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The new Belgian Company Code: (R)evolution in the Belgian corporate landscape requiring changes to the tax and accounting framework On 20 July 2017, the Belgian government approved the draft bill for a new Company Code. The Council of State examined the draft bill and delivered its advice on the 11th of October, effectively clearing the path to introduce the draft to Parliament in the next few weeks. The highly anticipated…...

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Marga Caproni (Counsel) and Stéphanie De Smedt (Sr Associate), both team leaders of the Loyens & Loeff Benelux-wide Privacy & Data Protection Team in Belgium, have published the practical guide ‘Privacy within companies’ with Kluwer.   With the entry into force of the General Data Processing Regulation or GDPR, privacy and data protection can no longer be ignored from the day-to-day activities of both large and small companies in any…...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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De regering heeft een wetsontwerp ingediend in de Kamer om Nederlandse A.O.W.-uitkeringen van Belgische rijksinwoners altijd te kunnen belasten als pensioen. De regering wil alle A.OW.-uitkeringen van Belgische rijksinwoners kunnen belasten als pensioen. Het huidig Wetboek Inkomstenbelastingen laat dat niet toe. In een in de Kamer ingediend wetsontwerp worden alle inkomsten toegekend in het kader van een wettelijke sociale beschermingsmaatregel, belastbaar gesteld als pensioen. De regering wil zo de (cassatie)rechtspraak…...

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On 6 December 2017, the European Court of Justice delivered its long-awaited judgment in Coty Germany. Coty is a supplier of luxury cosmetics in Germany. It sells its products via a selective distribution network, in order to protect the luxury image of its brands. One of the measures through which Coty sought to safeguard that luxury image was to introduce a restriction on online sales preventing Coty’s distributors from using…...

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Belgian authorities have recently adopted guidelines on the use of the term ‘artisanal’ and its derivatives in the names of products. The guidelines apply to all food and non-food products marketed in Belgium unless other rules apply. Food business operators which are not established in Belgium but operate on the Belgian market are also required by Belgian authorities to adhere to the guidelines. When a product can be called ‘artisanal’?…...

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On 21 November 2017, the European Commission has published the Commission Notice on the application of the principle of quantitative ingredients declaration (QUID) which provides further guidance on the obligation to indicate the quantity of ingredients required by Regulation 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. The Notice replaces and complements the guidelines on QUID adopted in 1998 under Directive 79/112/EEC. Obligation to indicate QUID According to the…...

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Reform of the Belgian Privacy Commission The General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679 creates a new privacy regime immediately applicable across the EU as from 25 May 2018. Under the GDPR, national supervisory authorities will have a strengthened role and increased enforcement powers. In order to meet GDPR requirements, the Belgian legislator has adopted a law reforming the current Belgian Privacy Commission. The law was submitted in the Chamber of…...

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Royal VAT Decree n° 57 has been replaced by a new Royal VAT Decree n° 57 aiming to simplify the VAT treatment of B2B freight (and related) services in cases where the transport takes place (partially) outside the EU or where the customer is not established in the EU. It entered into force on 23 November 2017. Under the old Royal VAT Decree n° 57 freight (and related) services that…...

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The Belgian Government proposes legislation to outlaw “platform parity clauses” in the hotel sector. On 23 November 2017, the Belgian Government proposed draft legislation to outlaw so-called “platform parity clauses” in the hotel sector. Price parity clauses, sometimes also referred to as ‘most favourite nation clauses’, have become more and more important in contracts between online platforms (e.g. price comparison websites, online booking websites and e-markets) and the companies which…...

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The long-awaited modifications of the BE-REIT legislation have been published. These modifications, but also the announced tax reform, encourage investments in infrastructure but also facilitate the investments in joint venture by BE-REIT. They are described below. Extension of the authorised activities to infrastructure Investments in joint venture and in institutional BE-REIT facilitated New Social BE-REIT Infrastructure and the tax reform Extension of the authorised activities to infrastructure The list of…...

