Law Approving The Convention On Social Security Between The Kingdom Of Belgium And The Republic Of Albania, Made In Brussels, December 9, 2013 (1) (2)

Original Language Title: Loi portant assentiment à la Convention sur la sécurité sociale entre le Royaume de Belgique et la République d'Albanie, faite à Bruxelles, le 9 décembre 2013 (1) (2)

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9 SEPTEMBER 2015. - Act enacting the Convention on Social Security between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of Albania, made in Brussels on 9 December 2013 (1) (2)



PHILIPPE, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The House of Representatives adopted and sanctioned the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 74 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. The Convention on Social Security between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of Albania, made in Brussels on 9 December 2013, will come out with its full effect.
Art. 3. The amendments to the provisions of Articles 7 to 10 of the Convention, as provided for in Article 11 of the Convention, shall be effective and effective.
Promulgate this law, order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Brussels, 9 September 2015.
PHILIPPE
By the King:
Minister of Foreign and European Affairs,
D. REYNDERS
The Minister of Social Affairs,
Ms. M. DE BLOCK
Minister of Pensions,
D. BACQUELAINE
Minister of Independents,
W. BORSUS
Seal of the state seal:
Minister of Justice,
K. GEENS
____
Notes
(1) House of Representatives (www.lachambre.be):
Documents: 54-1143.
Full report : 02/07/2015.
(2) Effective date: 1er January 2016.

Convention on Social Security
between the Kingdom of Belgium and the Republic of Albania
The Kingdom of Belgium
and
The Republic of Albania,
Animates the desire to resolve the mutual relations between the two States in the field of social security,
Agreed to conclude a Convention to that effect and agreed as follows:
PART Ier. - General provisions
Article 1er
Definitions
1. For the purposes of this Convention:
(a) The term "Belgium" means the Kingdom of Belgium;
The term "Albania" means the Republic of Albania.
(b) The term "territory" means:
Concerning Belgium: the territory of the Kingdom of Belgium;
Regarding Albania: the territory of the Republic of Albania.
(c) The term "laws" means: the laws and regulations concerning social security referred to in Article 2.
(d) The term "competent authority" means: the Ministers responsible, each with respect to it, of the application of the legislation referred to in Article 2.
(e) The term "organization" means: the institution, organization or authority responsible for applying, in whole or in part, the legislation referred to in section 2, paragraph 1er.
(f) The term "competent agency" means the organization that has the financial burden of benefits.
(g) The term "insurance period" means:
With regard to Belgium: any period recognized as such by Belgian legislation under which this period was completed, as well as any period assimilated to an insurance period and recognized by this legislation;
With respect to Albania: any period of contribution, period of work, professional activity and any period assimilated to an insurance period recognized by Albanian legislation.
(h) The term "benefit" means any pension, benefit in kind or in cash provided for in the legislation of each of the Contracting States, including any supplements or increases that are applicable under the legislation referred to in Article 2.
(i) The term "member of the family" means: any person defined or admitted as a member of the family or designated as a member of the household by the legislation under which the benefits are served, or in the case referred to in Article 14, by the legislation of the Contracting State in whose territory it resides.
(j) The term "residence" means the usual stay.
(k) The term "stay" means: temporary stay.
2. Any term not defined in paragraph 1er of this Article shall have the meaning assigned to it by the law that applies.
Article 2
Field of material application
1. This Convention applies:
(a) with regard to Belgium, the relevant legislation:
(i) sickness and maternity benefits in kind or in cash of employed workers, merchant marine sailors and self-employed persons;
(ii) benefits for occupational accidents and diseases;
(iii) old-age and survival pensions for employees and self-employed persons;
(iv) the disability benefits of employees, merchant navy sailors and self-employed persons;
and, with respect to Part II only, the relevant legislation:
(v) social security of employed workers;
(vi) social status of independent workers;
(b) with respect to Albania, the legislation concerning:
(i) within the framework of the Social Insurance Regime:
- cash sickness benefits for employees;
- cash maternity benefits for employee and self-employed workers and employers;
- cash benefits for work accidents and occupational diseases for employees;
- old age, disability and survival pensions for workers and self-employed persons, as well as employers;
(ii) within the framework of the Obligatory Health Insurance Plan the following categories benefit from the said regime:
(a) Employee workers;
(b) Independent workers;
(c) Unpaid family workers;
(d) other economically active persons;
(e) persons receiving benefits from the Institute of Social Security;
(f) persons receiving social assistance or disability benefits in accordance with the relevant legislation;
(g) persons registered as unemployed persons seeking employment at the National Employment Office;
(h) asylum seekers in the Republic of Albania;
(i) children under 18 years of age;
(j) students under 25 years of age, provided they do not have income from activities of an economic nature;
(k) categories of persons defined in separate laws;
(l) persons insured on a voluntary basis.
