The Transport Finance Law Review: Belgium

Introduction

i The transport finance industry

Located at the centre of the European Union and hosting its main institutions, Belgium plays a crucial role in all means of transportation.

Belgium has five international airports, among which Brussels National Airport caters for 25 million passengers and half a million tonnes of cargo each year.

The second-largest European sea harbour is located in Belgium (Antwerp) and shipowners increasingly register ships under the Belgian flag, as it combines an attractive tonnage tax regime with a label of rigour.

The first railway on the European continent was built in Belgium and ever since rolling rail equipment has been developed and constructed in Belgium.

Finance industry

While local banks will finance equipment in inland shipping, borrowers for other means of transportation will typically rely on foreign lenders. The local legal profession is nevertheless available for the drafting and registration of Belgian instruments such as, inter alia, mortgage deeds, pledge on assets and revenue, and assignments. Both the legislation and the legal profession are notably efficient at protecting creditors' rights thanks to fast attachment procedures, procedures on the substance specifically designed for undisputed claims. and the swift recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments and other enforceable titles.

ii Recent changes

The Belgian Act on security interests2 on movable goods providing for the registration of pledges (equivalent to mortgages) in an online registry (pledge register) creates new opportunities for the financing of aircraft and rolling stock.

Legislative framework

i Domestic and international law and regulation

Conflict of laws

International conventions binding Belgium supersede domestic law.3 In the absence of an applicable international convention, the Code of International Private Law (Code IPL) determines the applicable law and competent courts.4

EC Regulation No. 593/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 June 2008 (Rome I) shall determine the law applicable to contracts.5

The applicable law on security interests on means of transport (such as aircraft, rolling stock and ships) is regulated by Article 89 Code IPL, namely the law of the country where such means of transport are registered.

Substantive law on contracts

Under Belgian law, contracts are, in general, governed by Articles 1101 to 1369 of the Civil Code. The Civil Code provides specific provisions on certain specific contracts, such as:

  1. the loan agreement: Articles 1874 to 1914;
  2. the mandate: Articles 1984 to 2010;
  3. the surety or guarantee: Articles 2011 to 2043 octies; and
  4. the lease: Articles 1708 to 1712.

Substantive law on security interests

Aviation and rail assets

On 22 October 1993 Belgium ratified the Geneva Convention of 19 June 1948 on the international recognition of rights in aircraft (Geneva Convention), but has not yet provided for a separate system held by the Belgian civil aviation authorities for the registration of title and security rights on aircraft or engine. Belgium is not a party to the Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment, 2001, Cape Town (Cape Town Convention). The rights of creditors on aviation and rail assets are, in as far as they are registered in Belgium, as any other movable asset (except ships) governed by the general provisions of Title XVII on pledges and Title XVIII on liens and mortgages in Book III of the Civil Code.

Ships

The mortgage can be vested either by a private deed or an authentic deed.6 The deed of mortgage shall include an election of domicile (equivalent of a service agent) in Belgium.7

The mortgage becomes opposable only upon the registration thereof.

The registration of ownership, of the mortgage and of the bareboat charter of ships is governed by Article 2.2.1.1 and following of the new Maritime Code, which entered into force on 1 September 2020.

There are various claims ranking ahead of the mortgagee's claim.

The new Maritime Code altered the ranking of the creditors in a way that, in certain cases, is not compatible with the International Convention on Maritime Liens and Mortgages, 1926, Brussels, to which Belgium is a party. We reiterate that according Article 2 of the Code IPL, international conventions binding Belgium supersede domestic law.

Revenue

The aforementioned Pledge Act also governs the receivable pledge.

ii Specific practices

Air and rail

Until 31 December 2017, mobile equipment other than ships could only be pledged pursuant to a pledge with dispossession. This entailed that the pledgor could not be in possession of the aircraft or rolling stock. It required therefore a special purpose vehicle as owner or pledgor leasing the asset to the operator acting as third-party pledge holder, holding possession for and on behalf of the pledgee. Alternatively, financiers worked with a hire purchase agreement or retention of title structures. These forms of financing are still used and are still valid.8

The new provisions on security interests on mobile assets (the Pledge Act) entered into force on 1 January 2018 and introduced an online public register for pledges. Pledges so registered – register pledges – no longer require such a dispossession. The registration constitutes the perfection of the pledge. The Pledge Law still allows a possessory pledge. The Pledge register also allows the registration of retention of ownership rights – for example, in the case of a hire purchase agreement.9

Article 8 of the Pledge Act expressly provides for the pledging of future assets, so air and rail assets under construction or to be constructed can be pledged under the Pledge Act.

