Changes to payment terms as of 1 February 2022
Last summer, the Belgian Parliament passed a law aimed at better protecting companies faced with difficulties due to the payment behaviour of their business customers (B2B). This piece of legislation, the Law of 14 August 2021, amends the Law of 2 August 2002 on combating late payment in commercial transactions.
According to the legislator, defaulted invoices have increased by 25% in recent years.
As of 1 February 2022, when the law comes into force, the payment term between companies will be limited to 60 calendar days, regardless of the size of the company involved in the transaction. The legal payment term remains 30 days, with the possibility for companies to deviate from this but never to exceed 60 days. Any contractual payment term longer than 60 days will simply be deemed never to have been provided for in the contract and, if nothing has been provided for, the legal term applies.
Derogations from the law could be granted for certain sectors but nothing is foreseen at the moment.
Another notable change that could impact payment terms is the inclusion of the procedure for acceptance or verification of goods or services in the 60-day period. In addition, it will no longer be possible to contractually determine the date of receipt of the invoice.
As for the penalty, it remains unchanged: the unpaid amount will be increased by interest ipso jure and without notice. Furthermore, a lump sum compensation of EUR 40 will be added for the collection costs incurred by the creditor.
As a credit insurance company, Credendo can only encourage you to ensure compliance with this new law and, if necessary, to modify the payment terms in your contracts subject to Belgian law if they are not in line with these new provisions.