2. This Convention will also apply to all legislative or regulatory acts that will amend or supplement the legislation referred to in paragraph 1er of this article.
It shall apply to all legislative or regulatory acts that extend the existing regimes to new categories of beneficiaries if there is not, in this regard, opposition from the Contracting State that amends its legislation, notified to the other Contracting State within six months from the official publication of the said acts.
This Convention shall not apply to legislative or regulatory acts establishing a new social security branch unless an agreement is reached between the competent authorities of the Contracting States.
Article 3
Field of personal application
Unless otherwise provided, this Convention shall apply to all persons who are or have been subject to the legislation of one of the Contracting States, as well as to any other person whose derivative rights arise from the persons mentioned above.
Article 4
Equal treatment
Unless otherwise provided for in this Convention, the persons referred to in Article 3 shall be subject to the obligations and shall be entitled to the law of the Contracting State under the same conditions as the nationals of that State.
Article 5
Export of benefits
1. Unless otherwise provided in this Convention, cash benefits in the event of illness, disability, occupational accidents and occupational diseases, as well as those relating to old age and survival pensions, acquired under the legislation of one of the Contracting States, shall not be subject to any reduction or modification as the beneficiary resides or resides in the territory of the other Contracting State.
2. Cash benefits in the event of old age, survival, industrial accidents and occupational diseases, due under the legislation of one of the Contracting States, are paid to nationals of the other Contracting State who reside in the territory of a third State, under the same conditions as if they were nationals of the first Contracting State resident in the territory of that third State.
Article 6
Reduction or suspension clauses
The reduction or suspension clauses provided for in the legislation of a Contracting State, in the event of a cumulative benefit with other social security benefits or with other income as a result of the exercise of a professional activity, shall be applicable to the beneficiaries, even if the benefits acquired under a scheme of the other Contracting State, or if the relevant professional activities are carried out in the territory of the other Contracting State.
However, this rule is not applicable to the accumulation of similar benefits granted by the competent bodies of the two Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of Articles 29 and 30 of this Convention.
PART II. - Provisions determining the applicable legislation
Article 7
General rules
1. Subject to Articles 8 to 10, the applicable legislation shall be determined in accordance with the following provisions:
(a) the person performing a work activity in the territory of a Contracting State shall be subject to the law of that State, irrespective of the State in which the employer has its seat;
(b) a person who is a member of the rolling or navigating personnel of a company performing, on behalf of others or on their own behalf, international transport of passengers or goods and having its seat in the territory of a Contracting State shall be subject to the law of that Contracting State;
(c) a person who engages in an employment activity on board a ship flying the flag of a Contracting State shall be subject to the law of the State where that person has his residence.
2. In the event of a simultaneous exercise of an independent professional activity in Belgium and wage earner in Albania, the activity carried out in Albania is assimilated to an employee activity carried out in Belgium, with a view to fixing the obligations arising from Belgian legislation relating to the social status of independent workers.
3. A person who simultaneously exercises an independent professional activity in the territory of the two Contracting States shall be subject only to the laws of the Contracting State in the territory of which he or she is habitually resident. For the determination of the amount of income to be taken into account in respect of contributions due under the legislation of that Contracting State, consideration shall be given to the professional income of the independent made in the territory of the two States, in accordance with their respective legislation.
4. The person who simultaneously carries on an employee activity in the territory of the two Contracting States shall be subject only to the laws of the Contracting State in the territory of which the person has his habitual residence. For the determination of the amount of income to be taken into account in respect of contributions due under the legislation of that Contracting State, it shall be taken into account the professional income of employees made in the territory of the two States, in accordance with their respective legislation.
Article 8
Special rules
1. The employee who, being in the service of an employer having in the territory of one of the Contracting States an establishment of which he or she normally belongs, shall be detached by that employer in the territory of the other Contracting State to perform work on behalf of the other Contracting State, shall remain subject to the law of the first State, as if he or she continued to be occupied in his or her territory, provided that the foreseeable duration of the work that he or he or he or she shall do not exceed The members of his family accompanying him are subject to the legislation of that first State, unless they exercise professional activity.