Shipping

Claims arising out of the financing of ships are ordinarily secured with a mortgage. This applies to both existing ships and ships under construction.10

In addition to the mortgage, other instruments are a pledge on receivables, an assignment of insurance indemnities and (until 31 December 2017) a floating charge on the business, including all movable assets and receivables. Duties of the ship builder are typically secured by a performance guarantee.

The pledge of the shares of the borrowing and ship owning company could also be helpful as an addition to other security interests, as it would enable the lender to acquire control over the asset when the need thereto appears. This control may prove of little help if too late: say, once other creditors have arrested the ship for significant amounts or once insolvency proceedings are initiated.

The lease purchase or hire purchase is also an option but, as long as the ship is still under lease, the financier characterises as a registered owner. As such, he or she is exposed in Belgium and other jurisdictions to no-fault liabilities, both contractual and non-contractual. Once the purchase option is exercised, the financier will characterise as a seller and specific attention should be given to the risk of liabilities for hidden defects that are hard or impossible to waive by way of contract.

Financial regulation

i Regulatory capital and liquidity

The Regulation of 4 March 2014 of the National Bank11 implements Regulation (EU) No. 575/2013 in Belgium. Financial institutions are furthermore regulated by the law of 25 April 2014 with respect to the supervision of credit institutions and stockbrokers as well as by the law of 2 August 2002 with respect to the supervision of the financial sector and financial intermediaries.

ii Supervisory regime

The Belgian National Bank is in charge of the prudential supervision of Belgian financial institutions other than systemic banks subject to the supervision of the European Central Bank.12

Security and enforcement

i Arrest (attachment)

The term arrest (or conservatory seizure) will be used to mean a detention or restriction on removal of an asset to secure a claim.13 It does not include the seizure of such asset in execution or satisfaction of a judgment or other enforceable instrument or a repossession claim. Arrest under such meaning is not a step, at least not a necessary step, to a judicial sale.

The arrest does not require an enforceable title, but a title which, on its face, is not disputable. The arrest may protect an existing priority ranking but does not as such create a priority ranking not otherwise acquired. The purpose of the arrest is not to proceed to the judicial sale, although it may so end up, but on the contrary, the release against payment or security in situations of urgency where if no arrest would have taken place, the creditor's enforcement rights may be adversely affected. In practice, the arrest in Belgium has proved to be an extremely fast and effective tool for the collection of receivables and the repossession of ownership rights.

Airplanes

Belgium is a party to the 1933 Airplane Arrest Convention,14 which, by virtue of its Article 3, heavily restricts the creditor's ability to arrest an airplane in cases where the aircraft is used for the international transport of passengers or goods. It only applies to arrests or conservatory seizure of aircraft. It does not apply to any arrest by the owner of an aircraft that is illegally prevented from taking possession of the aircraft. In practice, arrests are only made on aircraft in Belgium while they are in maintenance or in the case of a repossession claim of an owner together with the appointment of a sequester. This does not at all preclude the executory seizure for the purpose of a judicial sale on the basis of an enforceable title (see Section IV.iii).

Ships

A ship arrest will be authorised and maintained on the mere but serious allegation of a claim, not requiring an enforceable title. Arrest of bunkers may be an alternative to a ship arrest if, for some particular reason, a ship arrest is not permissible.

Creditors have a clear preference for arresting ships in Belgium.15 The reasons for this are as follows:

  1. some 15,000 calls a year at just one of its seaports (Antwerp);
  2. most ships are moored in locked docks, avoiding the risk of escaping while under arrest;
  3. the ability to cash or secure a claim related to the ship, regardless of whether the shipowner is the debtor;
  4. the ability to arrest sister ships; and
  5. the countersecurity being very seldom required.

Belgium ratified the 1952 Ship Arrest Convention16 and incorporated these provisions into the Maritime Code.17 As a result of the incorporation into domestic law, the rules set out in the 1952 Ship Arrest Convention apply whether the ship to be arrested is flying the flag of a state party to the 1952 Arrest Convention.

Requirement

The judge shall authorise the arrest if the applicant presents the allegation of a maritime claim. A maritime claim is a claim within the meaning of the aforementioned 1952 Arrest Convention, which includes more or less all types of claims except insurance premiums or calls.18 A judgment on the substance is not required to obtain the authorisation to arrest.

