Following the entry into force of the GDPR on 25 May 2018 (see our news “GDPR – Are you ready?”), the law of 30 July 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data, which repeals the law of 8 December 1992, has been published in the Belgian Official Journal on 5 September 2018 and entered into force the same day. 

At last, after roughly two years, the EU Directive 2016/943 (hereinafter: The Directive) of 8 July 2016 has finally been transposed by the long-awaited Belgian Law of 30 July 2018 on the Protection of Trade Secrets (hereinafter: The Law) that entered into force on 24 August 2018.

The Law brings clarity, among other things, by giving a legal definition of “trade secrets” and provides useful mechanisms that allow more effective enforcement of the right to the protection of trade secrets.

Considering that The Law is in large part a copy/paste-exercise from The Directive, we first recollect the main objectives and principles of The Directive. 

Numerous articles compare different European countries or compare Europe and the US when it comes to financial regulation, the IPO market or the types of FinTech applications that are easily adopted (or not) by the public. We decided to take a look in a different direction and together with the Japanese law firm Keiwa Sogo Law Offices, Simont Braun’s Digital Finance team examined the FinTech trends in both Belgium and Japan. Interesting resemblances, but also surprising differences came out from this analysis and showed that there are different means to the same end, especially when it comes to payments.  

Les associations et fondations n’échappent pas à l’élan des réformes : le Code de droit économique en a déjà fait des entreprises susceptibles d’être déclarées en faillite et il est actuellement question de les doter d’un nouveau corps de règles, en partie commun aux sociétés.

Quels changements annonce le Code des sociétés et associations actuellement en cours de discussion au Parlement ?

Mise à jour - 4 octobre 2018

1. La Loi du 18 septembre 2017 transposant la 4ième directive européenne anti-blanchiment du 20 mai  2015 (directive UE 2015/849) a notamment instauré un registre des bénéficiaires effectifs dénommé « registre UBO » (Ultimate Beneficial Ownership). L’arrêté royal du 30 juillet 2018 relatif aux modalités de fonctionnement du registre UBO a été publié au Moniteur Belge du 14 août 2018 et entrera en vigueur le 31 octobre prochain.

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1.     Introduction

The public offer of investment instruments and their admission to trading on a regulated market used to be governed by the law of 16 June 2006 implementing the Directive 2003/71/EC of 4 November 2003 (the Law of 2006).

While mandatory disclosure of information is vital to protect investors and constitutes a necessary step towards completion of the so-called ‘EU Capital Markets Union’[1], the rules laid down in Directive 2003/17/EC led to divergent approaches across Europe and resulted in significant impediments to cross-border offers of securities, multiple listings on regulated markets and to EU consumer protection rules.

Therefore, the EU legislator repealed the Directive 2003/71/EC and adopted the Regulation 2017/1129 of the European Parliament and of the Council dated 14 June 2017 on the prospectus to be published when securities are offered to the public or admitted to trading on a regulated market (the “Prospectus Regulation”). The Prospectus Regulation imposes obligations having a direct effect on persons involved in the offering or listing of securities.

On 13 July, the amended settlement of € 1.3 billion reached between Ageas (former Fortis) and Deminor was declared binding by the Amsterdam Court of Appeal. It is the largest settlement of investors’ claims in Europe so far. 

On 15 May 2018, the Belgian Government filed a draft law concerning the implementation of a new specialised English-speaking court in Brussels: the Brussels International Business Court (“BIBC”).

The Belgian Parliament is currently reviewing the draft law. The Government intends to ensure the entry into force of the law on 1st January 2020 at the latest.

Le 1er juin 2018, les protocoles modificatifs de la Convention Benelux en matière de propriété intellectuelle (CBPI), adoptés en 2014, sont entrés en vigueur.[1]  A date de ce 1er juin, de nouvelles compétences ont été attribuées tant à la Cour de justice Benelux (CJ Benelux) (1) qu’à l’Office Benelux de la Propriété intellectuelle (OBPI) (2). En outre, un nouveau fondement aux procédures d’opposition, déjà applicable dans le cadre des oppositions aux marques de l’Union européenne, est désormais adopté au niveau Benelux (3). L’implémentation de la seconde directive d’harmonisation en matière de marque doit cependant être poursuivie et elle n’est pas encore en vigueur.