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Koen Panis was a speaker on the study day of the University Leuven regarding the introduction of the new act on movable security. Interesting speakers and good crowd! The written contribution by Koen Panis and Robbert Jacobs on the interaction between the Financial Collateral Act and the new regime on pledges can be found in the book published in relation to the study day....

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Last weekend’s cyber-attack has caused significant technical and operational problems worldwide. And while the main issue in these cases is of course IT-security, such attack also gives rise to important legal / data protection issues that should not be neglected. What is everyone talking about? Over the past weekend, IT-systems around the world were hit by a highly-effective ransomware-attack labelled “WannaCry”, disabling entire computer systems and databases and in some…...

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1  History of the tax shelter for equity investments in starting companies Since mid-2015, Belgian legislation provides for a very interesting tax incentive for Belgian-resident private individuals who invest in the capital of a Belgian or EEA startup that is less than four years old. The first move was the tax shelter law of 10 August 2015, providing the framework and the many conditions for the personal income tax reduction of…...

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Click here to read the Real Estate Quarterly - Q1 2017  or view the document below....

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On May 20, 2015, the fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive was adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. In execution of this European measure, the Belgian government has adopted a preliminary bill on March 31, 2017. This preliminary bill introduces a UBO register in which the ultimate beneficiaries of companies and other legal entities need to be identified. 1.           Principles of the Directive 1.1.       UBO register Pursuant to the fourth…...

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Loyens & Loeff’s Real Estate Team is glad to provide you with this first edition of the booklet “Leases in Belgium”. Leases represent the future return on an investment. A good knowledge of the multiple nuances of Belgian tenancy law and of the impact that other disciplines, ranging from administrative to tax law, might have on leases, will allow investors to avoid unexpected costs and therefore will lead to optimisation…...

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On 15 March 2017, the European Parliament adopted a codified legislation on official controls, which tightens rules on financial penalties, establishes more and better inspections, and creates a legal framework for the data processed during controls. The new Regulation comes as a response to the horsemeat scandal which hit several EU Member States in 2013 when food labelled as containing beef turned out to contain horsemeat instead. It does not…...

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Als ondernemer binnen een KMO staat u elke dag voor de meest uiteenlopende kansen en uitdagingen: optimalisatie arbeidsverloning, complexe contractbepalingen, veranderende vennootschapsbelasting, mogelijke overnames… De dagelijkse realiteit van de bedrijfsvoering zit vol vragen waar u niet altijd een antwoord op weet. Loyens & Loeff ondersteunt u en uw onderneming op fiscaal en juridisch vlak, met een geïntegreerde aanpak; alles onder één dak. Om u wegwijs te maken, hebben wij een…...

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In our newsletter of January 24, 2017, we informed you of the extension of the Belgian tax on stock exchange transactions (hereafter “TSET”). As from January 1, 2017, certain stock exchange transactions, entered into or carried out by intermediaries established outside Belgium, are also targeted by the Belgian TSET. Meanwhile, the tax return of the TSET has been published and the term for the submission of the tax return and…...

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

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At the occasion of this special day, the members of the Loyens & Loeff Privacy & Data Protection Team would like to highlight the importance of data security and encourage data controllers, data processors and data subjects alike to give some special attention to their personal data / the personal data they collect and process. While the collection and use of personal data is in fact key to their business,…...

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January 28 is international “Data Privacy Day” or “Data Protection Day”. The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and promote privacy and data protection best practices. At the occasion of Data Protection Day 2017, the Loyens & Loeff Benelux Privacy and Data Protection Team has compiled an overview highlighting the ever-increasing importance of this topic in everyday life, and the impact hereof on various industry sectors (automotive, healthcare,…...

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The Program Law of December 25, 2016, published in the Belgian Official Gazette on December 29, 2016, has extended the existing Belgian tax on stock exchange transactions (hereafter “TSET”). From now on, certain stock exchange transactions, entered into or carried out by intermediaries established outside Belgium, are also targeted by the Belgian TSET. In addition, the limit of the TSET has been doubled. 1. Old legislation applicable up to and including December…...

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On 10 January 2017, the European Commission presented its proposal for a Regulation on Privacy and Electronic Communications. The current EU e-Privacy Directive is thus to be replaced by a Regulation, directly applicable in all EU Member States. The goal is to have the e-Privacy Regulation adopted by 25 May 2018, the date on which the EU General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 (“GDPR”) will become applicable. The proposal for the…...

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Thomas Chellingsworth, Dominique Vanherck, Isis De Moortel and Bram Devlies contributed the Belgian Chapter to the Oil & Gas Lexology Navigator. This online tool provides clear, concise, comparative guidance on law and regulation worldwide, relevant to the oil and gas industry. Need more information? Please contact Thomas Chellingsworth, Dominique Vanherck, or your Loyens & Loeff advisor.  Thomas.Chellingsworth@loyensloeff.com / +32 2 743 43 77  Dominique.Vanherck@loyensloeff.com / +32 2 743 43 86 Follow our Showcase…...

