Annual Report on Exchange Arrangements and Exchange Restrictions, 2007
Chapter

BELGIUM

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
Published Date:
October 2007
Share
  • ShareShare
Show Summary Details

(Position as of January 31, 2007)

Status under IMF Articles of Agreement
Article VIIIDate of acceptance: February 15, 1961.
Exchange Measures
Restrictions and/or multiple currency practicesNo restrictions as reported in the latest staff report as of December 31, 2006.
International security restrictions
In accordance with IMF Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51)On October 30, 2006, Belgium notified the IMF that in accordance with EU Council regulations, certain restrictions are maintained on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions. These include the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain individuals of Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, and the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; certain individuals and entities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Zimbabwe; and persons and entities associated with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the Taliban, and certain other persons, groups, and entities, with a view to combating terrorism.
Other security restrictionsYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksCouncil Regulation (EC) No. 765/2006 (OJ L 134, dated May 5, 2006), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 1763/2004 (OJ L 315, dated October 14, 2004), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 1183/2005 (OJ L 193, dated July 23, 2005), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 560/2005 (OJ L 95, dated April 14, 2005), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 1210/2003 (OJ L 169, dated July 8, 2003), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 305/2006 (OJ L 51, dated February 22, 2006), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 872/2004 (OJ L 162, dated April 30, 2004), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 817/2006 (OJ L 148, dated June 2, 2006), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 1184/2005 (OJ L 193, dated July 23, 2005), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 881/2002 (OJ L 139, dated May 29, 2002), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 2580/2001 (OJ L 344, dated December 28, 2001), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 2488/2000 (OJ L 287, dated November 14, 2000), as amended; Council Regulation (EC) No. 314/2004 (OJ L 55, dated February 22, 2004), as amended.
Exchange Arrangement
CurrencyThe currency of Belgium is the euro.
Exchange rate structureUnitary.
Classification
Independently floatingBelgium participates in a currency union with 12 other members of the EMU and has no separate legal tender. Effective January 1, 2007, the exchange arrangement of the EMU countries has been reclassified to the category independently floating from the category exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender. The new classification is based on the behavior of the common currency, whereas the previous classification was based on the lack of a separate legal tender. The new classification thus reflects only a definitional change, and is not based on a judgment that there has been a substantive change in the exchange regime or other policies of the currency union or its members.
Exchange taxNo.
Exchange subsidyNo.
Forward exchange marketBanks are allowed to engage in spot and forward exchange transactions in any currency, and they may deal among themselves and with residents and nonresidents in foreign notes and coins.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Arrangements for Payments and Receipts
Prescription of currency requirements
Controls on the use of domestic currencyThe sales price of real estate may be paid only by means of a bank transfer or check, except for an amount not exceeding 10% of the sales price and as long as this amount is not higher than €15,000. The price of a sale by a merchant for a product whose total value is equal to or greater than €15,000 may not be paid in cash.
Payments arrangementsNo.
Administration of controlNo.
Payments arrearsNo.
Controls on trade in gold (coins and/or bullion)No.
Controls on exports and imports of banknotesNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksArticles 10bis and 10ter of the Law of January 11, 1993, Preventing the Use of the Financial System for Purposes of Laundering Money and Terrorism Financing; www.juridat.be/cgi_loi.
Resident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Held domesticallyYes.
Held abroadControls apply to deposits held with financial institutions not supervised by the authorities of an EU country if these deposits are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company or of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund.
Accounts in domestic currency held abroadYes.
Accounts in domestic currency convertible into foreign currencyYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksLaw of March 22, 1993, on the Legal Status and Supervision of Credit Institutions; www.juridat.be/cgi_loi.
Nonresident Accounts
Foreign exchange accounts permittedYes.
Domestic currency accountsYes.
Convertible into foreign currencyYes.
Blocked accountsThese accounts are affected by international security restrictions. The accounts held in the names of the Taliban and terrorist organizations are still blocked, as are accounts of certain officials of Zimbabwe and certain persons linked with Liberia.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksTaliban and Terrorist Organizations: Council Regulation (EC) No. 881/2002 of May 27, 2002, Imposing Certain Specific Restrictive Measures Directed Against Certain Persons and Entities Associated with Osama bin Laden, the Al-Qaida Network, and the Taliban; and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No. 467/2001, Prohibiting the Export of Certain Goods and Services to Afghanistan, Strengthening the Flight Ban and Extending the Freeze of Funds and other Financial Resources with respect to the Taliban of Afghanistan; Zimbabwe: Council Regulation (EC) No. 314/2004, dated February 19, 2004, concerning Certain Restrictive Measures with respect to Zimbabwe; Liberia: Council Regulation (EC) No. 872/2004 dated April 29, 2004, concerning Further Restrictive Measures in relation to Liberia; http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex.
Imports and Import Payments
Foreign exchange budgetNo.
Financing requirements for importsNo.
Documentation requirements for release of foreign exchange for importsNo.
Import licenses and other nontariff measures
Negative listIndividual licenses are required for certain specified imports from some non-EU countries, including many textile and steel products, diamonds, and weapons. All other products are free from license requirements.
Licenses with quotasAlong with other EU countries, the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union applies quotas on a number of textile products from Belarus, China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Kosovo, and Montenegro, and on a number of steel products from Kazakhstan, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine.
Import taxes and/or tariffsBelgium applies the Common Import Regime of the EU to imports of most agricultural and livestock products from non-EU countries.
State import monopolyYes.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksCouncil Regulation (EC) No. 517/94 on Common Rules for Imports of Textile Products from Certain Third Countries Not Covered by Bilateral Agreements; http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex.
Exports and Export Proceeds
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Financing requirementsNo.
Documentation requirementsNo.
Export licensesExport licenses are required for only a few products (mostly of a strategic character), for weapons, and for diamonds.
Without quotasYes.
Export taxesNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksCouncil Regulation (EC) No. 1334/2000, Setting up a Community Regime for the Control of Exports of Dual-Use Items and Technology; http://europa.eu.int/eur-lex.
Payments for Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Controls on these transfersNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Proceeds from Invisible Transactions and Current Transfers
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Restrictions on use of fundsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Capital Transactions
Controls on capital transactionsYes.
Repatriation requirementsNo.
Controls on capital and money market instruments
On capital market securities
