Luxembourg and Belgium Deepen Customs and Security Collaboration

Finance Ministers Johan van Overtveldt and Pierre Gramegna in Luxembourg

Belgium and Luxembourg have signed the third amendment to the double taxation agreement between the two countries, incorporating the consensus concerning the treatment of dependent professions incorporated in the amicable agreement signed during the visit of Belgian Finance Minister Van Overtveldt to Luxembourg on 16 March 2015.

As a result of the accord, a tolerance threshold of 24 working days for activities outside the usual state of activity shall be introduced from 1 January 2015. It follows that the exercise of ordinary activity outside of normal employment does not affect the taxing power if the duration of the activities is less than 25 days.

The two ministers then signed a collaboration agreement with the customs authorities, which regulated the deployment of a Luxembourg truck scanner within Belgium for use by Belgian authorities.

The Belgian Customs currently holds three stationary tunnel scanners, four fixed luggage scanners, three scan-vans, two backscatters and three mobile container scanners, one of which is based in Wallonia. These devices are strategically located.

The controls carried out in Walloon territory, close to Luxembourg, France and Germany, require more than one truck scan to be truly effective.

In addition, customs plays an important role in the growing fight against terrorism and is grappling with general limitations of human and financial resources. All this has led to extensive cross-border cooperation in the field of customs and the common use of expensive scanner equipment.

This high-tech apparatus, used by specially trained customs officers, will significantly increase the effectiveness of these controls without delaying economic operators, and will also contribute concretely to the fight against criminal and terrorist organisations.