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Dear Reader, This quarterly newsletter aims to keep you informed about the main legal and tax items of the past and coming year in relation to your business and to provide you with the detail of our coming seminars. We hope this will be useful to you. Best wishes for 2017 and we will be happy to welcome you at our annual Real Estate seminars or to meet you at…...

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Background – data exports outside EEA EU data protection legislation provides that personal data can only be transferred to countries outside the European Economic Area (“EEA”) when the country of final destination ensures an adequate level of protection of the privacy and fundamental rights and freedoms of individuals (article 25 of EU Directive 95/46, to be replaced by article 44 of the EU General Data Protection Regulation as from 25…...

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

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On 10 November 2016, Brussels Court of Appeal (the “Court”) annulled the decision of the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) to impose a fine of more than € 37 million on bpost for abuse of dominance. The Court held that BCA’s decision breached the fundamental human rights principle of ne bis in idem, according to which no one may be punished twice for the same illegal behaviour. Bpost is Belgium’s historical…...

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The full set of regulations relating to the Specialised Real Estate Investment Fund (fonds d’investissement immobilier spécialisé / gespecialiseerde vastgoedbeleggingsfonds) has now been approved and published. Click here to read more in this respect....

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This publication is only available in French....

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Privacy advocacy group Digital Rights Ireland is challenging the EU-US “Privacy Shield” (allowing for EU-US data transfers based on self-certification by US companies) before the EU’s General Court, accusing it of failing to provide sufficient guarantees to ensure adequate data protection. 1                 Background – invalidation of the EU-US “Safe Harbour” On 6 October 2015, in the “Schrems” case (C-362/14), the EU Court of Justice (the “CJEU”) ruled that the EU…...

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Click here to read the Real Estate Quarterly Q3 or view the document below....

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Christian Chéruy in the article "Les investisseurs n'ont pas oublié les 540 jours sans gouvernement" in l'Echo, 26 October 2016...

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The notary public has the monopoly to organize a public sale of real estate. If real estate is sold through a public auction website, such sale can be annulled. In its judgment dated 9 June 2016, the Belgian Supreme Court  confirmed the legal monopoly of a notary public to organize and sell real estate through a public sale (“vente publique/openbare verkoop”). A public sale implies that the notary awards the…...

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As already mentioned in our Quarterly dated 1 July 2016, the Flemish Parliament adopted a new Decree on short-term retail leasing on 8 June 2016. By doing so, Flanders is the first Belgian Region to use its legislative competences in relation to lease legislation after such competence was attributed to it pursuant to the 6th State Reform. The new Decree on short-term retail leasing proposes an alternative to commercial leases…...

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As you may recall, in January 2016, on the occasion of the international “Data Protection Day”, we sent a news update reflecting on the highlights in the field of privacy and data protection in 2015 and briefly looked ahead at what to expect for 2016. Now that the summer holidays are over and as work, school, court cases, and legislative discussions resume, we would like to take a moment to…...

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This update aims to provide you with a practical overview of the most relevant changes resulting from the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), applicable as from 25 May 2018. This month’s issue discusses (new) rights of the data subject: Enhanced right to information and transparency Right of access and rectification Right to erasure or “right to be forgotten” Right to restriction Right to data portability What do these changes mean…...

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As of 1 August 2016, new specific legislation on fiscal regularisation entered into force in Belgium. For more information, we refer to our newsletter of 2 August 2016. Meanwhile, the model forms for submitting a regularisation declaration have been published in the Belgian Official Gazette. It is now possible to submit a regularisation declaration with the “Contactpunt regularisaties” in Brussels in accordance with the new legislation....

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Our Startup Team recently published an article on the tax shelter for starting enterprises and the mutually beneficial opportunity it represents for both investors as well as the startups themselves. The piece discusses the practical aspects of investments which qualify for the tax shelter and aims to ultimately urge more people to explore its possibilities. Read the full article on Régional-IT for a French version: regional-it.be and on Bloovi for a Dutch…...

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NIS-Directive Today, many cybersecurity incidents remain unreported to the Belgian authorities and to the public. With the entry into force of the EU General Data Protection Regulation in May 2018 and the mandatory implementation of the “Network Information Security Directive” (“NIS-Directive”) by EU Member States, by 9 May 2018 the EU cybersecurity landscape is set to change drastically, especially in countries (such as Belgium) that do not yet have general…...

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On 28 July 2016, Belgian authorities published an official document interpreting the concepts of food prepacked for direct sale, and food that is supplied in small quantities directly from the manufacturer to the final consumer or to local retail establishments directly supplying the final consumer.  While reference to these concepts is made in Regulation n° 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers, no definition thereof was provided. As…...

