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The Belgian Space Law

The Law of 17 September 2005 (Belgian Official Journal of 16 November 2005) on the Activities of Launching, Flight Operation or Guidance of Space Objects entered into force on 1st January 2006. It has been revised by the Law of 1 December 2013 (entered into force on the day of its publication in the Belgian Official Journal, on 15 January 2014).

The Royal Decree implementing some provisions of the Law was adopted on 19 March 2008 and entered into force at the time of its publication in the Official Journal, on 11 April 2008.

This legislation puts Belgium at the forefront of the space faring countries. It notably allows operators to settle down in Belgium and to perform their activities under Belgian jurisdiction (satellite operation, space navigation,...). Such activities are subject to the autorisation of the Minister for Science Policy who may impose peculiar conditions aiming at ensuring everyone’s safety as well as the interests of all participants.

The revision allowed to better circumscribe the scope of the law by providing a more precise definition of the notions of space object, of operator including in the specific case of non-maneuverable space objects.

This law also establishes a National Register of Space Objects which should make possible the registration by Belgium of satellites or other spacecrafts of which it would be the Launching State, according to the provisions of the UN space treaties.

Finally, the law organise between the Belgian State and the operator, a system of sharing of the liability for the damage caused by the space object. This system is based on the liability of the operator limited to a certain amount.

The Belgian law aims particularly at:

  • ensuring the legal and material safety of operational space activities performed under Belgian jurisdiction;
  • developing an appropriate legal framework for the hosting of this sector in Belgium..

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