Identifies common practices to be aware of when selling in this market, e.g., whether all sales material need to be in the local language.
It is important to remember that Dutch, French, and (to a very limited extent) German language divisions define consumer characteristics in the Belgian market. At the industrial level, where price and technical factors are usually paramount, the language issue is not particularly significant. At the consumer level however, issues such as labeling and marketing strategies take on greater weight. In both instances, language can influence the personal relationships between buyers and sellers, so it is necessary to determine whether importers and distributors can service the entire Belgian market.
The prevailing Belgium law for labeling simply requires that consumers of the targeted market must be able to read the product information. Typically, this has been Dutch in the northern half of Belgium (Flanders), French in the southern half of Belgium (Wallonia), and German in two small communities of German-speaking Belgians on the Belgium-German border. Generally, both Dutch and French appear on all products sold in the Belgium market and should be the most prudent option for all newcomers.
Local Professional Services
Local service providers focusing on EU law, consulting, and business development can be viewed on the website maintained by the Commercial Service at the U.S. Mission to the European Union at: https://www.trade.gov/business-service-provider.
Principal Business Associations
- Enterprise Europe Network
- AmCham EU
- Invest in Flanders
- Invest in Wallonia
- Invest in Brussels