The act on in rem security interests in moveable assets was adopted in July 2013 (the "Security Interests Act").[1] The Security Interests Act was originally scheduled to enter into force on 1 December 2014, but practical difficulties in setting up the National Pledge Register resulted in the postponement of its entry into force, which is now scheduled for 1 January 2018.

This date appears fixed. Indeed, a royal decree providing rules on access to, the use of and fees charged by the National Pledge Register was published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 26 September 2017 (the "Royal Decree").[2]

The National Pledge Register

The National Pledge Register - a national electronic database - is the cornerstone of the Security Interests Act and represents a major reform of the Belgian rules on in rem security interests in movable assets.

One of the most important changes introduced by the Security Interests Act is the abolishment of the cumbersome dispossession requirement to establish a pledge of movable assets. A pledge of movable tangible assets may now be perfected by means of either (i) filing with the National Pledge Register or (ii) dispossession of the pledged assets, as is currently the case.

Access, use and authentication

Anyone can consult the National Pledge Register by following the authentication procedure and paying the applicable fee. Improper or commercial use of the information available in the National Pledge Register can constitute a violation of the privacy legislation.

It should be noted that the registration, renewal, modification, deregistration, subordination and transfer of in rem security interests in moveable assets can only be carried out by the pledge holder (or the seller, for a retention of title), the security agent or an attorney-in-fact.

Non-registered users can be authenticated by means of their Belgian electronic ID card. Persons without one will need to rely on a Belgian attorney-in-fact for authentication purposes. Users can chose to become "registered user" by concluding an agreement with the National Pledge Register that provides inter alia for an authentication procedure.

Fees

The Royal Decree confirms that taking in rem security interests in moveable assets will be far less expensive than under the old rules. The scale-based fees vary, depending on the maximum liabilities secured by the pledge or the purchase price for a retention of title. Registration costs will be capped at €500.

 

Maximum liabilities secured by the pledge or purchase price for a retention of title

 

< €10,000

€10,000.01 - €25,000

€25,000.01 - €200,000

€200,000.01 - €500,000

> €500,000

Registration

€20

€50

€100

€200

€500

Modification

€12

€30

€60

€120

€300

Deregistration[3]

€8

€20

€40

€80

€200

Transfer or subordination

€10

Consultation

€5 per consultation and €5 per additional search result

Free of charge for the pledgor or the purchaser for a retention of title

 

The fees will be indexed every three years, starting on 1 January 2021.

Entry into force

With the publication of the Royal Decree, it appears that the last step towards the entry into force of the Security Interests Act has been taken. The Act is thus expected to enter into force on 1 January 2018.