Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand need only a valid passport for a visit of less than 3 months to Belgium. If you're a citizen of another country, be sure to check the travel regulations before you leave.
The websites listed below provide downloadable passport applications as well as the current fees for processing applications. For an up-to-date, country-by-country listing of passport requirements around the world, go to the "International Travel" tab of the U.S. State Department at http://travel.state.gov.
For Residents of Australia -- You can pick up an application from your local post office or any branch of Passports Australia, but you must schedule an interview at the passport office to present your application materials. Call the Australian Passport Information Service at tel. 131-232, or visit the government website at www.passports.gov.au.
For Residents of Canada -- Passport applications are available at travel agencies throughout Canada or from the central Passport Office, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ottawa, ON K1A 0G3 (tel. 800/567-6868; www.ppt.gc.ca). Note: Canadian children who travel must have their own passport. However, if you hold a valid Canadian passport issued before December 11, 2001, that bears the name of your child, the passport remains valid for you and your child until it expires.
For Residents of Ireland -- You can apply for a 10-year passport at the Passport Office, Setanta Centre, Molesworth Street, Dublin 2 (tel. 01/671-1633; www.irlgov.ie/iveagh). Those under age 18 and over 65 must apply for a 3-year passport. You can also apply at 1A South Mall, Cork (tel. 21/494-4700), or at most main post offices.
For Residents of New Zealand -- You can pick up a passport application at any New Zealand Passports Office, or download it from their website. Contact the Passports Office at tel. 0800/225-050 in New Zealand or 04/474-8100, or log on to www.passports.govt.nz.
For Residents of the United Kingdom -- To pick up an application for a standard 10-year passport (5-yr. passport for children under 16), visit your nearest passport office, major post office, or travel agency or contact the United Kingdom Passport Service at tel. 0870/521-0410 or search its website at www.ukpa.gov.uk.
For Residents of the United States: Whether you're applying in person or by mail, you can download passport applications from the U.S. State Department website at http://travel.state.gov. To find your regional passport office, check the U.S. State Department website or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free number (tel. 877/487-2778) for automated information.
Citizens of the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand need only a valid passport for a visit to a Benelux country of less than 3 months. If you're a citizen of another country, be sure to check the travel regulations before you leave. You can get these in English from: www.diplomatie.be.
No health and vaccination certificates are required. You don't need any shots before your trip, but if you suffer from a chronic illness, consult your doctor before your departure.
Duty-free shopping has been abolished in all European Union countries, so standard allowances do not apply to goods bought in one EU country and brought into another. In this case, there are no import limitations for most goods for personal use, but the following guideline limits may apply (above these limits you could be asked to prove the goods are for personal use): 3,200 cigarettes, 400 cigarillos, 200 cigars, and 3 kilograms of tobacco; 10 liters of liquor, 20 liters of aperitifs (port and so on), 90 liters of wine (of which 60 liters may be sparkling wine), and 110 liters of beer.
What You Can Bring In -- Travelers 17 and older residing in a country outside the EU can bring in, free of duty, 200 cigarettes, 100 cigarillos, 50 cigars, or 250 grams of tobacco; 1 liter of liquor or 2 liters of sparkling or fortified wine; 2 liters of wine; 50 milliliters/grams of perfume; and 250 milliliters of eau de toilette. Import of most other goods is unlimited, so long as import duty is paid -- the duty must not exceed a value of 100€.
Forbidden products include firearms, counterfeit goods, banned narcotic substances, and protected animals and plants and products made from these.
For more information, contact Belgian Customs (tel. 02/753-48-50, 32-2/753-48-50 from outside Belgium).
What You Can Take Home -- Note that the rules from the information sources referred to below also apply to legal residents of the countries concerned, whether they are citizens or not.
U.S. Citizens: For specifics on what you can bring back and the corresponding fees, download the invaluable free pamphlet Know Before You Go online at www.cbp.gov. (Click on "Travel," and then click on "Know Before You Go! Online Brochure.") Or contact the U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), 1300 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20229 (tel. 877/287-8667) and request the pamphlet.
Canadian Citizens: For a clear summary of Canadian rules, write for the booklet I Declare, issued by the Canada Border Services Agency (tel. 800/461-9999 in Canada, or 204/983-3500; www.cbsa-asfc.gc.ca).
U.K. Citizens: For information, contact HM Customs & Excise at tel. 0845/010-9000 (from outside the U.K., 020/8929-0152), or consult their website at www.hmce.gov.uk.
Irish Citizens: For information, contact the Irish Revenue's Customs Division at tel. 01/877-6400, or www.revenue.ie.
Australian Citizens: A helpful brochure available from Australian consulates or Customs offices is Know Before You Go. For more information, call the Australian Customs Service at tel. 1300/363-263, or log on to www.customs.gov.au.
New Zealand Citizens: Most questions are answered in a free pamphlet available at New Zealand consulates and Customs offices: New Zealand Customs Guide for Travellers, Notice no. 4. For more information, contact New Zealand Customs, The Customhouse, 17-21 Whitmore St., Box 2218, Wellington (tel. 04/473-6099 or 0800/428-786; www.customs.govt.nz).
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.