VAT-Free on the spot and do not have to worry asking invoices and/or associated new E-certificates. We take care of everything after your VAT-Free purchase and you don’t have to do anything any more at all.
On the Network page you may find your preferred store.
For more information on how the VAT Card works, please check the VAT Card-page or take contact with us.
How does my personal VAT Card work at the point of sale of non-connected stores?
You buy VAT included at any non-connected store, ask for your invoice, scan it and send it by e-mail to email@example.com .