To give a brief history, the Belgian law on security interests over movable assets (“Law”) was adopted in July 2013 and was initially scheduled to enter into force in December 2014. However, the schedule required a first extension of the deadline, and Parliament arranged for the Law to be implemented by 1 January 2017 at the latest. 

Most recently, the Belgian Parliament passed a new amending law, once again providing for the deferral of the ultimate entry into force of the Law by one year, i.e. on 1 January 2018 (or an earlier date if so determined by royal decree).

The Law broadly recast the current legal framework (by amending the Belgian Civil Code) regarding the creation, perfection and enforcement of security interests over movable assets, whether tangible or intangible. The main innovation of the Law, namely the introduction of a National Pledge Register (“NPR”), will make it possible to create and perfect certain securities merely through registration and without due dispossession. As the administration had been tasked with introducing the NPR, it realized that it would be more time-consuming than expected and would lag in development. 

Alongside this, the newly adopted amending law will also make several changes to the Law, including the following important changes:

  • pledges can be created over movable assets after they have become “immovable by use”;
  • pledges over receivables may no longer be recorded in the NPR;
  • the NPR will be made accessible to everyone;
  • the limitation period for request of a control a posteriori from the Court over the enforcement procedure is reduced from one year to one month.