No escape route

Besides the fact that sailing while under arrest would constitute a penal fact, arrested ships cannot, as a practical matter, sail, because in most cases docks are behind locks and because the ship will need a pilot to reach the sea. The arrest is notified to the lockmaster and to the corporation of pilots.

Securing the shipowner's or charterer's debt

To arrest a ship, it is not required that the shipowner is, on the substance, the debtor of the maritime claim to secure.19 As an example, a ship arrest will be authorised and maintained to secure a bunker claim, although it is expressly agreed only the time or bareboat charterer is held20 and not the registered shipowner.

Sister ship

A creditor can arrest any ship in the ownership of his or her debtor to secure his or her maritime claim.21 Courts hold that if it derives from a set of facts and circumstances that are consistent in pointing to piercing of the corporate veil between the debtor and the registered owner of another ship so that the assets of the debtor and of the registered owner of the other ship are co-mingled and form one whole, this other ship would qualify as a sister ship for arrest purposes.

Countersecurity

According to Article 6.1 of the 1952 Ship Arrest Convention, the judge can impose a countersecurity to be posted, but that is seldom ordered.

Wrongful arrest

The court may impose a compensation for wrongful arrest. The judge authorises the ship arrest following an ex parte application to that end. The arrestee may oppose this authorisation. The mere fact that, after hearing the arrestee, the judge lifts the arrest does not, in se, establish the liability of the arrestor. Neither does the sole fact that the claim secured by a ship arrest eventually fails before the court judging the claim on its substance cause liability for wrongful arrest. A careful inspection of the claim and a carefully drafted application do protect the arrestor against a risk of liability. A court will impose a compensation for wrongful arrest if the arrestee establishes that his or her ship was arrested for no other purpose than damaging while the arrestor knew perfectly well the arrest would be lifted by the judge when hearing the opposition of the arrestee.

Cash or security

The result of the arrest is that the ship remains detained until the claim is settled or secured by a bank guarantee. When the debtor has no good defence on the merits, the shipowner will often pay cash because when the claim is not reasonably disputable that is by far the best option (even if the charterer and not the shipowner is the debtor). The other option is the security: the ship should be released against posting security. Such security shall be so worded to secure the claim even if the shipowner is not the debtor. One way to realise the security is to obtain a judgment on the merits. For undisputed claims it is rare that the shipowner will resist that far.

Insolvency order

Insolvency orders seek to hinder the individual pursuit of claims. However, the 1952 Arrest Convention shall, in most cases, prevail over provisions prohibiting actions of individual creditors resulting from an insolvency order. To put it another way, an insolvency order will often not preclude a creditor arresting a ship.22

Rolling rail assets

Rail assets are characterised as any other chattel for the purpose of arrest.23 The judge shall authorise the arrest thereof to secure a claim that is due, assessed or assessable and certain.24 There is no need to submit an enforceable title.

Funds and revenue

Funds and revenue may be attached, even without court authorisation,25 to secure a claim that is assessed or assessable and certain, and in cases of urgency. This is done by way of a third-party conservatory seizure. In such case the third party has to make a third-party seizure declaration within 15 days of such seizure. Should this third party fail to do so, the enforcement judge may declare this third party liable for the object and cause of such seizure.26

ii Self help

Air and rail assets

In the event of the occurrence of an enforcement event pursuant to the pledge agreement, the pledgee may enforce the pledge without prior court order subject to a 10-day prior notice. Together with such notice, the pledgee may arrest the aircraft or rolling stock. The pledgee can thereafter proceed with the sale of the aircraft or rolling stock through a private or public sale or through self-appropriation, provided such appropriation is agreed upon between the parties. In such case, the value of the asset shall be evaluated by an independent expert or if the asset can be traded on the market pursuant to the market price. The pledgee may also lease the asset. The pledgee in exercising its rights must act in good faith and must be economically justified. The enforcement is subject to court supervision upon request of the pledgor, pledgee or any interested third party.

Ships

The judge of seizures and arrest of the place of the registration shall authorise the mortgagee to take possession if a clause to that end is included in the mortgage deed and has so been registered. As a result of this competence and jurisdiction provision, the ability to exercise the right to take possession is restricted to ships registered in Belgium.

