Sticky post

On 18 May 2017, the Belgian Federal Parliament adopted a new Act on actions for damages for competition law infringements (the “Competition Law Damages Act”).[1] The Competition Law Damages Act transposes  Directive 2014/104/EU (the “EU Damages Directive”) into Belgian law, which aims to make it easier for victims of competition law infringements to claim damages for the harm they suffered.[2] The Competition Law Damages Act was published in the Belgian…...

Sticky post

Trap net als vele andere werkgevers, je werknemers naar een gezondere, snellere en handiger vervoersmiddel. Laat de (elektrische) fiets een prominente plaats krijgen in uw bedrijf! Om het fietsgebruik te stimuleren heeft de wetgever voorzien in tal van (para)fiscale incentives. Hieronder lijsten wij kort de parafiscale en fiscale behandeling op van de elektrische fiets. Vooreerst is het zo dat de (para)fiscale incentives die gelden voor de gewone fiets gelden ook…...

Sticky post

The European Commission’s Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices has adopted a Commission Decision on the qualification of cranberry products. According to the Decision, cranberry products do not fall within the definition of medical devices set out in the Medical Devices Directive.   The European Commission’s Regulatory Committee on Medical Devices has adopted a Commission Implementing Decision on the qualification of cranberry products. The Decision states that products “whose principal intended action,…...

Sticky post

On 17 May 2017, the Court of Justice of the EU (ECJ) has ruled that the Belgian fairness tax is not fully in accordance with EU law. In particular the ECJ finds that the fairness tax partially violates Article 4 of the Parent-Subsidiary directive (PSD) and can violate the freedom of establishment. The ECJ hereby confirms the position that was taken by the Advocate-General (AG) in its opinion of 17…...

Sticky post

In a recently delivered judgment in Case C-339/15, the Court of Justice of the European Union found that the Belgian legislation prohibiting in strict and absolute terms any advertising with regard to the provision of oral and dental care services is incompatible with the EU law. The case concerned a Belgian general dental practitioner accused of having, during the period from 2003 to 2014, advertised the dental services he provided…...

Sticky post

This publication is only available in Dutch.  ...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

On 22 March 2017, the Belgian Competition Authority (“BCA”) imposed a fine of EUR 5.489.000,00 on Algist Bruggeman NV and its parent companies (“Algist”) for resale price maintenance and for hindering competition from low-price brands of fresh yeast. Algist is Belgium’s largest supplier of yeast products, supplying industrial, semi-artisan and artisan bakeries. It sells its products directly to large industrial bakeries, but for semi-artisan and artisan bakeries it sells through…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

Since 1 July 2016, people participating in the sharing economy benefit from a new tax and social framework. The Royal Decree of 12 January 2017 (Belgian Official Gazette of 24 January 2017) was the last component required for the new legal framework to be applied. In brief, this specific regime provides for a 20% taxation on some revenues from the sharing economy after deduction of a 50% lump-sum expenses, leading…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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....

Sticky post

On 26 October 2016, the Court of Justice of the European Union has rendered a decision (case C-195/15) on the interpretation of “rights in rem” under article 5 of the Insolvency Regulation (Regulation 1346/2000). Meanwhile, this provision has been replaced by Article 8 of Regulation 2015/848, which will come into force on 26 June 2017. The same interpretation can reasonably be expected to apply to the latter article. Article 5…...

Sticky post

This publication is only available in French....

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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....

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

On 5 July 2015, the General Court of the European Union rendered its judgment in Case T-518/13, ruling that the repute of McDonald’s trade marks makes it possible to prevent the registration, for foods or beverages, of trade marks combining the prefix ‘Mac’ or ‘Mc’ with the name of a foodstuff or beverage. Background of the dispute In 2008, a Singaporean company applied for registration of the EU trade mark…...

Sticky post

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).…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

At Loyens & Loeff, in addition to our practice groups, we are also organized in multidisciplinary teams. There, our specialist attorneys combine their respective expertise and experience. They interact with each other and cross their knowledge to come up with round solutions. They also further deepen their market knowledge so as to provide pragmatic advice fitting their clients’ business reality. Our attorneys like to share their expertise. This is why…...

Sticky post

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…...

Sticky post

Diane heeft haar handtekening gezet op het stembiljet. Wat nu? Het stemgeheim moet te allen tijde bewaard blijven ! De stembiljetten waarvan de kiezer kan worden herkend aan de hand van een teken, moeten als ongeldig beschouwd worden. Bijgevolg belandt het stembiljet van Diane op een afzonderlijke stapel van ongeldige stembiljetten. Na de telling mag het stembureau alle ongeldige stembiljetten in een afzonderlijke omslag stoppen en deze verzegelen. In elk stemhokje…...

Sticky post

Royal Decree of 10 April 2016 On 25 April 2016, the Royal Decree of 10 April 2016 “concerning the use of remote controlled aircrafts in the Belgian airspace” entered into force. This new legislation regulates both the private and professional use of “unmanned aircraft systems”, also known as ‘drones’. It contains a number of air traffic rules to be complied with by operators of drones that either take off or…...

Sticky post

In our newsflash of 14 April 2016, we announced that the Flemish Tax Administration has expanded its position on split purchases on 21 March 2016 (with publication on 4 April 2016). Standpoint concerning split purchases The position concerning split purchase relates to the following situation: First, a gift of funds takes place; Second, the beneficiaries of the donation make a split purchase together with the donors. The donors buy the usufruct,…...

Sticky post

Earlier today, the European Parliament finally gave its long awaited approval of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (the “GDPR”), thereby completing the four-year legislative process aiming to replace the existing EU Data Protection Directive of 1995. Now that the GDPR has finally been formally adopted, it is expected to be published in the Official Journal of the EU in the coming weeks and to enter into force in spring…...

Sticky post

In the EU, geographical indications of wines and spirits are protected under Regulation (EC) No 110/2008.[note]Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on the definition, description, presentation, labelling and the protection of geographical indications of spirit drinks and repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 1576/89 (OJ 2008 L 39, p. 16).[/note] Pursuant to that regulation, it is prohibited, inter alia, to misuse, imitate or even evoke protected…...

Sticky post

The Flemish Tax Administration’s latest and enlarged position on split purchases leads to confusion The Flemish Tax Administration has recently expanded its position on split purchases to include the split registration of securities and investments. When securities or investments are purchased by the parents for the usufruct and by the children for the bare property, the funds necessary to achieve the purchase of bare ownership cannot have been previously donated…...

Sticky post

On 22 March 2016, the Belgian Competition Authority’s (“BCA”) new cartel leniency guidelines (the “Guidelines”) entered into force [note]Belgian Official Gazette, 22 March 2016, 19796.[/note] Below we briefly outline the procedure to apply for leniency, after which we shall elaborate on the three main novelties of the new Guidelines. 1                 Procedure Under the leniency programme, parties to a cartel can obtain immunity from fines or a reduction of fines, in…...