Contributed By Linklaters
Court fees are fixed in Belgium and the amounts vary depending on the competent court and the stage of the proceedings (first instance or appeal) at stake.
Articles 851 and 852 of the Judicial Code provide that a foreign applicant or intervening party is obliged, in case the defendant is Belgian and claims this before any other exception, to provide a guarantee to compensate all costs and damages that the foreign applicant or intervening party may be ordered to pay in the framework of civil court proceedings. Exceptions to this rule apply if dispensation has been granted in a treaty or in other specific circumstances (eg, proof that the foreign applicant or intervening party has immovable or other seizable properties in Belgium).
For any cases with an introductory hearing as of 1 February 2019, the fixed registry fee is no longer due upfront when the case is entered on the docket, but becomes due and payable by the losing party once a final decision has been issued (or shared among the parties in case both parties prevail on a different point at issue as per the court’s decision) or by the claimant if the case has been removed from the docket.
Costs and fees arising in the course of the proceedings are generally collected while the proceedings are pending. The party claiming certain investigation measures may be ordered to (partially or fully) advance any costs or fees that may be due or form a reserve in that respect, eg, in case of the appointment of an expert or the hearing of a witness, and the other party may in some cases be ordered to contribute to that.