It is untested whether the mortgagee could, on the basis of a right to sell clause and without the consent of the owner or mortgagor, proceed to a non-judicial sale. In any event, it is as a practical matter never an option, because it would neither lift the arrests nor free the ship of debts.

iii Judicial sale

Movable air and rail assets

Upon the pledgor's default, the pledgee is authorised to proceed to a self-help foreclosure, without the need of an enforceable title (Section IV.ii 'Air and rail assets').

Ships

The judicial sale of ships speeded up significantly over recent years as a result of the ability to very quickly obtain an enforceable title and the abolishment of the second auction.

A judicial sale of a ship shall be organised and completed upon the submission of a title enforceable in Belgium to a court bailiff.

A foreign insolvency order, whether issued in an EU Member State or not, shall not hinder the judicial sale.27

A mortgage deed bearing the order to enforce, an enforceable domestic payment order, an enforceable EU order for payment, an enforceable judgment or an enforceable arbitration award are enforceable titles.

If such titles are originating from a Belgian authority,28 then they will allow the court bailiff to proceed immediately with the executory seizure leading to the judicial sale. Hereafter we deal with enforceable titles not originating from a Belgian authority.

EU Member State

If not originating from a Belgian authority but from an authority of another EU Member State, then the judicial title will be enforceable in Belgium as an enforceable judgment rendered by a Belgian court, without the need of a court declaration of enforceability.29 The bailiff shall also proceed to the executory seizure and subsequent judicial sale upon the submission by the claimant of documents listed in Article 42.1. Among which are the certificate according to the form as in Annex I for decisions and Annex II for deeds and settlements to the Regulation Brussels I Recast. Prior to relying on a mortgage deed, one should check whether an Annex II certificate can be obtained.

Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, UK, Singapore, Mexico and Montenegro

If the title originates from Switzerland, Norway or Iceland, then the enforcement thereof will be governed by the Convention on Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters, signed in Lugano on 30 October 2007. Its effects are materially the same as the (old) Brussels I Regulation of 2000.

If the judgment was rendered by a court of the UK (see also 'Brexit' hereunder), Singapore, Mexico or Montenegro, then the enforceability of the judgments shall be governed by the 2005 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements of The Hague (Hague Convention)30 if within the scope thereof (exclusive jurisdiction clause), which provides for a swift exequatur without review on the merits, and provides for a restriction of grounds for refusal of enforceability.

Brexit 31

Following the withdrawal as a Member State of the European Union by the United Kingdom on 1 January 2021, the European Regulation 1215/2012 of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Regulation 1215/2012) no longer governs the recognition and enforcement of judgments of the courts of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland in Belgium.

Prior to Brexit, the United Kingdom was, as a European Union Member State, bound by the Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, done at The Hague on 30 June 2005 (2005 Hague Convention), which provides for the recognition and swift enforcement, without review on the substance, of judgements given by a court of a contracting state designated in an exclusive choice of court agreement in the contracting states. Recognition or enforcement may be refused only on the grounds specified in the 2005 Hague Convention (Article 8). On 28 September 2020 the UK acceded on an individual basis. When acceding, the UK made a declaration seeking an application without interruption of the Convention.32

Belgian courts will therefore apply the 2005 Hague Convention to judgments of UK courts if within the scope of the Convention (exclusive jurisdiction clause).

It is a disputed point of law whether the 1934 Bilateral Convention for the Reciprocal Enforcement of Judgements between Belgium and the UK has revived following the withdrawal by the United Kingdom from the European Union during this period, or for the recognition of any judgments not falling under the scope of the Hague Convention.

The recognition and enforcement of any judgment from any competent court in England and Wales that do not fall under the Hague Convention will otherwise be subject to Articles 22 to 25 of the Belgian Code of Private International Law, set out hereunder.

All other countries

According to Article 22, Section 1, Code IPL, a foreign judgment that is enforceable in the country where it was rendered shall be declared enforceable in Belgium by a Belgian court of first instance judging upon an ex parte application33 to that end.34

The court shall not review the matter on the merits,35 and the court can only refuse the enforceability on restricted grounds provided for in Article 25, Section 1, Code IPL.

Article 27, Code IPL provides for a simple and straightforward exequatur of non-judicial enforceable titles, such as mortgage deeds.

Arbitration awards

The exequatur of arbitration awards is governed by Articles 1719 to 1722 of the Judicial Code without prejudice to the 1958 New York Convention36 and other conventions.37

Current developments

i Developments in policy and legislation

There is a strong political will to improve the law to meet as closely as possible the enforcement needs of contracting businesses in general, and of the financing and transport industry in particular. A set of significant judicial reforms seek easier and faster litigation. A reform of contract and corporate law in general and of security interests seeks to favour business development and increase security. The new Maritime Code codifies case law, settles disputed points of law and significantly modernises maritime law.

