Legal insights

LAW ON CHARTERING AND PRICING IN THE INLAND WATERWAY SECTOR: CONFORMITY WITH EUROPEAN LAW INVESTIGATED.

In order to strengthen the competitiveness of its inland waterway sector, Belgium introduced two laws on chartering and pricing in the inland waterway sector on 22 August 2014. It is questionable whether the new regulation on pricing is in line with European law.

The explanatory memorandum of the law states that for the concept and definition of “unlawful low price” inspiration was found in the Akzo judgment of the Court of Justice of 3 July 1991. In this judgment the Court ruled that offering services at unlawfully low prices is a malpractice under EC competition law.

BELGIAN PORT LABOUR IN THE LIGHT OF RECENT EUROPEAN DEVELOPMENTS

 

The judgment of the Court of Justice of 11 December 2014 concerning port labour in Spain has put a lot of pressure on the Belgian Port Labour Policy.

ENFORCEMENT OF THE MLC 2006: BELGIAN LEGISLATION UNDER EUROPEAN IMPULSE

MLC 2006 creates global minimum standards that guarantee the right of all seafarers to decent living and working conditions, regardless of their nationality and regardless of the flag of the ship on which they work. Through Directive 2009/16/EC as amended by Directive 2013/38/EU and Directive 2013/54/EU the EU has tried to ensure enforcement of MLC 2006 in all European  Member States in their capacities of Port State or Flag State.

MLC entered into force in Belgium on 21 August 2014

In our previous newsflash about the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (MLC) we stated that the Belgian ratification process was delayed. The reason for this was the necessary approval by all our different parliamentary assemblies , which took longer than expected.

On 20 August 2013 Belgium ratified the MLC and became the 46th country and 19th European member state to ratify the convention. On that same day, the MLC entered into force worldwide.

BELGIAN LEGAL INTEREST RATE FOR THE YEAR 2014

The legal interest rate for the year 2014 is 2.75% per annum (publication in the Belgian Official Gazette of 20 January 2014). The interest rate of 2013 was 2.75%;

For more information, please contact Philippe Van Dijck or Peter Van de Vijver.

 

SECOND ROYAL DECREE CONCERNING NEW BELGIAN LAW ON PIRACY

On 2 April 2013 the second Royal Decree concerning the new Belgian Law on Piracy was published. The Royal Decree regulates all the reports that a shipowner and/or operator of a ship must file when he wants to use a maritime security company.

Thus, the contract with a maritime security company needs to be reported to the Belgian government. A copy of this contract needs to be sent to both the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Mobility and Transport.

LAW CONCERNING THE COMBATING OF MARITIME PIRACY

A new law on maritime piracy was published in the Belgian official gazette on 30 January 2013. This law creates a legal framework for ships sailing under Belgian flag to protect them against the current wave of piracy in certain areas.

Before the law can effectively be applied, a number of issues will have to be dealt with by Royal Decree. This Royal Decree has not been published yet, its publication is expected next month.

EMPLOYMENT PLAN FOR OLDER EMPLOYEES

As from 1 January 2013 all companies with more than 20 employees (FTE) must have an employment plan for older employees.(1)

The employment plan must include measures to promote employment for employees aged 45 or more (e.g. recruitment and selection, development of the competencies, career development, etc.)

NEW THRESHOLDS AS FROM 1 JANUARY 2013

On 1 January 2013, the salary amounts set forth in the Law of 3 July 1978 on employment contracts are adapted in accordance with the indexation rules.

For notice periods, non-competition clauses, training clauses, arbitration clauses (art. 22bis, 65, 69, 82, 84, 85, 86/2 and 104 of the Law on employment contracts), the following amounts apply:

For probationary periods (art. 67 Law on employment contracts):

FALSE SELF-EMPLOYMENT ACT MODIFIED .....ONCE AGAIN

In its battle against social and tax fraud the legislator has modified the Act on Labour Relationships (1).

Three important modifications have been made:
 

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