This article will provide guidance on How To Serve legal papers in Belgium.  The Hague Service Convention was created to standardize the transmission of judicial and extrajudicial papers across international borders and reduce the burden on all parties involved. The Convention establishes a primary channel of communication between Contracting Parties while allowing for the use of other channels. The Convention focuses on the conveyance of papers and does not include significant regulations about the actual serving of Belgium Process Service.

In cases where Belgium Process Service upon the final addressee is to be accomplished, the Convention provides for additional routes of communication in addition to direct diplomatic or consular channels through the postal channel. All other means of transmission allowed by the Convention need an extra step not covered by the Convention in order to effect Belgium Process Service on the final recipient.


In Belgium, legislation is the basic source of law. However, customary law and broad principles of law are also considered authoritative. Due to the absence of a formal system of legal precedents in Belgium, the weight of the two secondary sources of law—case law and scholarly writing—is much smaller than that of the three main sources. The European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), the Treaty on European Union, and EU Regulations and Directives all play important roles in Belgium’s legal system. The international legal system recognizes Belgium as a single subject. Thus, while ‘concluding treaties or representing Belgium in international institutions,’ the various regions and communities of Belgium work together.  Since Belgium’s constitution, international law has gained more authority, and it now includes numerous articles that have a direct impact on people’s daily lives. 

Belgium has a written constitution and a set of enacted laws. Most of them are derived from the French code Napoleon, which has been altered to reflect the values and norms of the country’s contemporary society.  Modifications were made so that they comply with Belgian legislation—numerous databases containing sections of the legislation number in the hundreds. Despite the judicially administered jurisprudence in Belgium, no such jurisprudence may ever be used to overturn a provision of the code. An earlier ruling cannot be used to force a Belgian court to declare that it should be followed as the law of the country, but it may be used as a foundation for interpreting or explaining the law.

In Belgium, there is a set order for the courts. The five major judicial districts of Belgium are located in Brussels, Liège, Ghent, Mons, and Antwerp. Twenty-six judicial districts and another 209 judicial cantons make up these regions. Courts of appeal are located in Brussels, Liege, and Ghent, three of the five judicial districts. It is the Court of Cassation that serves as the highest court. All other Belgian courts report to the Court of Cassation, making it the highest and most authoritative court in the country. 


The Convention’s primary method of transmission is for a competent authority or judicial official in one Contracting Party to send a request for Belgium Process Service to the Central Authority of the Contracting Party in which Belgium Process Service is to be accomplished (Art. 5). A Model Form is attached to the Convention and must be used for the request.

It is the responsibility of the Central Authority of the requesting Contracting Party, as determined by that Party’s legislation, to effect Belgium Process Service or to arrange for such process to be served. However, the applicant (i.e., the forwarding authority of the requesting Contracting Party) may request that a technique or Belgium Process Service be adopted, so long as it is not incompatible with the legislation of the requested Contracting Party.

The executing authority must fill out the certificate appended to the Convention, indicating whether or not Belgium Process Service was performed and, if not, the reasons why (Art. 6).  Transmission over an alternate channel does not result in worse Belgium Process Service since there is no transmission hierarchy. Any one of the Parties to the Contract has the right to object to the use of any of these Alternate Methods of Communication. 

The Convention safeguards defendants against a default judgment regardless of the kind of communication utilized. No default judgment may be entered without proof that the proper procedures were followed to ensure proper Belgium Process Service in accordance with the Convention. A defendant has the right to seek remedy from a final verdict. 

All Contracting Parties are required to set up a Central Authority mechanism in accordance with the Convention. The primary function of a Central Authority is to accept requests for Belgium Process Service of papers and either effect service of the documents or make arrangements for the documents to be served. Additionally, the Convention allows for the nomination of other authorities, with the scope of their authority being determined at the discretion of the Contracting Parties. The Convention’s wording is technology-neutral, so Contracting Parties may send and carry out requests using the latest tools. Typically, this is governed by the legislation of the Contracting Party that is being asked to do the action.


The Hague Service Convention says that international Belgium Process Service can be done in Belgium by sending papers to the country’s Central Authority, called the Service Public Fédéral Justice Service de coopération internationale civile. It can also be done informally by having a judicial officer in Belgium deliver it. Belgium Process Service by mail is fine, but it might not be the best choice in every case.

Belgium’s Central Authority used to accept Belgium Process Service documents that was not been translated, but as of 2020, this is no longer the case. Belgium now requires that a legal document to be served to be written in or translated into the official language or one of the official languages of the region where it needs to be served, which could be Dutch (or Flemish), French, or German. On January 21, 1966, Belgium signed the Convention, and on November 19, 1970, it became official. On January 18, 1971, the conventions went into effect. The person suing from the U.S. has to fill out a Hague Service Request and make sure it is signed by a lawyer or court clerk. This Belgium Process Service form is then sent to the Central Authority in Belgium, which tells a judicial officer (called a huissier de justice in the French-speaking parts of Belgium or a gerechtsdeurwaarder in the German-speaking parts) to serve.

Article 10 of the Hague Service Convention says that Belgium did not make a formal objection to service through the mail. For Belgium Process Service by mail to be valid, it must be sent as a registered letter with a signed receipt. The plaintiff’s claims, the defendant’s arguments, the course of procedures, and the court’s verdict are all things the judge and the defendant must be aware of. A party that does not agree with the judgment and files an appeal must notify the other parties by producing or mailing papers explaining the basis for the appeal (summonses, applications, submissions to the court, judgments, appeals, etc.). 

