Belgium
Extent of IFRS applicationStatusAdditional Information
IFRS Standards are required for domestic public companies All domestic companies whose securities trade in a regulated market are required to use IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU in their consolidated financial statements.
IFRS Standards are permitted but not required for domestic public companies
IFRS Standards are required or permitted for listings by foreign companies IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU are required in their consolidated financial statements except that a foreign company whose home jurisdiction’s standards are deemed by the EU to be equivalent to IFRS Standards may use its home standards.
The IFRS for SMEs Standard is required or permitted No.
The IFRS for SMEs Standard is under consideration No.

Belgium

RELEVANT JURISDICTIONAL AUTHORITY

Organisation
Commission des Normes Comptables (CNC) / Commissie voor Boekhoudkundige Normen (CBN) [Belgian Accounting Standards Board].
Role of the organisation
The Belgian Accounting Standards Board (CNC-CBN) is the official standard setting body for the Belgian legislation on accounting and financial reporting.
Website
Email contact

COMMITMENT TO GLOBAL FINANCIAL REPORTING STANDARDS

Has the jurisdiction made a public commitment in support of moving towards a single set of high quality global accounting standards?
Has the jurisdiction made a public commitment towards IFRS Standards as that single set of high quality global accounting standards?
What is the jurisdiction's status of adoption?
Belgium has already adopted IFRS Standards as a requirement for the consolidated financial statements of all companies whose securities trade in a regulated market and for the consolidated financial statements of other companies on a voluntary basis.
Additional comments provided on the adoption status?

As a member state of the European Union, Belgium is subject to EU 1606/2002 Regulation on the application of international accounting standards (IAS).

The EU IAS Regulation requires application of IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU for the consolidated financial statements of European companies whose securities trade in a regulated securities market starting in 2005. The EU IAS Regulation gives member states the option to require or permit IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU in separate company financial statements (statutory accounts) and/or in the financial statements of companies whose securities do not trade in a regulated securities market. See the Profile for the European Union for more detailed information about the EU IAS Regulation.

In Belgium, the following are regulated markets:

  • Euronext Brussels
  • Euronext Brussels Derivatives

Belgium used the option under the IAS Regulation to:

  • Require IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU in the consolidated financial statements of credit institutions, insurance companies, and investment firms whose securities do not trade in a public market (starting 1 January 2006).
  • Permit IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU in the consolidated financial statements of companies other than credit institutions, insurance companies, and investment firms (including mutual funds and pension funds) whose securities do not trade in a public market (starting 1 January 2005). This decision is irrevocable.
  • Require IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU in the separate company financial statements of real estate investment companies (SICAF/BEVAK) (starting 1 January 2007).
  • IFRS Standards are not permitted in separate (or statutory) financial statements other than real estate investment companies.
If the jurisdiction has NOT made a public statement supporting the move towards a single set of accounting standards and/or towards IFRS Standards as that set of standards, explain the jurisdiction's general position towards the adoption of IFRS Standards in the jurisdiction.
Not applicable.

EXTENT OF IFRS APPLICATION

For DOMESTIC companies whose debt or equity securities trade in a public market in the jurisdiction:

Are all or some domestic companies whose securities trade in a public market either required or permitted to use IFRS Standards in their consolidated financial statements?
Yes. All domestic companies whose securities trade in a public market are required to use IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU in their consolidated financial statements.
If YES, are IFRS Standards REQUIRED or PERMITTED?
In accordance with the EU Accounting Regulation, IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU are required for the consolidated financial statements of all European companies whose debt or equity securities trade in a regulated market in Belgium.
Does that apply to ALL domestic companies whose securities trade in a public market, or only SOME? If some, which ones?
This applies to all domestic companies whose securities trade in a regulated market.
Are IFRS Standards also required or permitted for more than the consolidated financial statements of companies whose securities trade in a public market?
Yes.
For instance, are IFRS Standards required or permitted in separate company financial statements of companies whose securities trade in a public market?
IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU are required in the separate company financial statements of real estate investment companies (SICAF/BEVAK). IFRS as adopted by the EU are not permitted in the separate company financial statements of other companies.
For instance, are IFRS Standards required or permitted for companies whose securities do not trade in a public market?

IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU are required in the consolidated financial statements of credit institutions (with one exception – see next paragraph), insurance companies, and investment firms whose securities do not trade in a public market.

If an unlisted credit institution is a wholly-owned subsidiary of a foreign parent, preparation of IFRS consolidated statements may not be required if certain conditions are met, including the filing of consolidated financial statements of the foreign group in a Belgian local language (French or Dutch).

IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU are permitted in the consolidated financial statements of other companies whose securities do not trade in a public market.

If the jurisdiction currently does NOT require or permit the use of IFRS Standards for domestic companies whose securities trade in a public market, are there any plans to permit or require IFRS Standards for such companies in the future?
Not applicable.

For FOREIGN companies whose debt or equity securities trade in a public market in the jurisdiction:

Are all or some foreign companies whose securities trade in a public market either REQUIRED or PERMITTED to use IFRS Standards in their consolidated financial statements?
Yes.
If YES, are IFRS Standards REQUIRED or PERMITTED in such cases?

Foreign companies whose securities trade in a regulated market in Belgium (and generally in the EU) are required to report under IFRS Standards as adopted by the EU for their consolidated financial statements unless the European Commission has deemed their local accounting standards to be equivalent to IFRS Standards, in which case they may use their local standards.

This is laid out on the ‘Financial Reporting’ page of the European Commission’s website.

Does that apply to ALL foreign companies whose securities trade in a public market, or only SOME? If some, which ones?
All.

IFRS ENDORSEMENT

Which IFRS Standards are required or permitted for domestic companies?
IFRS Standards as adopted by the European Union, which are IFRS Standards as issued by the Board with some limited modifications such as the temporary 'carve-out' from IAS 39. However, the resulting financial statements of the majority of companies can still be in full compliance with IFRS Standards.
The auditor's report and/or the basis of presentation footnote states that financial statements have been prepared in conformity with:
IFRS Standards as adopted by the European Union.
Does the auditor's report and/or the basis of preparation footnote allow for ‘dual reporting’ (conformity with both IFRS Standards and the jurisdiction’s GAAP)?
No.
Are IFRS Standards incorporated into law or regulations?
Yes.
If yes, how does that process work?
The process is described in the IFRS jurisdiction profile of the European Union.
If no, how do IFRS Standards become a requirement in the jurisdiction?
Not applicable.
Does the jurisdiction have a formal process for the 'endorsement' or 'adoption' of new or amended IFRS Standards (including Interpretations) in place?
Yes.
If yes, what is the process?
The process is described in the IFRS jurisdiction profile of the European Union.
If no, how do new or amended IFRS Standards become a requirement in the jurisdiction?
Not applicable.
Has the jurisdiction eliminated any accounting policy options permitted by IFRS Standards and/or made any modifications to any IFRS Standards?
Yes.
If yes, what are the changes?
Details are described in the IFRS jurisdiction profile of the European Union.
Other comments regarding the use of IFRS Standards in the jurisdiction?
None.

TRANSLATION OF IFRS STANDARDS

Are IFRS Standards translated into the local language?

Yes.

The European Union has 24 official and working languages. They are: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Irish, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Maltese, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish and Swedish. Before they are published in the Official Journal of the European Union, and therefore become binding under EU law, individual IFRS Standards must be translated into all of those languages (other than English and Irish). Those translations are published in the Official Journal of the European Union pursuant to a copyright waiver agreement with the IFRS Foundation.

If they are translated, what is the translation process? In particular, does this process ensure an ongoing translation of the latest updates to IFRS Standards?

Pursuant to a copyright waiver agreement with the Directorate-General for Translation of the European Commission, the Commission takes care of the translation into the official languages according to their own translation process. The translation only the standards and mandatory guidance, which is then published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

In addition, some countries (usually the standard setter or institute) have a translation contract with the IFRS Foundation to produce an ‘official translation’ for publication of a bound volume of IFRS Standards (usually the ‘Red Book’) and publication, in some cases, of individual standards and exposure drafts.

APPLICATION OF THE IFRS FOR SMEs STANDARD

Has the jurisdiction adopted the IFRS for SMEs Standard for at least some SMEs?
No.
If no, is the adoption of the IFRS for SMEs Standard under consideration?
No.
Did the jurisdiction make any modifications to the IFRS for SMEs Standard?
Not applicable.
If the jurisdiction has made any modifications, what are those modifications?
Not applicable.
Which SMEs use the IFRS for SMEs Standard in the jurisdiction, and are they required or permitted to do so?
Not applicable.
For those SMEs that are not required to use the IFRS for SMEs Standard, what other accounting framework do they use?
Not applicable.
Other comments regarding use of the IFRS for SMEs Standard?
The Belgian Accounting Standards Board states that ‘there is a good European framework in the Fourth and Seventh European Directives. The revision of those Accounting Directives will make it possible for SMEs to reduce their administrative burden’. Note that the Fourth and Seventh European Directives were replaced by Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports.

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