The EU legislators aim to promote more transparent and predictable employment, while ensuring labor market adaptability. To reach this goal, the EU directive on transparent and predictable working conditions and its implementation law impose certain information obligations on employers, and also lay down new minimum standards regarding working conditions that have to be guaranteed. In the case of noncompliance, sanctions (up to level 3) can be imposed.
Baker McKenzie was invited to serve as the global editor of the Chambers Advertising & Marketing 2022 Practice Guide which features 8 high-profile jurisdictions and provides the latest legal information on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, advertising claims and clinical studies, comparative advertising, social/digital media, influencer campaigns, consumer promotions, sports betting/gambling, and cryptocurrency and non-fungible tokens.
The secret is out, this will most likely not be news to you but there is a strong interplay between Transfer Pricing, Customs and VAT. Even though income tax authorities may have different views in how they consider valuation from a TP perspective and the valuation structure recognized by customs authorities, we can no longer ignore that a company’s TP policy/adjustments will affect their cross-border transactions of tangible goods and ultimately impact their dutiable/VAT position.
As a follow-up on the second Action Plan for the fight against social and tax fraud, a bill was recently submitted to the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, which contains a number of relevant tax controversy measures. Amongst the main measures is a significant extension of the tax investigation and assessment periods for income taxes and VAT. Overall, the bill significantly extends the powers of the Belgian tax authorities and limits to a certain extent the taxpayer’s procedural rights.
In recent months, discussions have been ongoing regarding the so-called “labor deal” in Belgium, which will entail various changes to Belgian employment law. Can employees insist on a four-day working week? Are employees entitled to a “right to disconnect” after working hours? On Thursday 29 September 2022, the federal parliament officially approved the draft law implementing the labor deal (thereby addressing such questions).
In June 2022, the governments of Belgium’s nine federated entities agreed on the text of a cooperation agreement implementing a screening mechanism of general application for foreign direct investments into Belgium. The screening mechanism is expected to enter into force on 1 January 2023. The Cooperation Agreement is inspired by EU Regulation 2019/452 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 19 March 2019 establishing a general framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union. Belgium is now set to become the 19th EU Member State with a screening mechanism for foreign direct investments.
Through the EU Directive on Restructuring and Insolvency of 20 June 2019 (EUR 2019/1023, “Directive”), the European Union has imposed an obligation on its member states to offer a more attractive and flexible restructuring scheme in their respective local law. The initial deadline to do so had been 17 July 2021. Only a handful of countries (most notably Germany and The Netherlands) had implemented the Directive within the initial deadline, whilst the other countries made use of the possibility to ask for a one year extension.
Baker McKenzie’s Sanctions Blog published the alert titled “Russia imposes a ban on foreign aircraft flights from 36 states” on 1 March 2022. Read the article via the link here. Please also visit our Sanctions Blog for the most recent updates.
On 23 February 2022, the Belgian Royal Decree of 8 February 2022 on the status and supervision of service providers for the exchange of virtual currency and fiat currency and custodian wallet providers (“Virtual Currency Royal Decree”) was published in the Belgian State Gazette. The Virtual Currency Royal Decree introduces registration requirements and operating conditions for virtual currency service providers into Belgian law. The Virtual Currency Royal Decree will enter into force on 1 May 2022, with a grandfathering regime for existing service providers.
On February 24, 2022, each of the three Belgian Regions (the Flemish, Walloon and Brussels Regions) announced that all export licenses issued by their services with Russia as destination country or country of end-use will be temporarily suspended. The suspension will be evaluated on a day-to-day basis.