Belgium: New measures regarding late payments with regard to commercial transactions

Rules that apply when there are late payments with regard to commercial transactions

Rules that apply when there are late payments with regard to commercial transactions

A new law tightens the rules that apply when there are late payments with regard to commercial transactions. 

Concerning commercial transactions, the term for payment (under general contract law) is 30 days after receipt of the invoice, but this term can be extended. However, under the new legislative measures, the conventional payment term for commercial transactions can never exceed 60 days. Furthermore, the term to verify whether the good or services delivered conform to the agreement is also included in the 60-day period. Thus, the parties cannot agree on a longer payment term by using an artificial verification term.

Because of the current shortage and price increases relating to raw materials, some have been unable to deliver materials to their customers according to the agreed-to price and in some instances, businesses have refused delivery. There is a trend for entities to invoke the Belgian competition rules, and specifically the measure that entities are not allowed to abuse a position of economic dependency. There are certain conditions for there to be a violation of these rules when dealing with a contracting party that is unable to deliver. One reason for turning to the new rules—and not simply arguing that there is a breach of contract—is that judicial proceedings under the new rules are conducted as summary proceedings and are more expeditious than normal court proceedings.

Read a December 2021 report prepared by the KPMG member firm in Belgium

 

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