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WELCOME

Astrea provides specialized legal advice to private companies, entrepreneurs and public authorities

Legal issues are rarely limited to a single area of law.

Astrea is an independent law firm with more than 35 lawyers, each with their own area of specialization. Together, they provide assistance in any area of law that might be required by private companies, entrepreneurs or public authorities.

Our firm's broad-based composition allows us to offer a comprehensive approach. Based on the individual client's needs and the specific issues at hand, we assign a customized team of specialist lawyers to each case. This enables us to consider every relevant area of law and provide the most efficient solution.

A unique blend of passion and respect is the strength of the Astrea team. Every team member has a client-oriented and client-driven approach. We respond quickly, and we work in a proactive and pragmatic way. Quality is essential, but we also aim to be as cost-efficient as possible.

NEWS

NEW ANTI-MONEY LAUNDERING ACT PUBLISHED IN THE BELGIAN OFFICIAL JOURNAL

17.10.2017

A new Anti-Money Laundering Act has been published in the Belgian Official journal of 6 October 2017, implementing EU directive 2015/849. The Act will replace the previous anti-money laundering act of 1993 and will be effective as of 16 October 2017. Innovations under this Act include:

  • a broadening of the scope of the obliged entities
  • a new risk assessment procedure
  • the introduction of simplified and enhanced customer due diligence
  • an obligation to hold and provide beneficial ownership information, and the introduction of  a national central register for beneficial ownership information
  • a revision of the role and responsibilities of the CFI (Cel Financiële Informatieverwerking)
  • an introduction of a maximum term for data retention
  • an improvement of the cooperation between the financial intelligence units and the European Commission
  • the creation of additional administrative and criminal sanctions for breaches of the requirements of this Act.

The full memorandum on the new Anti-Money Laundering Act can be found here.

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ROYAL DECREE IMPLEMENTING THE NEW BELGIAN COLLATERAL ACT PUBLISHED

26.9.2017

On 26 September 2017, the long awaited Royal Decree of 14 September 2017 implementing title XVII of Book III of the Belgian Civil Code (Security rights in rem on movable assets – also known as the new collateral act) was published in the Belgian State Gazette.

The new Royal Decree governs the use of the new national pledge register.

The new collateral act (which was adopted already on 11 July 2013) concerns one of the most important innovations of Belgian collateral law of the past decades, by the introduction of a non-possessory pledge on movable assets which is perfected against third parties by way of registration in a new national pledge register. More information on the new collateral act can be found here.

The practical implementation of this new pledge register took much longer than expected, which resulted in a repeated delay of the entry into force of the new collateral act.

The Royal Decree of 14 September 2017 provides inter alia the following:

  • The procedure of identification and authentication of users of the pledge register and the terms of use;
  • The manner of registration of a right of pledge or retention of title in the pledge register;
  • The modification, renewal or removal of a registration; the mentioning of a waiver of rank or transfer;
  • Consultation of the register;
  • The retributions which are payable upon a registration or removal of data.

The new Royal Decree will enter into force on the day of entry into force of the new collateral act, which is scheduled for 1 January 2018 at the latest.

Do not hesitate to contact us in case you have any questions.

 

Dieter Veestraeten

dve@astrealaw.be

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