Insolvency orders shall not preclude creditors holding security rights and other rights in rem (mortgages, pledges, liens, etc.).38

With the introduction of the Pledge Act, the Belgian legislator has clearly demonstrated the will to improve financing facilities and security interests, and it is likely that this is only the beginning.

The current legislature has adopted a significant number of amendments to the Judicial Code for the purpose of speeding up proceedings. For example:

  1. the judgment of the first judge is enforceable unless otherwise decided and reasoned. This reverses the previous system;
  2. a default judgment is no longer open to rehearing; and
  3. the new Article 806, Judicial Code restricts the scrutiny of the judge when a party defaults from appearing. The judge shall not seek to look at potential defences of the defaulting party other than public policy and rules of law to be raised ex officio by the court.

ii Trends and outlook for the future

The Pledge Register has now been in place for more than two years. Many existing possessory pledges have since been registered releasing the operator from its obligations as third-party pledge holder. The pledge register has indeed simplified the creation of aircraft and rolling stock pledges as the operator is no longer involved pursuant to a third-party pledge holder agreement. Many retention rights under hire purchase agreements have also been registered in the Pledge Register. The publicity of such registration together with the enforced enforcement rights have surely enhanced creditors' rights, and also simplified the documentation and reduced the obligations of the operators under third-party pledge holder agreements, which were often more restrictive than those contained in lease agreements.

Footnotes

1 Benoît Goemans is the founding partner of and Birgitta Van Itterbeek is a partner at Goemans, De Scheemaecker & De Wit (GDS Advocaten).

2 The Act of 11 July 2013 (Moniteur belge 2 August 2013), which entered into force on 1 January 2018 (following an amendment by Act of 25 December 2016, Moniteur belge 30 December 2016), has replaced Title XVII of Book II, Belgian Civil Code (Pledge Act). See also https://gdsadvocaten.be/bulletins/new-act-on-security-interests/ and B Goemans, 'Les nouvelles dispositions légales belges sur les sûretés mobilières', Droit Maritime Français, No. 809, January 2019, page 67.

3 Article 2, Code of International Private Law, Act 16 July 2004, Belgian Official Journal, 27 July 2004.

4 Article 2, Code IPL.

5 Both as within the scope of application of this Regulation and by virtue of Article 98 of the Code IPL.

6 Article 2.2.5.29 Maritime Code.

7 Article 2.2.5.30 Maritime Code.

8 By contrast, it was possible to record a floating charge pledge on the entire business, including all movable assets, which is still possible. In addition, it was customary, until 31 December 2017, in the absence of a pledge register on particular assets, to structure the financing of the mobile equipment through the mechanism of retention of title and the preferred right of the unpaid seller. This mechanism required the lender to be characterised as the seller, creating issues in respect of the warrantee for hidden defects provided for by imperative statutory provisions. The other option is the hire purchase agreement. It is possible to contract out to a large extent the liability of the lessor towards the lessee. However, some jurisdictions may provide for faultless liability of the owner, which is the status of the financier during the lease. Upon the lessee exercising the purchase option, the lessor becomes a seller. The law is severe regarding the seller's duty to hold the purchaser harmless for hidden defects and it is difficult, if at all possible, to contract this out.

9 See also https://gdsadvocaten.be/bulletins/new-act-on-security-interests/ and also B Goemans, 'Les nouvelles dispositions légales belges sur les sûretés mobilières', Droit Maritime Français, No. 809, January 2019, page 67.

10 Article 2.2.5.1 §4 and 2.2.5.31 Maritime Code.

11 Approved by Royal Decree of 10 April 2014, Official Journal 15 May 2014.

12 Article 36/2, Section 1, Act of 22 February 1998.

13 In addition, see the definition in Article 1.2, International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships, Brussels, 10 May 1952 (1952 Ship Arrest Convention).

14 International Convention for the unification of certain rules in respect of the arrest of airplanes, 29 May 1993 (1933 Airplane Arrest Convention).

16 International Convention for the Unification of Certain Rules relating to the Arrest of Sea-Going Ships, Brussels, 10 May 1952 (1952 Ship Arrest Convention).

