On 4 April 2019, during the plenary session of the Belgian chamber of representatives, the parliament approved the New Belgian Maritime Code.
Twelve years after the establishment of the Royal Commission charged with the revision, updating and codification of Belgian maritime private and public law, the enactment was approved by 133 of the 135 voting members of Parliament.
The structure of the Code consists of four books:
The books on maritime shipping and inland navigation were subdivided into seven titles which are identical in structure, but differ in content where necessary.
When designing the Belgian Shipping Code, special attention was also paid to simplification, digitization and innovation of administrative and commercial shipping practice.
Although over the last years the initial blue prints of the law have been significantly modified (and even partly abolished), the new Code includes several essential modifications to Belgian maritime and inland navigation law in various areas such as administrative maritime law, the responsibility of the shipowner, rights and obligations under the transport contract, charter parties, bills of lading, wreck removal obligations of the shipowner and many more.
The act shall enter into force on the first day of the month following the expiration of a period of one year after its publication in the Belgian State Gazette. This gives various stakeholders the opportunity to request amendments before the entry into force.
Kegels & Co has closely followed the drafting of the bill and assists various stakeholders with advice on the consequences of this new legislation.
You can download the entire enactment as approved (dutch-French) here.
If you want more information on New Belgian Maritime Code, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org