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BELGIUM: LIMOSA Update Takes Effect

The European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on December 19, 2012, that the Belgian LIMOSA system (prior declaration requirement for a foreign national seconded to Belgium) discriminates against self-employed service providers who want to supply services in Belgium on a temporary basis. The court ruled that "formalities implied by the declaration requirement at issue" were a disproportionate obstacle to the freedom to provide services.

To comply with the ECJ's judgment, the LIMOSA requirement for self-employed individuals was suspended until June 30, 2013. As of July 1, 2013, new rules apply pursuant to a Royal Decree issued on March 19, 2013. The new rules apply both to the self-employed and to employees and trainees:

  • The list of data required for the LIMOSA is modified slightly. Some information is no longer required (for example, the weekly working time for employees). The LIMOSA declaration now requires specifying whether the seconded employee, self-employed person, or trainee will be active in "construction work" in Belgium;
  • In the event of most cases of structural employment in several countries, including Belgium, a "simplified" LIMOSA that required less information and that extended up to 12 months (renewable) could be made before July 1, 2013. As of that date, a LIMOSA for most cases of structural employment in several countries, including Belgium, that can extend up to 12 months (renewable) still exists but now requires the same data as a "regular" LIMOSA;
  • A LIMOSA must be cancelled as soon as possible, and no longer than by the end of the first day of the indicated time frame, if the secondment does not take place within the indicated time frame.

It is unclear whether these measures will suffice to comply with the ECJ judgment. A draft bill was filed with the Belgian Chamber of Representatives on July 16, 2013, under which the LIMOSA declaration would no longer be required for seconded trainees. This act is scheduled to take effect retroactively on July 1, 2013.

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