Are you an employer sending an employee to work in Belgium? Are you a self-employed person travelling to Belgium for work in Belgium?
In either case, you are required to fill in the mandatory declaration known as the Limosa declaration. Any individual not subject to Belgian social security who comes to work in Belgium on a temporary and/or part-time basis must be able to present proof of the Limosa-1 declaration. Failure to make this declaration exposes you to criminal or administrative sanctions.
The Belgian State wishes to create a more attractive environment for the processing of posted workers in Belgium. Particular attention is given to their rights and working conditions. In this regard, the obligation to file a Limosa declaration has been in force since 1 April 2007.
Filling in a Limosa declaration simplifies your administrative obligations in Belgium, including for:
- drawing up and keeping up to date the terms of employment and documents for part-time workers,
- the staff register,
- the employee record, and
- the payslip.
The Limosa declaration is the first step towards legal work in Belgium in accordance with European rules. It is a legal obligation. Non-compliance with this obligation may give rise to criminal or administrative sanctions (in French).
The following persons and organisations may be sanctioned:
- the employer or their servants or agents, and
- the independent posted worker.
All those who have work carried out on their premises, or for whom work is carried out in Belgium, may also be pursued if they do not report to the authorities the fact that no proof of a Limosa declaration has been presented.
Limosa concerns employees (in French) sent to work on a temporary or part-time basis in Belgium. In other words, workers who:
- habitually work in a country other than Belgium;
- have been hired in a country other than Belgium.
A declaration is required for every self-employed worker who comes to Belgium to pursue a temporal or partial self-employed activity in a high risk sector, but who neither resides permanently nor is settled in Belgium.
There are exemptions to this general rule. They depend on the reasons for coming to Belgium and the duration of the stay.
The following activities are exempted from the obligation to declare:
- international transport: workers in the international transport sector for passengers and goods are exempt, with the exception of inland transport in Belgium.
- academic conferences: workers and self-employed people attending academic conferences in Belgium are exempt.
- small-group meetings: workers and self-employed people attending meetings with a closed attendee list (strategic negotiations, contract negotiations with clients, performance reviews, etc.) are exempt. In order to be covered by this exemption, they may not be present at such meetings for more than 60 days per year in Belgium. Each meeting should not continue for more than 20 successive calendar days.
- installation and assembly: workers and self-employed people sent to Belgium for the initial assembly and/or installation of goods are exempt. This applies only to qualified and/or specialised workers in the business supplying the goods, or the self-employed supplier. The work may not exceed 8 days. This exemption does not apply to the construction sector.
- urgent repair and maintenance work: specialised technicians from foreign companies and self-employed people are exempt if they come to Belgium to carry out urgent maintenance or repair work on machines or equipment. Machines or equipment must have been delivered by their employer or by the self-employed people themselves to the business where the repair/maintenance took place. Such technicians may not stay on Belgian soil for more than 5 days per month.
- self-employed business people: self-employed business people are exempt if they stay on Belgian soil for business purposes for not more than 5 days per month. Independent business managers and agents are also exempt from the declaration requirement if they are participating in company staff committees and company general meetings in Belgium. They cannot stay in Belgium more than 5 days per month for business purposes either.
- Athletes: workers in foreign companies are exempt from the requirement to declare if travelling to Belgium for an international sports competition. They may only stay in Belgium for the duration of the competition, and a maximum of three months per calendar year.
This exemption also applies to:
- support staff ;
- official representatives, members of staff and any other person recognised by the international or national sporting federations.
- artists: artists with an international reputation are exempt on the condition that their stay on Belgian soil for such purposes does not exceed 21 days per quarter.
This exemption also applies to the support staff needed for the performance and who come to Belgium as workers.
- scientists: they are exempt if they participate in a scientific programme at a host university or scientific institute on Belgian territory. They may not stay for more than 3 months per calendar year.
- public administration staff
- staff at international institutions: insofar as the institution's status is governed by an international treaty that has been ratified.
You need to create a user account in order to accessing the secure Limosa online service.
You must make a Limosa declaration each time a worker is sent to Belgium. To that end, make sure you have the VAT number for the country where the employer or self-employed worker is established.
Which details do you need to declare?
Before you declare, you need to have certain details to hand.
For employees and self-employed people
- The place in Belgium where the work is performed (up to 5 places of employment in one notification)
- The identification details of the Belgian customer (up to 10 Belgian customers in one notification)
- The anticipated start and end date: maximum 24 months per notification
- The identification details of the employee (up to 10 employees in one notification)
- The work schedule
Additional details for an employee
The following additional details are requested for an employee:
- The identification details of the employer
- The identification and contact details of the liaison officer (surname, first names, date of birth, physical and electronic addresses, telephone number and the capacity in which this liaison officer acts).
This is a person responsible for liaison with the Belgian authorities who may, if necessary, forward documents and receive notifications. If a Limosa notification has already been made for this employer, the system will apply the details of the last indicated liaison officer. You can accept or modify this person. You can find more information on the page Liaison officer (in French).
- In cases of temporary agency work, the accreditation number of the foreign temporary employment agency.
The legal employer must be indicated. This is therefore the temporary employment agency that has concluded an employment contract for agency work with the temporary agency worker.
- In order to be able to post staff in Belgium, a foreign temporary employment agency must have accreditation from the Belgian region (Brussels, Flanders, Wallonia) in which the work is performed.
- The nature of the services (list with sectors: construction – meat processing – agricultural sector – cleaning – security – ICT – financial institutions and insurance – production and distribution of electricity, gas and water – health care and social services – accommodation and catering – private households – metalwork – electrical installation and assembly works – petrochemical industry – transport and distribution – wood and furniture industry – trade in other consumer goods – other).
- For activities in the construction sector (Joint Committee no. 124) it is requested whether the employer pays a premium which is comparable to the applicable 'fidelity stamps' in Belgium.
A similar scheme to the fidelity stamps means that, pursuant to the schemes in force in his country, the employer is obliged to pay a premium (end of year bonus, Christmas bonus or 13th month) on top of the normal wage. Generally, this is a premium which is allocated annually and for which the amount corresponds more or less with a monthly salary. It does not include allowances relating to the employee's annual leave and secondment allowances.
The proof of the declaration should be presented before the work in Belgium begins.
If the work continues for longer than the period initially declared, a new declaration must be made.
When you finalise the declaration, the final screen immediately displays a receipt: proof of the Limosa-1 declaration. You need to present this proof of the declaration to your Belgian client before beginning work. If you are not in a position to present it, your client is under the obligation to notify the Belgian authorities.
The proof of the Limosa-1 declaration includes a QR Code which allows you to easily register individuals carrying out construction work in Checkinatwork. Since 14 April 2015, the QR Code also contains the most important data from the Limosa declaration.
As an employer, when you make the mandatory Limosa declaration, you enjoy a number of advantages:
- You do not have to prepare certain Belgian employment documents for the relevant mission:
- terms of employment;
- staff register;
- rules applicable to checks on part-time workers.
- You no longer have to draw up the individual employee account or payslip (per payment period), as long as you can present the equivalent employment documents drawn up in accordance with the legislation in force in the country of origin. A double administrative burden is thus avoided in relation to employees.
- By making the Limosa declaration, you improve your position on the Belgian market. Clients and principals will have a higher regard for you as a reliable partner.