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Our colleagues Marga Caproni (Counsel) and Stéphanie De Smedt(Associate) at Loyens & Loeff Belgium will be speaking at the M&D Seminar regarding ‘Data protection/GDPR ’ on Thrusday 7 December from 09.30 to 17.00 at the Waerboom in Groot-Bijgaarden. Have a look at the full program via the M&D Seminars website. If you have any questions, you can always contact them. More information on www.loyensloeff.com/gdpr....

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Busy weeks ahead for the International Trade Team which will be acting as speaker and expert in a number of exciting events in trade controls, customs and VAT ! Meet us at: 7 November 2017: Annual Global Trade Controls 2017 Conference London 9 - 10 November 2017: International Customs Conference Düsseldorf 13 November 2017: Loyens & Loeff Harbour Seminar Rotterdam – Brexit Roundtable 16 November 2017: Voluntary Food Information (Loyens &…...

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As of 27 October 2022, a new framework of rules will apply to total diet replacement products, both in terms of compositional and labelling requirements. In addition, total diet replacement products will have to be notified in each Member State where the product is being marketed. Those new rules are laid down in the Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) 2017/1798 on total diet replacement for weight control, published on 7 October…...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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As part of its Digital Single Market strategy, the European Commission published on 13 September 2017 a proposal for a Regulation “on a framework for the free flow of non-personal data in the European Union”. Why a Regulation governing “non-personal” data? To make sure that it is safe for businesses to store data anywhere in the EU; To eliminate barriers to trade and to enable a ‘EU data community’; To…...

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The Restructuring & Insolvency Team in Belgium has contributed to the Country Comparative Guide in the category ‘Restructuring & Insolvency’, which The Legal 500 and The In-House Lawyer have launched for the 2nd time. The team has written the country chapter further to a Q&A template created by a leading partner at Kirkland & Ellis (contributing editor for this category). The guide aims to provide In-House Counsel with local expert…...

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Our colleagues Marga Caproni (Counsel) and Kris De Schutter (Partner) of the Loyens & Loeff Employment & Benefits Team will be speaking at the M&D Seminar regarding 'Remuneration Techniques anno 2018' on Friday 8 December from 13.30 to 17.30 in Hotel Van der Valk in Beveren. Have a look at the full program via the M&D Seminars website. If you have any questions, you can always contact them. More information on the topic…...

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On 26 October 2017, the General Court issued its judgment in Marine Harvest v. European Commission. The Court upheld the initial decision of the European Commission which imposed a fine of € 20 million on Marine Harvest for gun-jumping. Background and facts Marine Harvest is a salmon farming company. In December 2012, Marine Harvest acquired 48.5% of the shares in Morpol, a competitor listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. In January 2013,…...

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On 25 October 2017 the Belgian VAT authorities clarified in a Circular Letter that payments specifically made to repair damage caused by a delay in the execution of work have the nature of an indemnity payment. These payments thus fall outside the scope of application of VAT and should not be treated as price reductions that reduce the taxable base. Since contractual fines for delays in the execution of work…...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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Belgium and the Netherlands. Two friendly neighbours who greet each other daily and share the best they have to offer: chocolate, beer, cheese and waffles. What is more, Belgium is one of the most important export markets for the Netherlands and Belgium is one of the largest investors in the Netherlands. Despite all of this, cross-border employment remains a complex issue. The differences between both countries are substantial, especially in the areas of labour…...

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On 12 October 2017 the Belgian VAT authorities issued guidance on how to interpret the ECJ’s recent judgments on the right to deduct VAT in connection with the requirement to hold a correctly drawn up invoice (Circular Letter 2017/C/64). As you know, in order to exercise the right of deduction a taxable person must, inter alia, hold an invoice mentioning certain mandatory elements (e.g. the date on which the invoice…...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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Loyens & Loeff is proud to announce that its Employment & Benefits Law practice has won the award for the “Best Employment Law Firm” at the Trends Legal Awards ceremony held on 18 October. Rewarding outstanding law firms for their distinctive features and their major achievements in 2016, the Trends Legal Awards represent the ultimate recognition of excellence in the Belgian legal community. Our Employment & Benefits Law practice was elected by…...

