Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

  • Reviewed: 30 October 2018, 11:41 NZDT
  • Still current at: 20 November 2018

Exercise increased caution

Exercise increased caution in Belgium due to the heightened and ongoing threat of terrorism. 

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Terrorism
Terrorist groups, including those based in Syria and Iraq, continue to make threats to conduct attacks in Belgium and across Europe. There is also a threat from domestic-based extremists, including plots that may involve foreign fighters returning to Belgium and Europe from the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. Brussels hosts a number of international institutions, including the European Union and NATO, which are sensitive locations and could be targeted by terrorists.

Recent terrorist-related incidents have targeted Belgian soliders and police, on 29 May 2018, two female police officers and one passer-by were killed in a shooting in Liege.

On 25 August 2017 a man attacked two soldiers with a knife in Brussels before being killed by security forces.

On 20 June 2017, there was an attempted suicide attack at Brussels Central train station which was contained by Belgium military personnel patrolling the area.

On 22 March 2016, two explosions occurred at Zaventem International Airport in Brussels and a further explosion occurred at Maelbeek metro station killing 35 people and injuring over 300.

New Zealanders currently in Belgium are advised to keep themselves informed of potential risks to safety and security by monitoring the media and other local information sources. We recommend following any instructions issued by the local authorities. New Zealanders should exercise a high degree of vigilance  in public places – particularly at tourist sites, shopping areas, large public gatherings, transport hubs and on public transport.

Authorities encourage people to remain aware of their surroundings at all times. Further security operations are likely. If you are in an affected area you should follow the instructions of the Belgian security authorities. Police have asked the public not to comment on security operations via social media.

Crime
Petty crime such as bag snatching, passport theft and pickpocketing occurs in Belgium and is common in tourist areas, in larger cities and on public transport. We advise New Zealanders to be alert to their surroundings at all times and take steps to safeguard and secure their belongings.

Take particular caution in major railway stations including Brussels Gare du Midi/Zuidstation (Eurostar and Thayls terminal) and Gare du Nord and on public transport. Pickpockets also operate on a number of international train routes so remain vigilent throughout your journey.

Civil unrest
Demonstrations and protests are a regular occurance in Belgium, with a high number occuring in Brussels.New Zealanders are advised to avoid all protests as they can occasionally turn violent.

General travel advice
New Zealanders travelling or living in Belgium should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place.

New Zealanders in Belgium are encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Travel tips


The New Zealand Embassy Brussels, Belgium

Street Address Avenue des Nerviens 9/31, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium. Telephone +32 2 512 1040 Fax +32 2 513 4856 Email nzemb.brussels@mfat.govt.nz Web Site http://www.mfat.govt.nz/belgium Hours Mon-Fri 0900-1300 hrs, 1400-1700 hrs

See our regional advice for Europe

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New Zealand Embassy Belgium

Street Address
Avenue des Nerviens 9/31, B-1040 Brussels, Belgium.

Telephone: +32 2 512 1040

Fax: +32 2 513 4856

Email: nzemb.brussels@mfat.govt.nz

Website: http://www.mfat.govt.nz/belgium

Hours: Mon-Fri 0900-1300 hrs, 1400-1700 hrs

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