Shares or other securities of a participating nature
Purchase abroad by residentsControls apply to the acquisition of (1) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU (for private pension funds only if they get the approval of the occupational pension supervisor), if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company or of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund; (2) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (3) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (4) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
Bonds or other debt securities
Purchase abroad by residentsControls apply to the acquisition of (1) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU (for private pension funds only if they get the approval of the occupational pension supervisor), if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company or of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund; (2) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (3) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (4) securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
On money market instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsControls apply to the acquisition of money market securities not traded on a regulated (1) foreign financial market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU (for private pension funds only if they get the approval of the occupational pension supervisor), if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company or of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund; (2) foreign financial market, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (3) market negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (4) market negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
On collective investment securities
Purchase abroad by residentsControls apply to the acquisition of securities issued by collective investment funds not regulated by EU authorities, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
Controls on derivatives and other instruments
Purchase abroad by residentsControls apply to the purchase of or swap operations in instruments and claims not traded on a regulated foreign financial market (1) negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except liabilities of financial institutions headquartered in the EU (for private pension funds only if they get the approval of the occupational pension supervisor), if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company or of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund; (2) negotiable within a period exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (3) negotiable within three months, except liabilities of financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (4) issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
Controls on credit operations
Financial credits
By residents to nonresidentsControls apply to credits and loans granted to (1) nonresident borrowers, other than financial institutions headquartered in the EU, with a residual maturity exceeding three months, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (2) nonresident financial institutions headquartered in the EU, with a residual maturity exceeding three months, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
Controls on direct investment
Inward direct investmentNo authorization is required for inward direct investment in Belgium, except for the acquisition of Belgian flag vessels by shipping companies that do not have their principal office in Belgium and investment by non-EU nationals in accounting and legal services.
Controls on liquidation of direct investmentNo.
Controls on real estate transactionsNo.
Controls on personal capital transactionsNo.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Provisions Specific to the Financial Sector
Provisions specific to commercial banks and other credit institutionsNo.
Provisions specific to institutional investors
Insurance companies
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsControls apply to the acquisition of (1) capital market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (2) capital market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (3) capital market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (4) capital market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (5) money market securities not traded on a regulated foreign financial market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (6) money market securities not traded on a regulated foreign financial market, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (7) money market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (8) money market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period not exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (9) securities issued by collective investment funds not regulated by EU authorities, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadControls apply to credits and loans granted to (1) nonresident borrowers, other than financial institutions headquartered in the EU, with a residual maturity exceeding three months, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (2) nonresident financial institutions headquartered in the EU, with a residual maturity exceeding three months, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (3) swap operations in instruments and claims not traded on a regulated foreign financial market (a) negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except liabilities of financial institutions headquartered in the EU, if these assets are to form part of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (b) negotiable within a period exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; (c) negotiable within three months, except liabilities of financial institutions headquartered within the EU, if these assets are to form more than 10% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company; and (d) issued by financial institutions headquartered within the EU if these assets are to form more than 20% of the cover of the technical reserves of an insurance company.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionThese regulations are maintained, but the introduction of the euro has considerably reduced their significance. The EU allows its member countries to maintain such regulations.
Pension funds
Limits (max.) on securities issued by nonresidentsControls apply to the acquisition of (1) capital market securities not traded on a regulated market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU (for private pension funds only if they get the approval of the occupational pension supervisor), if these assets are to form part of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund; and (2) money market securities not traded on a regulated financial market, negotiable within a period exceeding three months, issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU, except securities issued by financial institutions headquartered in the EU (for private pension funds only if they get the approval of the occupational pension supervisor), if these assets are to form part of the assets representative of the liabilities of a private pension fund.
Limits (max.) on investment portfolio held abroadn.a.
Limits (min.) on investment portfolio held locallyn.a.
Currency-matching regulations on assets/liabilities compositionn.a.
Investment firms and collective investment fundsn.a.
References to legal instruments and hyperlinksn.a.
Changes during 2006
Exchange measuresOctober 30. Belgium notified the IMF that in accordance with EU Council regulations, certain restrictions are maintained on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions. These include the freezing of funds and economic resources of certain individuals of Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Côte d’Ivoire, Croatia, and the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia; certain individuals and entities of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Iraq, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Lebanon, Liberia, Myanmar, Sudan, the Syrian Arab Republic, and Zimbabwe; and persons and entities associated with Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaida, and the Taliban, and certain other persons, groups, and entities, with a view to combating terrorism.
Changes during 2007
Exchange arrangementJanuary 1. The exchange arrangement of the EMU countries was reclassified to the category independently floating from the category exchange arrangement with no separate legal tender. The new classification reflects only a definitional change.

    Other Resources Citing This Publication