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The European Court of Justice ruled that the obligation to draw up cross-border invoices exclusively in a particular language (under penalty of nullity) is incompatible with EU legislation. Until now, Flemish language legislation prohibited companies established in the Flemish region from drafting their invoices in a language other than Dutch (Dutch being the official language of the Flemish region), even if the invoices were addressed to a customer abroad. Invoices…...

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As of 1 August 2016, new specific legislation on fiscal regularisation entered into force in Belgium. A specific tax levy is provided for the regularisation of undeclared income and undeclared capital. No deadline is foreseen in the legislation. However, as of 2017, the regularisation will be more expensive every year. Regularisation of income tax The new law is a federal law that regulates the regularisation of evaded income tax. The…...

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Everyone knows that judicial proceedings are often time-consuming and costly, and involve considerable lawyers’ fees. In Belgium, the capped ‘procedural indemnity’ (“rechtsplegingsvergoeding” / “indemnité de procedure”) granted to the successful party is far from sufficient to cover these costs in their entirety, especially in complex IP infringement cases. On 28 July 2016 the Court of Justice of the European Union (“CJEU”) rendered a ground-breaking judgment, setting out the limits for…...

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On 14 July 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) rendered its judgment in Case C-19/15 on the applicability of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHC Regulation) to B2B communications. As expected, the EU judges followed the Advocate General’s opinion and ruled that the NHC Regulation is not only applicable to commercial communications addressed to consumers (B2C) but also to commercial communications addressed to professionals (B2B).…...

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When a supplier invokes the VAT exemption for an intra-Community supply of goods, he has amongst other to prove the intra-Community transport to another Member State. Belgian VAT legislation (Royal Decree n°. 52) stipulates that the supplier should keep a set of commercial documents evidencing the intra-Community transport, such as contracts, invoices, purchase orders, payment documents and transport documents. Not one of the aforementioned documents in itself are deemed to…...

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European Commission adopts EU-US Privacy Shield On 12 July, the European Commission adopted the EU-US Privacy Shield, the new framework to protect the fundamental rights of data subjects whose personal data are transferred from the EEA to the United States. The EU-US Privacy Shield is the successor of Safe Harbour, which had been declared invalid by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in the “Schrems” case in…...

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The special law of 6 January 2014 concerning the 6th State Reform, which entered into force on 1 July 2014, transferred the legislative competences regarding commercial lease, residential lease and agricultural lease to the Regions. Pursuant to this transfer, commercial lease, residential lease and agricultural lease have become regional matters. However, until the adoption of a specific regional regulation occurs, current federal tenancy law continues to apply. The Flemish Region…...

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In Flanders, the federal Ikea law is still in force, as since the 6th State Reform and contrary to the other Regions, the Flemish Region has not yet adopted a new regulation. On 11 May 2016, a draft decree on general regulation of commercial establishments has been submitted to the Flemish Parliament, holding new rules with regards to the operating permits in the Flemish Region.   The draft decree incorporates…...

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Click here to read the Real Estate Quarterly - Q1 & Q2 2016...

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The date of delivery of the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) in Case C-19/15 on the applicability of the Nutrition and Health Claims Regulation (NHC Regulation) to B2B communications has been set for 14 July 2016. It is likely that the EU judges will follow the Advocate General’s opinion and rule that the NHC Regulation is not only applicable to commercial communications addressed to…...

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Belgian Privacy Commission publishes annual report 2015 The Belgian Privacy Commission has published its annual report for the year 2015. In its report, the Privacy Commission highlights certain numbers and statistics, summarises its most important cases and projects, and provides a chronological overview of the most mediatised non-compliance case it handled in 2015, the “Facebook case”. 1. The “Facebook case” It all started in February 2015, when university researchers, commissioned…...

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Kris De Schutter in the article 'Oudere sollicitant kan clichés pareren' in De Tijd, 4 June 2016....

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Need for a change Most companies, from the start-up to the multinational including the SME’s and from all sectors, own (knowingly or unknowingly) trade secrets. Indeed, all information that allows to obtain a competitive advantage could qualify as a trade secret! This can include business plans, manufacturing processes, designs, recipes, compilations of significant data, such as price and customer lists, etc... This type of intangible assets may be very valuable…...

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Aude Mahy contributed to the Belgium chapter of “EU-Food Information Regulation 1169/2011. Implementing measures by Member States” a publication of the Food Lawyers Network. To order the book via iTunes, please use this link....

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Louis-Hubert Pacco in Trends Tendances, 12 May 2016....

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EU Court of Justice recently confirmed, in a judgement of 16 March 2016 [note]ECLI:EU:T:2016:150, Affaire T-100/15, Arrêt du Tribunal (cinquième Chambre) du 16 mars 2016.[/note] , that a number of health claims related to glucose cannot be authorised : Glucose is metabolised within the normal energetic metabolism of the body Glucose supports physical activity Glucose contributes to the proper functioning of the metabolic system Glucose contributes to the functioning of…...