The executing bailiff’s signature and the accompanying information are required for the writ [l’exploit de signification] to be valid under Article 43 of the Judicial Code. At the time of Belgium Process Service, the original document is kept by the bailiff in their office, while a copy is delivered to the person being served. The bailiff does not keep the original summons but forwards it to the court so that it may be filed (notice of the summons to the court).In order to be legally binding, a duplicate of the notice must be a replica of the original and have the bailiff’s signature (Article 43 of the Judicial Code).

The clerk of court (or, in rare cases, the public prosecutor’s office) will send out the necessary notifications by judicial recorded delivery (a subset of registered mail that includes an acknowledgment of receipt) or regular mail to comply with Belgium Process Service.  In accordance with Article 2(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1393/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 November 2007 on the Belgium Process Service in the Member States of judicial and extrajudicial documents in civil or commercial matters (service of documents), in the case of Belgium, the receiving agencies designated are bailiffs with territorial jurisdiction.

For the purposes of carrying out the duties within their sphere of authority, bailiffs are granted access to the information specified in Article 3(1)(a) to (d) and Article 3(2) of the Law of 8 August 1983 establishing a National Register of Natural Persons (Arrêté royal du 16 mai 1986 autorisant l’accès des huissiers de justice au Registre national des personnes physiques). Particularly, the information covers each natural person’s primary residence as recorded in the demographic registry (domicile).

When a copy of a legal document is sent to an agency or employee of a legal person who is authorized by law, by the articles of organization, or by appropriate delegation to represent the legal entity in court proceedings, even on a joint basis, Belgium Process Service is presumed to have been made in person.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed, or uploaded to our website. We do require prepayment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; All documents will be received by our receptionist.


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New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 2200 Pennsylvania Avenue, 4 Fl East, Washington DC 20037

for assistance serving legal papers in belgium

Simply pick up the phone and call Toll-Free (800) 774-6922 or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all your process service needs; no job is too small or too large!

Contact us for more information about our process serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington D.C.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives” – Foster, William A


1. Code civil (The Civil Code), Code de commerce (The Commercial Code), Code penal (The Criminal Code), Code d’instruction criminelle (The Criminal Procedure Code), and Code judiciaire (The Judicial Code) are the five main codes (Judicial Code).  

2. It may transfer cases from one court to another and can reverse decisions and decrees that are final for flaws as contradictory to law.  The Civil and Criminal Courts and the Commercial Courts are the highest levels of court. The Assize Court, the Military Court, the Workmen’s Court, and the Juvenile Court are all alternative specialized courts.  There are two further courts in Belgium besides these. Both the Council of State (Conseil d’Etat) and the Court of Constitutional Claims (Cour Constitutionnelle) are part of the judicial system (Constitutional Court).

3. Central Authority:

Service Public Fédéral de la Justice: Service de coopération internationale civile

Address: Service Public Fédéral Justice

Service de coopération internationale civile

Boulevard de Waterloo, 115



4. This Convention does not restrict the ability of Contracting Parties to use other means of communication, such as diplomatic or consular channels, postal channels (Article 10(a)); direct communication between judicial officers, officials, or other competent persons (Article 10(b)); and direct communication between an interested party and judicial officers, officials, or other competent persons (Article 10(c)).

5. The person’s postal code can be used to figure out what language to use for translation. For instance, people with postal codes 1000 can be served in either French or Dutch, but people with postal codes 1300 can only be served in French. People with code 4731, on the other hand, must be served in German.

6. Articles 32–47 of the Judicial Code [code judiciare] include the applicable regulations.

7. Service of documents in the application of article 5, paragraph 1, a) or b) implies the employment of a judicial officer. The costs thereof must be paid in advance, in accordance with article 12 of the Convention. See declarations.

In particular, Declaration 6 reads:

« The Government of Belgium wishes to draw attention to the fact that any request for service filed in accordance with article 5, first paragraph, (a) or (b), requires the intervention of a judicial officer and that, in accordance with article 12, the applicant must pay €165 (including Belgian VAT) in advance for every document served on and intended for a natural or legal person.

This payment must be made directly through a bank or financial institution in Belgium approved by the applicant’s country; bank charges are to be borne by the applicant. If the VAT of the State of origin is applied to the costs of service under international regulations on value added tax, the judicial officer will reimburse any overpayment.

Once it has received the application, the Belgian Central Authority will inform the applicant of the bank account to which the payment must be made and the file reference number to be quoted in communications. The applicant’s submission of proof of payment to the Belgian Central Authority will enable the effective transmission of the request for service to a judicial officer with territorial jurisdiction.

The above rules concerning the payment amount, its prior transfer, and the reimbursement of any overpayment also apply to service effected under articles 10 (b) and (c) »

The Belgian Central Authority can also be contacted ahead of the transmission of the request so that the necessary bank details (which depend on the addressee’s place of residence in Belgium) and transaction reference can be provided. In doing so, the requesting party can add the proof of payment to the service request right away and send everything through the post.

Contacting the Belgian Central Authority for this purpose should preferably be done by e-mail via, with the subject line ‘new request for bank details and transaction reference’. In the e-mail, mention should be made of the name and address of the addressee in


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