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Belgium expels Russian diplomat over British nerve gas attack

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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 »

Solenis acquires Belgium coating company Topchim

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BRUSSELS: Solenis International, L.P. (Wilmington, Del.; www.solenis.com) completed the acquisition of 100% of the shares of Topchim NV. Headquartered in Antwerp, Belgium, Topchim is a leading ecological coating company for the paper, cardboard, and packaging converting industries in Europe. Solenis will integrate the Topchim business as part of its strategy to expand its offering to the pulp and paper market. “The ... Read More »

Belgian military plans to quintuple spending on weapons systems

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BRUSSELS: As NATO countries across Europe come together around the drive to increase military spending to 2 percent of their gross domestic product, Belgium is launching a major rearmament drive. As the Belgian army and state apparatus denounce the condition of the country’s weapons systems and troops, the government is proposing a drastic solution. Its 2018 military budget includes 4.7 ... Read More »

Belgian tax authority to search for taxpayers using foreign crypto exchanges

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BRUSSELS: Belgian Special Tax Inspectorate (STI) is looking for Belgian individuals who have invested in cryptocurrencies in foreign exchanges, local news outlet De Standaard reported Friday, March 2. After receiving information from Finnish authorities that several Belgian taxpayers had been trading on Finnish crypto exchanges. According to a rule introduced in Belgium last year, crypto speculators are obliged to pay a 33 ... Read More »

Pall Biotech designates newly expanded Belgian facility as strategic hub

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BRUSSLE: The expansion includes 2,000 m² of new office space in addition to new R&D customer demonstration labs and manufacturing space. “The expanded Hoegaarden site has it all: offices, labs, and manufacturing space for development and optimization of customer processes. With this site, we will be better equipped to provide whole service to customers in the area, while supporting the ... Read More »

Belgium chemical giant Solvay Group reported 5.8% revenue growth in 2017

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BRUSSELE: Belgium chemical giant Solvay Group reported 5.8% revenue growth in 2017. The company benefited from the growing demand for specialty polymers in energy-efficient cars and smart devices, as well as improvement in the aeronautics market. The revenue of Solvay Group rose by 5.8% yoy to 10.1 billion EUR, while the net profit expanded by 11% to 939 million EUR. ... Read More »

Business confidence in Belgium stable in February

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BRUSSLE: In services, entrepreneurs rated current and future activity levels more positively. In the manufacturing, a moderate rise in the indicator is almost exclusively based on improved employment prospects. In the construction sector, where the economic situation has deteriorated somewhat, the order books have shrunk and the business level is more often the subject of an unfavorable judgment. In addition, ... Read More »

Brussels vows to push ahead with digital tax plans aimed at tech giants like Amazon

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BRUSSELS: Corporate tax frameworks were conceived in a pre-internet age and are confounded by today’s globalised and digital companies. That calls for a fundamental overhaul of our corporate tax systems,” he said. Proposals will be made by Moscovici next month. The European Commission last September outlined how it might “ensure that the digital economy is taxed in a fair and ... Read More »

Facebook loses belgian privacy case faces $125m fine

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BRUSSELE: Belgian court threatened Facebook (FB.O) on Friday with a fine of up to €100 million ($125 million) if it continued to break privacy laws by tracking people on third-party websites. In a case brought by Belgium’s privacy watchdog, the court also ruled that Facebook had to delete all data it had gathered illegally on Belgian citizens, including people who ... Read More »

Belgian court orders Facebook to stop tracking web users

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BRUSSELE: A Belgian court on Friday ordered Facebook to stop tracking internet users in Belgium who have no accounts with the social network, or face fines of 250,000 euros a day. The California-based firm vowed to appeal the ruling amid increased efforts in Europe to boost privacy protections in a digital economy dominated by US giants. Facebook must “stop following ... Read More »

Revenues from Belgian stock exchange tax

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BRUSSEL: The value is one-third more than in 2016, as well as being the most significant total amount in such tax, since the dot-com bubble burst in the year 2000. The tax on stock exchange transactions is a tax on the sale and purchase of shares and bonds, and the sale of capitalisation funds. There are several reasons for this ... Read More »

Stamps feature three Belgian exports diamonds

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BRUSSEL: Diamonds, beer and the Smurfs are making return appearances on the stamps of Belgium. Just in 1983 and 1984 alone, Belgium honored the diamond industry on a 10-franc stamp (Scott 1155), pictured a mug of beer on a Made in Belgium stamp (Scott 1162), and showed a Smurf letter carrier on a Youth Philately stamp (1182). These subjects are ... Read More »

Belgium enacts major corporate income tax reform

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BRUSSEL: Some provisions of Belgium’s corporate income tax reform went into effect on January 1, others will enter into effect on January 1, 2019, or January 1, 2020.  As part of this reform, Belgium reduced its corporate tax rate from 33.99% to 25%. This rate drops further to 20% for the first EUR 100,000 of profits for SMEs.  For 2018 ... Read More »