In 2013 Belgian Parliament enacted the Belgian Act on security rights in movable property of 11 July 2013 (the “Act”). This new legislation envisaged the creation of an electronic, online National Pledge Register so that a pledge on movable assets (tangible as well as intangible) can be created between pledgor and pledgee and perfected by registering the pledge and without dispossession or loss of control of the pledged assets. The register could also be used to register retention of title arrangements (“ROTs”).
Today, the Belgian Official Gazette published a Royal Decree that determines the terms and conditions as well as the fees payable for access to and use of this register.
The register will be available to anyone who pays the required fee and is able to identify itself online in accordance with the technical requirements of the register. However, commercial or other improper use of the register can be regarded as an infringement of privacy regulations and may entail personal liability.
Users of the register must be identified via their electronic Belgian ID-card.
Persons who do not hold a Belgian ID-card can gain access via a Belgium-based agent (e.g. a security agent or an ad-hoc agent (e.g. a notary or a law firm).
The registration, modification, removal, subordination and/or transfer of the pledge or ROT can be dealt with by a security agent/trustee or ad hoc attorney of the pledgee or the seller (e.g. a lawyer).
Entry into force of the Act
Now that the Royal Decree on the practicalities of the pledge register has been published (allowing for the National Pledge Register to become operational) it is expected that the Act of 11 July 2013 can actually enter into force – as planned - on 1 January 2018.