As part of a more general modernisation of civil law, the Belgian Parliament adopted the new Book 5 of the Civil Code containing the legal provisions on general Belgian contract law. 

Book 5 will apply to contracts entered into as of 1 January 2023. The “old” contract law shall continue to apply to any agreements entered into before such time, unless parties prefer to submit them as well to the new provisions.  The “old” and “new” contract law will as such co-exist for some time and seemingly identical contractual relationships may have different effects as a result.

Book 5 reflects the legislator’s aim to increase legal certainty by codifying important principles of Belgian contract law developed over the years by case law and legal doctrine. At the same time, Belgian contract law is modernized by the legislative recognition of certain legal principles aiming at protecting weaker parties.  

While contractual freedom and the rule that agreements must be kept ("pacta sunt servanda") remain cornerstones of Belgian contract law, Book 5 includes some limitations to such freedom or its negative effects, if deemed excessive, and introduces certain novelties.

On this page we will publish topical articles on noteworthy changes of Belgian contract law, and their impact to specific sectors.

How we can help

Our experts are closely monitoring all developments in this area. Our team can support you in reviewing the potential impact of new developments on your company. We can help you model the impact of the new rules and identify its important elements.

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