A number of important Belgian and EU legislative changes are likely to have an impact in 2024. On the one hand, there are new laws that have been adopted and will start to bite, and, on the other, there are proposals that are expected to firm up into law.

To help you keep up to speed, we have created an overview of 2024's most important pieces of legislation. It is not an exhaustive list, but can be seen as a roadmap to help you with your strategic planning. You can either consult our overview in its concise version, or explore our more detailed version in Excel, which allows you to filter and sort the items according to your personal interest.

Start the year on the right foot – informed, prepared, and ready for success!

And if you want more related information on these legislative changes, including presentations, webinar recordings and articles, you can consult Crowell Hub, our Legal Knowledge Library.

Concise overview:


Law / Regulation

Content in a nutshell

Those impacted

Due date


Class actions

Transposition of EU Directive 2020/1828 on representative actions into Belgian law

Will entail amendments to the legislative framework for class actions as set out in Articles XVII.35 ff of the Belgian Code of Economic Law.

All industries

Expected in 2024

Company transactions

Corporate Sustainability Reporting

Implementation of EU Directive 2022/2464 on corporate sustainability reporting (CSRD)

Member state implementation of the CSRD will gradually put non-financial / sustainability reporting on a par with financial reporting.

Large companies that meet the threshold criteria, all industries

New rules will begin to apply for the 2024 financial year;

Belgian implementation expected by July 6, 2024 at the latest

Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence

Proposed EU Directive on Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence

Will impose broad obligations on large companies regarding adverse impacts on human rights and the environment. Provisional agreement reached December 14, 2023.

Large EU companies and non-EU companies with a large turnover in the EU and EU based companies in certain high-risk sectors that meet the threshold criteria.

Likely to be adopted in 2024; first year of compliance likely to be 2026

Non-contractual liability

Book 6 of the Civil Code on non-contractual liability (Belgium)

Revision of Book 6 will amend general and specific liability laws, such as the Act of 25 February 1991 on liability for defective products.

All industries

Expected in the first half of 2024

Company Articles of Association

Wetboek van Vennootschappen en Verenigingen / Code des sociétés et des associations (Belgium)

Transitional period allowing companies / associations to amend their Articles of Association ended on January 1, 2024. Any company not yet compliant must act asap.

All industries

Adopted (transitional period ended on January 1, 2024)

Late payment terms

Proposed EU Regulation on combating late payment in commercial transactions

Would introduce a uniform and binding approach to combating late payment, applicable to companies of all sizes, with no exceptional treatment for SMEs.

All industries

Commission proposal (September 12, 2023), currently open for public consultation

Company transactions and administration

Revision of the Code de droit économique / Wetboek van economisch recht (Belgium)

Would clarify, extend and amend various provisions relating to Belgian corporate transactions and administration (e.g., involving the CBE, data exchange, cash payments, unlawful contract terms, etc.).

All Belgian companies

Not yet known

Sale of alcohol and tobacco

New Belgian restrictions on the sale of alcohol and tobacco

Will prohibit and / or restrict the sale of tobacco and alcohol in certain contexts and strengthen the sanctions for certain infringements.

Catering industry; Food industry; Events industry

Approved by Belgian Council of Ministers; timetable for final text and entry into force not yet known

Food hygiene

Amendment to the Royal Decree of July 13, 2014 on Food Hygiene (Belgium)

Will amend the law on e.g., acceptable shelf life, storage conditions, biocide treatments and pre-harvest checks.

Food retailing and food industry; Catering industry; Events industry

Publication of amendment expected in the first half of 2024

Sale of tickets to events

Act of November 5, 2023 containing various provisions on economy (Belgium)

Amends previous law on the sale of tickets to events and concerns the publication of identification data of companies guilty of harmful practices against consumers ("name and shame").

Events industry

Adopted (entered into force on December 12, 2023)

EU geographical indications

Proposed EU Regulation on EU geographical indications for beverages and agricultural products

Will reform EU food quality scheme by centralizing rules on geographical indications for wine, spirit drinks, and agricultural products.

Food industry

Final text expected to be adopted within the first half of 2024

Design protection

Proposed EU legislation on Community designs and the legal protection of designs

The proposed Design Package would revise current EU legislation on community design and the legal protection of designs.

Design-intensive industries including those dealing with spare parts e.g., automotive, aviation and train industries, furniture (incl. lamps) and household electronics

Close to adoption: second half of 2024

International Trade

Products manufactured with forced labor

Proposed EU Regulation on prohibiting products made with forced labor on the EU market

Aims to prohibit economic operators from placing or making available on the EU market any products that have been made with forced labor.

All industries

Negotiations likely to close early February 2024; entry into force expected later in 2024

Free Trade Agreement EU-NZ

Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between EU and New Zealand

Sets out trade terms between the EU and New Zealand

All industries

Entry into force expected early 2024

Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM)

EU Regulation 2023/956 establishing a carbon border adjustment mechanism

Obliges EU importers of CBAM Regulation goods to declare carbon emissions embedded in their imports and surrender the appropriate certificates.

Importers of (initially) cement, iron and steel, aluminum, fertilizers, electricity and hydrogen

Already in force; end of first reporting phase is January 31, 2024

Union Customs Code (UCC) reform

Proposed EU Regulation amending existing legislation on tariffs for distance sales and customs duty relief

Creates an EU Customs Data Hub, which is intended to improve data management and decision-making by collecting customs and non-customs information in one place.

All industries

Likely to be adopted in 2024

Labor & Employment

Employers' groups

Wetboek van Vennootschappen en Verenigingen / Code des sociétés et des associations (Belgium)

Employers' groups may now only be set up in the following legal forms: non-profit associations and general partnerships.

