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Legislation of Belgium

  • Incorporation time: 4 days
  • Shelf companies: No
  • Accounting: Yes
  • Secretary: Yes
  • Nominee Shareholder: No
  • Nominee director: No
Tax 34%
1 € = 1.35 USD

Trade and Market Information

Belgium is a member of the WTO and the OECD, as well as a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol, the Washington Convention, the Basel Convention, the Montreal Protocol and the 2001 International Coffee Agreement.

As a European Union member, Belgium applies the European Community’s customs standards for imports. This specifically entails strict controls on agricultural products, which must, for example, indicate the presence of any Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and the importation of hormone-raised beef is prohibited in all European Union member states.

Customs duties average 4.2% for imports from outside the European Union. Goods within the European Union are exempt from duty. For imports from outside the EU, an Entry Summary Declaration is required, in compliance with the World Customs Organization’s efforts to secure trade.

Despite the global economic crisis the Belgian market and mass distribution sector continue to grow steadily. Supermarkets are gradually replacing neighbourhood convenience shops. However, due to its open economic policy, Belgium’s market is extremely competitive. Belgium has a number of well equipped and active ports including the port of Antwerp, which is the largest.

Links :
Customs
Ministry of Transports
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Brussels

Employment Legislation in Belgium

The working week in Belgium ranges between 35 and 39 hours, the retirement age is 65 and the monthly minimum wage is EUR 1,163. Employers pay social security at a rate of 34%, with 13% contributed by employees.

60% of employees are union members, and the main unions are: the Liberal Trade Union, the Confederation of Christian Trade Unions, the Belgian National Staff Association, and the General Federation of Labour.

Links :

Belgian Federal Public Service Employment, Labour and Social Dialogue

Intellectual Property Regime in Belgium

Type of rights

Legislation

Validity of Protection

Agreements signed

Patents

National law

20 years

-Patent Cooperation Treaty
-Strasbourg Agreement Concerning the International Patent Classification

Trademarks

Trademark law

10 years, renewable

– Trademark Law Treaty

– Nice Agreement on the International Classification of Goods and Services

– Madrid Agreement Concerning the International Registration of Marks

Designs

National law

Copyright

National law

70 years after the author’s death

-Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works
-Rome Convention for the Protection of Performers
-WIPO Performances and Phonograms Treaty
-WIPO Copyright Treaty
-Convention for the Protection of Producers of Phonograms

Industrial designs

Benelux Law

5 years, renewable twice

Link :
Office for intellectual property

Belgium Political Data

The King (Albert II) represents executive power, although this is primarily a symbolic role. Executive power is primarily controlled by the Prime Minister (Charles Michel), who is appointed for a four year term. Legislative power is exercised by the Senate and the House of Representatives.

The main political parties are divided according to linguistic affiliation, i.e., Flemish and Francophone.

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