Are you confronted with a transport company that does not pay your invoices? Did you know that transport companies are required to provide a guarantee with a financial institution to meet their financial obligations?
Since 2009, transport companies have been subject to four obligations imposed by Europe upon their establishment:
- The company must be effectively and sustainably established in a Member State;
- It must be reliable: Belgium has defined this concept in the law of 15 July 2013;
- It must have the required professional competence: Certificate handed over by the Minister of Transport (FPS Mobility and Transport) after taking an exam.
- It must have sufficient financial capacity.
We will elaborate on this last condition: having sufficient financial capacity.
To be sure that the transport company can meet its financial obligations at any time, it must provide a guarantee depending on the number of used motor vehicles that have a national transport license.
This guarantee amounts to 9,000 euros for the first motor vehicle and 5,000 euros for each additional vehicle.
The financial institution that is jointly and severally liable will issue a certificate that demonstrates that this company does indeed have financial capacity.
The various institutions that can act as guarantors are listed in the Royal Decree of 22 May 2014. This concerns:
- a bank;
- an approved insurance company;
- a joint-stock company recognized by the Minister of Finance for the guarantees of entrepreneurs, license holders and contractors of works of general interest.
This bail serves in its entirety to safeguard the debts of the company if they become due in the 365 day period preceding the date of claiming the bail. The bail extends to everything that comes with the main debt and its collection.
To claim this guarantee, the creditors must report this claim to the joint and several guarantor with the addition of a judicial decision taken in Belgium and charged to the company, even if it is not enforceable. This claim to the guarantee is made by registered letter. To find out the identity of the financial institution that jointly and severally guarantees your debtor, you must contact the FPS Mobility and Transport who will communicate the identity to you.
The claims on the bail: how does it work?
The claims to the bail are processed according to the date on which the registered letter was sent. If two creditors invoke the guarantee on the same day, it will be distributed proportionally. If the joint and several guarantor leaves the claim undisputed, it must pay the creditor within 60 days of receiving the letter.
When the guarantee is wholly or partially taken, the joint and several guarantee must immediately notify the minister by registered letter or by e-mail stating the amounts drawn and all other creditors who have made themselves known in writing. The minister will then inform the company of the withdrawal and request it to restore or supplement the guarantee within 30 days.
If your debtor has been declared bankrupt, the rules and deadlines are slightly different. We recommend that you consult the aforementioned Royal Decree of 22/05/2014 in which the steps to be taken are described.
Are you confronted with a transport company that you do not pay? We will try to help you by all means in the search for an amicable settlement. If this proves impossible, we will use our experience to assist you in bringing appropriate legal proceedings.