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Belgium companies caught selling chemical agents to Syria

BRUSSELS: Three Belgian companies have been called to court after it was learned they sold chemicals to Syria. According to various European news agency reports, at least one of the agents sold to Syria could be used for the manufacture of sarin nerve gas. Isopropanol, which is commonly known to many as rubbing alcohol, is an ingredient in many household ... Read More »

Belgian firms prosecuted over Syria chemical exports

BRUSSELS: Three Belgian companies are being prosecuted for exporting chemicals to Syria, one of which could be used in the production of sarin gas. The firms say they acted with the seeming consent of Belgian customs between 2014 and 2016, but were subsequently alleged to have failed to apply for the permits that would protect them from falling foul of a ... Read More »

Belgian auto supplier to build headquarters in Metro Detroit

BRUSSELS: A global technology and service provider for commercial vehicles is building its North American headquarters in Auburn Hills. Belgium-based  is building a 102,000-square-foot facility with plans to add 87 new jobs in the next three years, the company announced. The facility would house about 200 employees in total. “WABCO’s expansion in Michigan rather than another state means good jobs for Michigan residents and ... Read More »

Belgium recycles over 80% of its used plastic

BRUSSELS: In 2015, Belgium had the best recycling rate for packaging material in Europe, according to the European statistical office, Eurostat. However, the Federal Government aims to do even better and become the European leader of the circular economy. “This is an ambitious project begun in October 2016, that goes beyond the framework of this legislature since the study spans ... Read More »

Over twom euros invested in mental health care for asylum seekers

BRUSSELS: Many asylum seekers who arrive in Belgium come from conflict-torn countries. Some have been subjected to bombardments, violent acts and other traumatizing experiences. The Secretary of State for Asylum and Migration, Theo Francken, decided to provide 2.3 million euros from the AMIF to provide them with better psychological support. Resources will be given to the French- and Dutch-speaking Red ... Read More »

Belgium sees downturn in Polished shipments

BRUSSELS: Belgium’s polished-diamond exports dropped in March, according to data from the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC). Polished exports decreased 7% year on year to $1.09 billion and, by volume, fell 13% to 423,764 carats. The average price grew 7% to $2,570 per carat. Polished shipments to Switzerland  which hosted the Baselworld show that month  slid 36% to $270.6 million, ... Read More »

Air Belgium to launch Hong Kong service

BRUSSELS: European long-haul low-cost carrier Air Belgium will launch four non-stop A340 flights a week to Hong Kong from Brussels starting April 30. Prices for economy, premium and business tickets – now on sale – start from HK$4,499, HK$9,999 and HK$19,999 respectively. The carrier said Hong Kong would deliver it a wide cross section of passengers including the “young generation ... Read More »

Belgium consumer payments country snapshot market analysis 2018

BRUSSELS: Consumer Payments Country Snapshot production region, major players, and product type which will provide a simplified view of the Consumer Payments Country Snapshot industry. The Consumer Payments Country Snapshot market report presents the competitive scenario of the major market players based on the sales revenue, customer demands, company profile, the business tactics used in Consumer Payments Country Snapshot market ... Read More »

LIQAL to build LNG refuelling station in Belgium

BRUSSELS: The total concept  from design, production and realisation onsite, up to the maintenance and 24/7 service  was the deciding factor in LIQAL being awarded the contract. With the arrival of its own LNG refuelling station, Remitrans is continuing to build on reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the transport sector.Business Development Manager at LIQAL, added, “We are sure that ... Read More »

Brussels talks begin on solving Irish border conundrum

BRUSSELS: Brussels this month between UK and EU officials to see if an “innovative and untested approach” a new customs partnership – can be introduced to avoid a hard Irish border post Brexit. The customs partnership appears to be s preferred option, described by Whitehall insiders as “intellectually perfect,” but it could take years to realise as it would involve some form ... Read More »

