Belgian police have detained a man near a central Brussels shopping centre, prompting a meeting of the prime minister and the national crisis response centre after initial suspicions that he was carrying explosives.

"No bomb has so far been found. The suicide vest found on a suspect was fake," the Brussels prosecutor's office said.

The area around the City2 shopping centre, a major commercial hub in the middle of the Belgian capital, was sealed off, although the nearby metro station was still open.

A spokeswoman for the Brussels prosecutor said the man was arrested at 5.30am (local time) and the army bomb disposal team was brought in to verify whether he was armed with explosives.

Television footage showed a large police presence in neighbouring streets

Belgium's crisis centre, which coordinates security measures, said it was holding a meeting, with prime minister Charles Michel and interior minister Jan Jambon present, to discuss the incident.

A suspect held in an anti-terror operation in Brussels was wearing a fake suicide vest, prosecutors said Tuesday.