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Loyens & Loeff and the “Institut des Juristes d'Entreprise Belge (IJE)/Instituut voor bedrijfsjuristen (IBJ)” are joining forces to initiate substantive cooperation. Share knowledge and experience regularly on current topics is the will of both parties. Brussels, 16 October 2017 Loyens & Loeff and the “Institut des Juristes d'Entreprise Belge (IJE)” are pleased to announce that they have signed a cooperation agreement. Loyens & Loeff will bring its expertise on a…...

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Click here to read the articles in 'De Tijd' Click here to read the articles in 'L'Echo'...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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With the act of 31 July 2017, Belgium has introduced the first whistleblowing scheme in the private sector, in execution of the Market Abuse Regulation of 2014. The provisions of the Act have entered into force on 1 September 2017. A Royal Decree of 24 September 2017 approves the procedural rules designed by the FSMA to receive whistleblowing reports. These rules will be applied as from 28 September 2017. Which…...

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Dear Reader, We produce a quarterly newsletter to keep you updated on legal developments and important trends in the real estate sector. In this issue, you will read about what expected changes in international tax arena and Belgian tax law shall mean to your business: Belgian corporate tax reform Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive Option to subject leases to VAT Infrastructure Transfer taxes in the Walloon Region Click here to download the…...

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Loyens & Loeff will be hosting the AmCham event ‘Future Trends’ on Thursday 5 October 2017 and Filip Saelens, Partner and Head of the Employment & Benefits Team, will be moderating the panel discussion. The idea of a Universal Basic Income, granting an unconditional or minimum income to every citizen, has been around for centuries, but is becoming ever more relevant. Is it the way forward for our society? Can…...

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This article is only available in Dutch....

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Today, a Royal Decree was published confirming the entry into force of the new Belgian Pledge Act . The Belgian Pledge Act introduces a major reform of the Belgian regime of security interests on movable property. The main innovation of the Pledge Act is the introduction of a central register, enabling a pledgor to grant a register pledge on its movable assets without having to hand over its goods to…...

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This article is only available in French and in Dutch.  ...

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Crusade against dormant companies: make sure you file your annual accounts on time! Introduction By Act of 17 May 2017, the Belgian legislator amended article 182 Companies Code. Under the old regime, the public prosecutor could sue a company in dissolution, if it did not submit its annual accounts for three subsequent years. Today, this term has been brought back to 1 year. In addition, the powers of the Companies…...

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We are delighted to announce the first edition of the International Customs Conference in Düsseldorf. Bert Gevers (Partner, International Trade) is the co-founder and scientific coordinator of this conference which aims to provide a platform for those who are dealing with customs and trade at a high professional level. Internationally renowned speakers from the European Commission, judiciary, the customs administration, industry, academic and research institutions and legal consultancy will share…...

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Our colleague Bert Gevers (Partner, International Trade & Indirect Tax Brussels) has been invited to lead a workshop on VAT for the financial sector hosted by the Febelfin Academy. Febelfin Academy is a professional development institute that offers tailormade education for the financial service industry. Information on the full programme can be found via this link (in Dutch). Feel free to contact Bert if you have any questions with respect to…...

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We are proud to announce our keynote speaker  Mr Dominique Dussard. Mr Dussard has over 25 years of international experience with governance, compliance and behavioural and risk management, serving as Executive Vice President, General Counsel & Chief Compliance Officer of global chemical company Solvay. Mr Dussard is the founder and Managing Partner of GLC Consulting, where he supports organisations and their leaders in implementing their strategy. He focuses on behavioural…...

