Lientje Van den Steen

De Wet van 14 december 2005 houdende afschaffing van de effecten aan toonder

WP 2007-02

This paper covers two main issues. Firstly, the Belgian Law of 14 December 2005 concerning abolishment of bearer securities is discussed. Bearer Securities have always been very popular amongst Belgian investors, since they allow for easy transferability, thus facilitating financial fraud and tax avoidance. In order to discourage such fraudulent actions, and in compliance with an international trend towards a mondernisation of securities law, the Law of 14 December 2005 aims at abolishing bearer securities. A phase out procedure is installed. Starting 1 January 2008, Belgian companies will only be able to issue registered or dematerialised securities. Certain types of securities even will be automatically converted into the dematerialised form. Eventually, all bearer securities will have to be converted into either one of the remaining forms, at 1 January 2013/2014. The Law of 14 December 2005 also adapts other legislation, mostly the Belgian Companies Code, by allowing for an electronical register to be held by the company, by providing for a bona fide third party purchaser- protection regarding dematerialised securities and so on. The second part of this paper deals with the regime of the dematerialised securities, as it can be expected that this type of securities will flourish due to the abolishment of bearer securities.