All industries

Adopted (January 1, 2024)

Flexi-scheme jobs

Amendment to the regulation of flexi-scheme jobs (Belgium)

Amends the current system of flexi-scheme jobs in Belgium to extend its scope, increase employer contributions and impose a limit on the tax exemption.

All industries

Publication of the new law expected early in 2024

Annual leave

Royal Decree of September 28, 2023; Act of July 17, 2023; and Royal Decree of February 8, 2023 (Belgium)

Several measures have been adopted that affect annual leave, namely as regards the calculation of holiday pay, replacement of annual leave by sick leave, and annual leave deferral.

All industries

Adopted and entered into force on January 1, 2024

Social security

Act of October 16, 2023; Royal Decree of November 13, 2023 (Belgium)

Changes to the National Social Security Office reduction for first hirings.

Employers hiring their first employee

January 1, 2024

Appointment of a trusted person

Act of November 5, 2023 (Belgium)

Contains various provisions relating to work arrangements, notably: the obligation to designate a trusted person.

For companies with 50 employees or more

Adopted (December 3, 2023)

Training plans in the context of the new labor deal

Labor deal

Introduces new training obligations for companies with more than 10 employees.

For companies with more than 10 employees

Gradual introduction (January 1, 2024 to April 1, 2024)

Telephone number restitution

Act of December 18, 2023 (Belgium)

Guarantees ex-employees the right to request the return of the right to use a mobile number that they held prior to the conclusion of the employment contract.

All industries

January 1, 2024

Collective reduction of working hours

Program Act of December 22, 2023 (Belgium)

This new law limits the target group reduction for part-time employees to employees who work an average of at least 28 hours per week.

All industries

January 1, 2024


Abuse of dominance

Draft European Commission Guidelines on exclusionary abuse of dominance

Policy update relating to abuse of dominance intended to reflect EU case law and European Commission enforcement experience.

All industries

Expected to be published in the summer of 2024; final Guidelines due in 2025

Market definition

Draft European Commission Notice on the definition of the relevant market

Would provide more explanation on the principles underlying market definition, expand on non-price elements of competition, and put forward a standard test to determine market power.

All industries

Final version of Notice expected in early 2024

State aid - Aviation Guidelines

Evaluation of the European Commission Guidelines on State aid to airports and airlines

Review will evaluate if the transition period authorizing operating aid to airports with fewer than 3 million passengers should be prolonged.

Aviation, transportation and logistics industries

Transition period elapses in April 2024

Special rules for sustainability agreements in agriculture

European Commission Guidelines on exemption for sustainability agreements of agricultural producers

Seek to clarify how operators active in the agri-food sector can design joint sustainability initiatives in line with EU competition law.

Agriculture and food industries

Adopted in December 2023

Foreign Subsidies

EU Regulation 2022/2560 on foreign subsidies distorting the internal market

Aims to address market distortion caused by foreign subsidies (i.e., from non-EU countries) to companies active in the EU.

Companies active in the EU receiving foreign (non-EU) financial contributions

Notification obligations since October 2023; extra Commission Q&A guidance expected in 2024


Artificial intelligence

Proposed EU Regulation to harmonize rules on AI

Will result in the first ever law to regulate in a broad and horizontal manner the use of artificial intelligence within the EU.

All companies providing, deploying or otherwise using AI

Publication expected in May/June 2024

Artificial intelligence

Proposed EU Directive on adapting non-contractual civil liability rules to AI

Aims to harmonize EU Member State laws regarding liability claims for damage caused by AI-enabled products and services.

All companies developing, deploying or otherwise using AI

Under discussion in European Parliament and Council

Product liability

Proposed EU Directive on liability for defective products

Aims to modernize and reinforce current EU product liability rules to bring them into alignment with the digital age.

Manufacturers of digital products

Adoption expected in 2024


Proposed EU Regulation on cybersecurity for products with digital elements

Cyber Resilience Act will bolster cybersecurity rules to ensure more secure hardware and software products (i.e., products with digital elements).

Providers and developers of products with digital elements

Publication is expected in the first half of 2024


Directive (EU) 2022/2555 for a high common level of cybersecurity across the Union (NIS 2 Directive)

NIS 2 Directive strengthens and streamlines security and reporting requirements for essential and important entities. Awaiting transposition in Belgium.

Essential and important entities (also medium-sized enterprises)

Member States must transpose the NIS 2 Directive by October 17, 2024


EU Regulation on harmonized rules on fair access to and use of data (Data Act)

The Data Act regulates data sharing and usage within the EU and encompasses several key elements designed to foster an efficient, fair, and innovative data economy.

All companies with personal data activities

Enters into force on January 11, 2024; application from September 12, 2025

Data protection

Act of December 14, 2023 concerning the Belgian Data Protection Authority (Belgium)

The Data Protection Authority Act of December 14, 2023 is intended to strengthen the functioning and independence of the DPA.

All companies with personal data processing activities in Belgium

Adopted on December 14, 2023; publication expected in January 2024

Pharma & Life Sciences

SPCs for medicinal products

Proposed EU Regulation on the supplementary protection certificate for medicinal products

Aims to simplify EU supplementary protection certificate system for national SPCs for medicinal products, and to improve transparency and efficiency.

Pharmaceutical industry

Adoption expected in 2024

Regulation of pharmaceuticals

Proposed EU Regulation on the authorization and supervision of medicinal products

Would revise and replace existing EU general pharmaceutical legislation and EU legislation on medicines for children and rare diseases.

Pharmaceutical and life sciences industries and digital health

Discussion will continue in 2024

Digital health

Proposed EU Regulation on the European Health Data Space

Will establish a European Health Data Space – a health specific ecosystem comprised of rules, common standards and practices, infrastructures and a governance framework.

Pharmaceutical and life sciences industries and digital health

Adoption expected in 2024

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.