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Maritime Law in Belgium

Maritime Law in Belgium

The Belgian ports: important gateways

Belgian ports are some of the most important in Europe and the port of Antwerp ranks second in the EU. The country has four sea ports and six inland ports that act as important transit routes for transportation within the EU. The maritime law in Belgium governs the operation and functioning within these ports and the litigations that may arise in maritime and transport matters.

If you are doing business in Belgium and are engaged in trade activities that require a knowledge of the applicable legislation for maritime and transport issues, our Belgian lawyers can help you know more about the maritime law and represent you before court in maritime and transport matters.

Maritime trade in Belgium 

Belgian ports are important in cargo volume and container throughput. The port of Antwerp is the most important one in the country, but others like Ghent, a multifunctional port and Ostend, are also important transit routes and play important roles in transport activities. 

The Belgian Maritime Code governs areas like the status of the ship, the shipmasters, and the ship owners, shipping companies and shipping agents, inland navigation public maritime law, ship arrest. The Code also regulates the manner in which disputes related to maritime transport and shipping are handled in a court of law.

Reference points in the Belgian maritime law

The Belgian maritime law adheres to European and international Conventions, such as salvage and arrest conventions, the Hague and the Visby Rules and the SDR Protocol, and certain Oil Pollution Conventions. The Nautical Commission with the Antwerp Court of Commerce is responsible for surveying and assisting other Belgian courts in maritime law issues. A Nautical Commission also exists in the Antwerp Court of Commerce.

If you need personalized advice regarding the applicable legal provisions for maritime transportation, our Belgian law firm can offer you counselling in maritime, transport and international trade matters. Our Belgian attorneys are experienced in litigation and arbitration in Belgium

You can contact our Belgian attorneys in Brussels for detailed information.