17 Article 2.2.6.25 and following.

18 According to Article 1.1° of the 1952 Ship Arrest Convention and Article 2.2.6.1 Maritime Code, a ship can be arrested to secure claims arising out of (1) collision; (2) loss of life or personal injury; (3) salvage; (4) an 'agreement relating to the use or hire of any ship whether by charter party or otherwise'; (5) carriage of goods; (6) loss or damage to goods; (7) general average; (8) bottomry; (9) towage; (10) pilotage; (11) goods or materials supplied to a ship for her operation or maintenance; (12) construction, repair or equipment of any ship or deck or dock charges and dues; (13) wages of masters, officers or crew; (14) master's disbursements, including disbursements made by shippers, charterers or agents on behalf of a ship or her owner; (15) disputes as to title to or ownership; (16) disputes between co-owners of any ship as to the ownership, possession employment or earnings of that ship; and (17) the mortgage or hypothecation of that ship.

19 Cour de Cassation, 10 May 1976, Omala, Arr Cass, 1976, 1008, Pas, 1976, I, 969 ; Cour de Cassation, 1 October 1993, Heinrich J, JPA, 1994, 132 (also see next footnote); Cour de Cassation, 23 May 2003, Atlantic Island, www.juridat.be.

20 Cour de Cassation, 1 October 1993, Heinrich J, JPA, 1994, 132, Cour de Cassation, 1 October 1993, RW, 1983, 1994, 357. In Heinrich J, the bunker order was rubberstamped with the express mention that the bunker order was placed by the time charter not binding the registered owner. Belgium's highest court decided that such circumstance did not affect the right to arrest the Heinrich J, ultimately causing the registered owner to pay for the charterer's debt.

21 Article 3,1 1952 Arrest Convention, Article 2.2.6.5.§1 Maritime Code.

22 Judge of Seizures and Arrests of Ghent, 7 July 2009 in the matter of the arrest of the M/T Pretty Flourish.

23 Articles 1413 to 1422 Judicial Code govern the arrest in general, and Articles 1422 to 1427 Judicial Code are specific to the arrest of chattels.

24 Article 1415, Judicial Code.

25 Article 1445, Judicial Code.

26 Article 1456 Judicial Code.

27 Article 5, Council Regulation (EC) No. 1346/2000 of 29 May 2000 on insolvency proceedings, OJ L 160, 30 June 2000 and Code of International Private Law, Act of 16 July 2004, Mon b 27 July 2004 (Code IPL), Article 121. See also https://gdsadvocaten.be/insolvency-and-ship-mortgage/.

28 The term authority is not restricted to a court or judge, it also includes the notary and the magistrate within the meaning of Article 1394/24 Judicial Code.

29 Regulation (EU) No. 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (Brussels I Recast Regulation). The defendant may apply to the court to hear the refusal of the enforceability on a restricted number of grounds.

30 Convention on Choice of Court Agreements, The Hague, 30 June 2005, ratified by the EU, Denmark, Mexico, Montenegro and Singapore. This Convention was also signed, but has not (yet) been ratified, by China, Ukraine and the US.

31 For a more detailed discussion, see https://gdsadvocaten.be/brexit-deal/.

32 The UK declared, when adhering on 28 September 2020, the following: 'With the intention of ensuring continuity of application of the 2005 Hague Convention, the United Kingdom has submitted the Instrument of Accession in accordance with Article 27(4) of the 2005 Hague Convention. Whilst acknowledging that the Instrument of Accession takes effect at 00:00 CET on 1 January 2021, the United Kingdom considers that the 2005 Hague Convention entered into force for the United Kingdom on 1 October 2015 and that the United Kingdom is a Contracting State without interruption from that date.'

33 The applicant shall, along with his or her application, only submit the judgment enforcement of which is sought; if the judgment is a default judgment, then the proof of service to the non-appearing party; and a document showing the judgment is enforceable and notified or served.

34 Articles 1025 to 1034 Judicial Code referred to by Article 23, Code IPL.

35 Article 25, Section 2, Code IPL.

36 Convention on the Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Arbitral Awards, New York, 10 June 1958.

37 Such as with France, in Paris on 8 July 1899; with the Netherlands, in Brussels on 28 March 1925; with Switzerland, in Bern on 29 April 1959; with Austria, in Geneva on 11 June 1953 and Protocol on Arbitration Clauses at Geneva on 24 September 1923, and at Vienna on 16 June 1959, with Germany, in Bonn on 29 and 30 March 1954 reinstating the Protocol from Geneva on 24 September 1923 and the Convention in Geneva on 26 September 1927.

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