Belgium launches its central solvency register as from 1 April 2017
The Belgian legislator has recently adopted a new legal framework creating an online digital database for bankruptcy proceedings called the Central Solvency Register or RegSol in short (“Centraal Register Solvabiliteit/Registre Central de la Solvabilité”). The launch of RegSol as from 1 April 2017 brings significant changes to the procedure for creditors to file their statements of claim in the context of Belgian bankruptcy proceedings. This briefing note provides summary feedback on a number of key questions.
What information can be found on RegSol?
RegSol operates as an online search tool for key information on the status of a company’s bankruptcy proceedings and as an instrument for the filing of claims by creditors. Going forward, the database will contain all data and documents relating to Belgian bankruptcy proceedings and is deemed the authentic source of information. Information will remain available for a period of 30 years after the closing of bankruptcy proceedings.
Who has access to RegSol?
The database is divided between a public and a private section.
- Access to the private section is restricted to certain legal professionals (including the bankruptcy trustees, the bankruptcy court, the supervising judge, the clerks and the public prosecutor) and is used to transmit legal documentation, rulings etc.
- The public section can be accessed by creditors to file their claims and by interested parties to consult certain documents.
How does the electronic filing of bankruptcy claims work?
As a general rule, as from 1 April 2017 a creditor’s claim can only be filed electronically.
- Creditors can access the RegSol website at www.regsol.be.
- Further practical information can be found in the information section of the website, e.g. on how to create a user account and on the steps to upload the relevant documentation supporting a creditor’s claim.
By way of exception, natural persons as well as foreign legal entities (in each case if not assisted by an authorized agent, such as legal counsel) will also have the alternative option of filing their claims by sending a registered letter to the bankruptcy trustee. However, they are also permitted to file their claims electronically through RegSol.
Are there any costs involved for creditors using RegSol?
Yes. Creditors filing a claim trough RegSol will pay a retribution of 6 euros. A similar retribution is also payable in case of a consultation of the bankruptcy file (even without filing a claim). Recurrent creditors (e.g. financial institutions) can contact RegSol to arrange for a customized payment. Belgian governmental agencies are exempt from paying a retribution.
Further detailed information on payment of the retribution can be found on the RegSol website.
What is the impact on pending bankruptcy proceedings?
The new legal rules will only apply to documents filed as from 1 April 2017. Hence, any documents that have been filed prior to entry into force of the new legislation do not need to be filed again via RegSol and will not be electronically uploaded. Bankruptcy proceedings that are pending will thus have a “hybrid” file, consisting of paper copies (prior to 1 April 2017) as well as electronic documents (as from 1 April 2017).
For further questions on this topic please contact Isabelle Blomme or Walter Jacob.