April | 2015

Management of unsold food as condition for environmental permits

Pour la version française, veuillez cliquer ici.


On 27 March 2014, the Brussels-Capital Region adopted a Decree modifying article 56 of the Decree of 5 June 1997 on environmental permits (published in the Belgian Gazette on 16 March 2015).


By adopting this Decree, legislators have sought to:

  • combat hunger and food waste so that people in need can be assured of eating without risking their health;
  • apply the waste hierarchy introduced by the Decree of 14 June 2012 concerning waste prevention and waste management. This Decree rules that waste management follows the order of priority of prevention, preparation for reuse, recycling, recovery and finally incineration or landfill.


When issuing an environmental permit, different types of conditions can be imposed:

  • General conditions of operation: applicable to all class 1A, 1B, 2 and 3 undertakings 
  • Sectoral conditions of operation: only applicable to class 1A, 1B, 2 and 3 undertakings from a specific sector. Sectoral conditions can supplement general conditions, or deviate from them upon motivation.
  • Special conditions of operation: imposed by the authority issuing the permit. These conditions must appear in the permit. General and sectoral conditions can be supplemented or clarified by special conditions, but special conditions shall not be less stringent than the general and sectoral conditions.


The Decree adopted on 27 March 2014 modifies article 56 of the Decree of 5 June 1997 by adding a special condition of operation. From now on, the authority issuing environmental permits can impose conditions concerning “the management of unsold food that has not reached its best-before date, that the operator no longer wants to sell and that still meets food safety standards”.

The aim of this condition is not that operators take over the distribution of unsold food to food-aid organizations but only that operators comply with food safety standards and public health obligations when providing unsold food to these organizations.

Unsold food is not defined in the Decree. Nevertheless, operators must comply with several conditions in order to provide their unsold food to organizations:

  • The best-before date must not have expired.
  • The relevant products will not be marketed or biomethanized by the operator.
  • Food safety standards must be fulfilled.


Operators potentially subject to this special condition of operation are branded retail chains whose sale premises or adjacent premises used as storage are equal to or above 1,000m² (operations or plants classified under section 90 of the Executive Decree of the Brussels-Capital Region of 4 March1999 holding the list of class 1B, 2, 3 plants).


The Decree of 27 March 2014 entered into force on 26 March 2015.


Colienne Linard
> View résumé
> Send an e-mail


Waste-sorting obligation for Walloon enterprises

Pour la version française, veuillez cliquer ici.


On 5 March 2015, the Walloon Government adopted an Executive Act (published in the Belgian Gazette on 16 March 2015), which obliges enterprises to sort their waste.


The Executive Act embodies the Walloon Government’s objectives laid out in its declaration on regional policy for 2009–2014. It also finalizes the transposition of the 2008/98 CE directive of the European Parliament of 19 November 2008. With households already under obligation to sort waste, a similar regime for enterprises was desirable. Therefore, this Executive Act gives a legal basis for the obligation of waste sorting for undertakings.


Any enterprise or public body which is a:

  • waste producer:
    any undertaking whose activities produce waste and/or which carries out pre-processing mixing or other operations that change the nature or composition of this waste;


  • waste holder:
    any enterprise holding waste produced on site by clients, visitors or users.


Certain types of waste must be separated when their quantity reaches the thresholds set out in this table.


This obligation does not concern waste collected by public services or waste collected from public spaces.

Sorted waste must remain separated during its collection and transport. The following conditions apply when gathering the different types of waste:

  • Only waste transported to an approved waste-sorting centre.
  • Waste must be dry.
  • The gathering must not make sorting, recycling or recovery operations less effective.

Waste producers or holders must keep evidence of their compliance with the sorting obligation for at least two years. The following are accepted as evidence:

  • Contracts, invoices or certifications issued by the collector or the manager of a collection, recovery or waste treatment centre, provided that they state the identity of the parties, the nature of the waste treated, and the frequency and places of collection.
  • When using services provided by the municipality of the producer/holder’s place of business, evidence that a local regulation or the regulation on access to the container park of the municipal organization in charge of waste management authorizes the acceptance of the producer/holder’s waste.

Colienne Linard
> View résumé
> Send an e-mail



Pour la version française, veuillez cliquer ici.


Editorial default text