Belgian prince’s allowance cut over China contacts

BRUSSELS: Lawmakers voted yesterday to reduce the prince’s 307,000-euro (USD 378,000) annual allowance by 15 per cent, a cut of 46,000 euros, following a recommendation by Prime Minister Charles Michel. Prince Laurent, 54, was photographed last year wearing a military uniform while attending the 90th anniversary of the Chinese army at Beijing’s embassy in Brussels — a photo he himself tweeted — without official permission. ... Read More »

Belgian court annuls online gaming VAT

BRUSSELS: Belgium’s Constitutional Court has annulled legislation which extended value-added tax to the supply of online gaming and gambling services to customers in Belgium. The landmark decision was issued on March 22 in response to a legal challenge to the legislative change brought by Swedish-listed online gambling group Kindred (formerly Unibet). Legislation to remove the broad-based VAT exemption on the ... Read More »

Belgium expels Russian diplomat over British nerve gas attack

BRUSSELS:  Belgium’s government decided on Tuesday to expel a Russian diplomat over a nerve agent attack on British soil this month, becoming the latest European Union country to do so after the bloc sided with Britain in blaming Moscow. A government official confirmed Belgium’s decision after a meeting of senior ministers. The majority of EU countries have already expelled at ... Read More »

Belgium’s constitutional court restores VAT exemption on online gambling services

BRUSSELS: Belgium annulled on Thursday a 2016 constitutional amendment under which online gambling operators were required to pay a 21% value-added tax on their Belgian operations. Belgium regulated its online gambling market in early 2010 when amendments to the Gaming and Betting Act of 1999 were published in the Belgian Official Gazette. The amendments took effect on January 1, 2011 to allow international gambling ... Read More »

Belgium business confidence weakens in March

BRUSSELS: In the business-related services sector, the loss of confidence showed up in all components of the indicator, though mainly in the forecasts for general market demand, which worsened for the second month in a row. In the manufacturing industry, the cyclical weakening is attributable to a significant downward revision of employment expectations and, to a lesser extent, to a ... Read More »

25m of loans for cultural and creative in Belgium

BRUSSELS: In total, more than 140 SMEs in the cultural and creative sectors are expected to obtain access to finance as a result of this new Guarantee Facility. This agreement was made possible with the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the central pillar of the Juncker Plan. Education, Culture, Youth and Sport Commissioner Tibor Navracsics and Digital ... Read More »

Reaction of Belgian Customs comes too late to confront Brexit on time

BRUSSELS: The trade union’s view is that the knock-on effects of Brexit upon customs activities will be significant, although the precise extent of these repercussions remains difficult to determine. The ACV notes that neighbouring countries such as the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom itself have already taken preparatory steps. Marc Nijs, of ACV Public Services, says, “The Netherlands, for ... Read More »

Belgians top recyclers in Europe but they pay no waste charges

Brussels: Belgium boasts that it is top of the European league for recycling packaging waste, with 87 per cent of plastic bottles, glass bottles, packaging and cartons now processed for recycling. Rubbish triage by householders is mandatory and contravention of the rules is subject to fines. But there are no charges for rubbish collection which is organised by the communes. The packaging ... Read More »

Air Belgium gains operating certificate

BRUSSELS: Startup long-haul, low-fare airline Air Belgium has received its operating certificate from Belgium’s Direction Générale Transport Aérien (DGTA), allowing it to start selling tickets for planned first revenue service with one of four Airbus A340-300s between Brussels and Hong Kong in mid-April. Headquartered in the municipality of Mont-Saint-Guibert in the province of Walloon Brabant, Air Belgium launches operations with ... Read More »

Brussels slams seven EU states for ‘aggressive tax policies

BRUSSELS:  These practices undermine fairness and the level playing field in our internal market, and they increase the burden on EU taxpayers.” Many of the targeted countries serve as EU headquarters for global multinationals, offering complicated tax schemes that help companies  such as Google, Apple or Facebook  to shift profits and avoid big tax bills. Belguim Seven EU countries including ... Read More »