Online platform for submission of General Declarations for flights leaving or entering the Schengen area
Crossing of the external borders of the Schengen area
Crossing of the external borders of the Schengen area may be executed only at the official border crossing points (inbound and outbound).
Incoming persons may travel freely in the Schengen area after the border check.
The official Belgian air border crossing points are:
- EBAW ANTWERPEN / Deurne
- EBBR BRUSSELS / Brussels-National
- EBCI CHARLEROI / Brussels South
- EBKT KORTRIJK-WEVELGEM / Wevelgem
- EBLG LIEGE / Bierset
- EBOS OOSTENDE-BRUGGE / Oostende
Notification to pilots – Digital submission to Belgian air border guards
In order to improve their border checks and in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code (EU 2016/399),
prior to a flight crossing a Schengen external border, the Belgian Airport Police require prior digital submission of a General Declaration (GenDec). This GenDec shall contain, among other things, aircraft, flight and personal data on private flights.
For prior digital submission, the electronic form shall be used. This applies to flights coming from one of the six Belgian Schengen airports and bound for a non-Schengen country as well as to flights coming from a non-Schengen country and bound for Belgium.
You also have to comply with this obligation if Belgium is the Member State of first entry whereas the country of destination is any other Member State.
Below, you find the regulatory framework requiring the submission of a General Declaration.
AIP (Aeronautical Information Publication) - Aviation Manual
GEN 1.2 ENTRY, TRANSIT AND DEPARTURE OF AIRCRAFT
1.2 Crossing of the external borders of the Schengen area
Title II, Chapter I, Article 5 of Regulation 2016/399 of the European Parliament and of the Council imposes restrictions on the crossing of the external borders of the Schengen area. They may be crossed only at the official border crossing points notified by the EU Member States to the European Commission.
The Schengen area, within which no restrictions to air travel apply, currently consists of 26 countries:
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, G.D. of Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Flights arriving from any other country shall only use the official border crossing points when landing in Belgium. Likewise, flights departing to any country outside the Schengen area shall take off only from the official border crossing points.
Incoming persons may travel freely in the Schengen area after the border check at the official border crossing point.
When travelling by air in Belgium, entering or leaving the Schengen area from any other aerodrome than the official border crossing points mentioned above, is illegal. Active surveillance will be carried out by the Belgian Federal Police and violations will be subject to law enforcement measures.
Further information may be obtained from:
A General Aviation Report (GAR) must be made for flights from and to the United Kingdom. Click on this link for more information.
EU Regulation 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code) – Annex VI – Article 2.3.1.:
In the case of private flights from or to third countries the captain shall transmit to the border guards of the Member State of destination and, where appropriate, of the Member State of first entry, prior to take-off, a general declaration comprising inter alia a flight plan in accordance with Annex 2 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation and information concerning the passengers’ identity.
Royal Decree of 19 December 2014 – Article 33
Pilots flying from or to a non-European Union or non-Schengen State, shall only land at or take off from a customs aerodrome. When they are forced to land elsewhere, they shall immediately inform the police or customs and follow the instructions given.
Ministerial Decree of 4 October 2013 – Article 1
The public aerodromes below are designated as customs aerodromes for freight and passenger traffic: Antwerp; Brussels-National; Charleroi-Brussels South; Liège-Bierset; Oostende-Brugge and Kortrijk-Wevelgem.
EU Regulation 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code) – Title II, Chapter I, Article 5, § 1:
- External borders may be crossed only at border crossing points and during the fixed opening hours. The opening hours shall be clearly indicated at border crossing points which are not open 24 hours a day.
Member States shall notify the list of their border crossing points to the Commission in accordance with Article 39.
- By way of derogation from paragraph 1, exceptions to the obligation to cross external borders only at border crossing points and during fixed opening hours may be allowed:
a) for individuals or groups of persons, where there is a requirement of a special nature for the occasional crossing of external borders outside border crossing points or outside fixed opening hours, provided that they are in possession of the permits required by national law and that there is no conflict with the interests of public policy and the internal security of the Member States. Member States may make specific arrangements in bilateral agreements. General exceptions provided for by national law and bilateral agreements shall be notified to the Commission pursuant to Article 39;
b) for individuals or groups of persons in the event of an unforeseen emergency situation;
c) in accordance with the specific rules set out in Articles 19 and 20 in conjunction with Annexes VI and VII.
- Without prejudice to the exceptions provided for in paragraph 2 or to their international protection obligations, Member States shall introduce penalties, in accordance with their national law, for the unauthorised crossing of external borders at places other than border crossing points or at times other than the fixed opening hours. Those penalties shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive.
Penalties for the unauthorised crossing of external borders
Law of 27 June 1937 (aviation rules) – Article 32
If violations of (the European Community regulations on civil aviation and of) the provisions of the royal decrees implementing this law are not subject to special penalties, they are punished with eight days' to one year's imprisonment and a fine of (two hundred euro to four million euro), or one of those penalties only. […]
Law of 15 December 1980 (Aliens Act) – Article 4bis
§ 1. At external borders within the meaning of international agreements on crossing of external borders which are binding on Belgium or European legislation, entry to and exit from the Kingdom must be only at authorised border crossing points and during the fixed opening hours as indicated by such border crossing points.
§ 2. Non-nationals must volunteer travel documents when entering or leaving the Kingdom.
§ 3. A non-national who breaches the obligation mentioned in § 1 may be fined EUR 200 by the Minister or his representative.
If the breach of the obligation set out in § 1 is due to negligence by the carrier, the carrier and the non-national shall be jointly and severally liable for payment of the fine.
The decision imposing the administrative fine shall be immediately enforceable, notwithstanding any appeal.
The legal person shall be civilly liable for payment of the administrative fine imposed on its managers, executives, employees or agents.
The administrative fine may be paid by a deposit of the amount owing at the Deposit and Consignment Office.