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Is The Covid-19 Pandemic A Force Majeure Event Under Belgian Law? Frequently Asked Questions

  • 27/03/2020
  • News

Covid-19, also known as the coronavirus, continues to spread across the globe, including in Belgium.  The Belgian authorities have imposed a lock down on all private individuals and enterprises as from 18 March 2020 until 4 April 2020 (the Lock Down Period), but this Lock Down Period will in all likelihood be extended.

Measures taken by the authorities for the duration of the Lock Down Period include the closure of non-food shops, restaurants, bars and other retail outlets, employees being instructed to work from home to the extent possible, travel restrictions and the partial closing of borders for persons except in case of essential travel (the Measures).

As a result of the Measures, certain agreements cannot be performed anymore, such as commercial lease agreements and contracts for the supply of goods or services. 

What is the effect of the Measures on a contracting party’s legal obligation to perform the agreement? For example, does it have to pay the rent for its closed shop/restaurant? Does it need to pay the supplier for the food delivered which will perish because of a restaurant closure?  Does the supplier need to continue performing its suppy agreement?

This FAQ document answers a series of business questions that our clients have raised in this respect.  

For any question regarding employment law, we refer to our FAQ available here.

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