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On Tuesday 5 September 2017, the Grand Chamber of European Court of Human Rights has announced a judgment in the Bãrbulescu case. Mr Bãrbulescu was terminated after his employer had discovered through monitoring that he had been using Yahoo Messenger during working hours for personal purposes, which was prohibited by a company policy. The termination was confirmed by the Romanian employment tribunal. The ECHR has now ruled that the national…...

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Brussels, 7 September 2017 – Loyens & Loeff, a full service law firm offering integrated legal and tax advice, has appointed Wim Vande Velde local partner on 1 July 2017. Wim Vande Velde, attorney at law, is a member of Loyens & Loeff’s Corporate and M&A Practice Group as well as of the Real Estate Team. He has extensive experience in national and international M&A transactions and private equity investments…...

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We are very pleased to announce our involvement in the VBO/ICC Belgium seminar on CETA to be held in Brussels on 25 September 2017. The seminar will kick off with a high-level introduction by the Belgian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders, the Canadian Ambassador to Belgium H.E. Olivier Nicoloff and the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's DG Trade, Mauro Petriccione. After the introdution three…...

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On 5, 11 & 25 October the Family Owned Business & Private Wealth team organises 3 seminars for intermediaries on the latest developments in Family Owned Business & Private Wealth. The seminars will focus on the current developments in Belgium, the Netherlands & Switzerland. Each seminar will cover a different content, with focus on local and relevant international developments. Thursday 5 October - Amsterdam - Loyens & Loeff - in Dutch Topics: Beleggingsvermogen in (personen)vennootschappen Wednesday 11…...

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Saskia Lust will be speaking at the STEP Benelux Conference “A new era for private wealth” in Luxembourg on 26 September 2017. She will talk about the Belgian “Cayman tax” and its impact on off- /onshore holdings, foundations and trusts for wealth and estate planning in Belgium. For further information about this conference, please refer to the STEP website....

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Brussels, 1 September 2017 – Loyens & Loeff, a full service law firm offering integrated legal and tax advice, announces the election of senior and trusted partner Peter Callens as Vice-President of the Brussels Bar (Dutch language section), effective as of today. In the normal course of events Peter will become President of the Bar on 1 September 2018. Peter Callens, who has been in the legal profession for 35…...

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Congratulations to Christian Chéruy, Caroline Docclo and Thierry Charon on being included in the 7th edition of the Tax Controversy Leaders guide, a publication of the International Tax Review. Tax Controversy Leaders is a guide to the leading tax dispute resolution lawyers and advisers in the world. Inclusion in the guide is based on a minimum number of nominations received. Besides, entrants must also possess evidence of outstanding success in the…...

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Alternatief einde voor Lieve Lieve nadert de pensioenleeftijd en voelt dat ze het binnenkort wat rustiger aan wil doen. Ze is net grootmoeder geworden en wil er graag zijn voor haar uitbreidend gezinnetje. Wat zijn haar mogelijkheden in dit opzicht? Zij kan eventueel in het kader van tijdskrediet eindeloopbaan haar prestaties met 1/5 of 1/2 verminderen tot op het moment dat ze met pensioen gaat indien ze aan de gestelde voorwaarden…...

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Lieve gaat naar Nederland: eenvoudig implementeren van salary split Lieve moet regelmatig voor haar bedrijf naar Nederland. Waar moet ze op letten? Is Lieve minder dan 183 dagen in een periode van 12 maanden fysiek actief in Nederland, dan blijft België (als woonstaat) heffingsbevoegd over het totale inkomen. Dat loopt anders van zodra die 183 dagen grens is overschreden. In dat geval is Lieve in Nederland belastbaar op het deel…...

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Zoals bericht in onze nieuwsbrief van 23 mei jl., heeft het Hof van Cassatie in het arrest van 5 mei jl. bevestigd dat een A.O.W.-uitkering slechts kwalificeert als een in België belastbaar pensioen indien en in de mate dat er een band is met een beroepswerkzaamheid. Hieruit volgt dat wie in België woont en een A.O.W.-uitkering geniet, in België enkel verzocht kan worden om belasting te betalen over de uitkering…...