2. In the case of the detachment referred to in paragraph 1er of this Article shall continue beyond 24 months, the competent authorities of the two Contracting States or the bodies designated by them may agree that the legislation of the first Contracting State shall remain applicable to the employee.
3. Paragraph 1er this Article shall be applicable in the event that a person who has been sent by his employer of the territory of a Contracting State in the territory of a third State is then sent by that employer of the territory of that third State in the territory of the other Contracting State.
4. The employee of a transport company having its seat in the territory of one of the Contracting States, which is detached by its employer in the territory of the other Contracting State, or is temporarily occupied or as travelling personnel, is subject to the legislation of the Contracting State in the territory of which the company has its seat.
However, where the undertaking has, in the territory of the other Contracting State, a branch or permanent representation, the employee employed by the latter is subject to the legislation of the Contracting State in the territory of which the branch or permanent representation is located.
The members of his family accompanying him shall be subject to the legislation of the same Contracting State as that of the employee, unless they engage in professional activity.
Article 9
Staff members
Officials and assimilated personnel of a Contracting State who are detached from the territory of the other Contracting State to carry out their activities remain, as well as members of their accompanying family, provided that they do not exercise any professional activity, subject to the legislation of the first Contracting State.
Article 10
Members of diplomatic missions and consular posts
1. Nationals of a Contracting State, sent by the Government of that State in the territory of the other Contracting State as members of a diplomatic mission or consular post, shall be subject to the legislation of the first Contracting State.
2. Persons engaged locally by a diplomatic mission or by a consular post of one of the Contracting States in the territory of the other Contracting State shall be subject only to the law of the latter State.
3. When the diplomatic mission or consular post of the accrediting State occupies persons who, in accordance with paragraph 2 of this Article, are subject to the law of the accrediting State, the mission or post shall take into account the obligations imposed on employers by the law of the latter State.
4. The provisions of paragraphs 2 and 3 of this Article shall apply by analogy to persons occupied in the private service of a person referred to in paragraph 1er of this Article.
5. The provisions of paragraphs 1 to 4 of this Article shall not apply to the honorary members of a consular post or to persons occupied in the private service of such persons.
6. The provisions of this Article shall also apply to members of the family of persons referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4 living in their homes, unless they engage in professional activity.
Article 11
Derogations
The competent authorities may, in common agreement, for the benefit of certain insured persons or certain categories of insured persons, provide for exemptions from the provisions of Articles 7 to 10, provided that the persons concerned are subject to the legislation of one of the Contracting States.
PART III. - Specific provisions concerning benefits
CHAPTER 1er. - Disease and maternity
Article 12
Total insurance periods
For the opening, retention or recovery of the right to benefits and their duration of grant, insurance periods in accordance with the laws of each State are totalized, provided that they do not overlap.
Article 13
In-kind benefits in case of stay in the Territory
of the other Contracting State
1. An insured person, who is entitled to benefits in kind under the laws of one of the Contracting States and whose condition is to require immediate health care during a stay in the territory of the other Contracting State, shall be entitled to benefits in kind in the territory of that other Contracting State.
2. In-kind benefits are provided, on behalf of the competent body, by the body of the place of residence according to the provisions that it applies, the duration of the benefits being governed by the legislation applicable to the State or the competent body.
3. Paragraph 1er of this Article shall not apply:
(a) where an insured person travels, without authorization from the competent body, to the territory of the other Contracting State for the purpose of receiving medical treatment;
(b) except in the event of an absolute emergency, prosthesis, large-scale equipment and other services of great importance, the list of which is agreed by the competent authorities.
4. The competent body of the place of residence shall determine the immediate need for the care referred to in paragraph 1eras well as the absolute urgency referred to in paragraph 3.
Article 14
In-kind benefits for beneficiaries and family members in case of residence in the territory of the other Contracting State
1. An insured person, who is entitled to benefits in kind under the laws of one of the Contracting States and who resides in the territory of the other Contracting State, shall, as well as the members of his or her family who also reside there, receive benefits in kind in the territory of that other Contracting State.
2. Members of the family of an insured person who is subject to the legislation of a Contracting State and who reside in the territory of the other Contracting State shall be entitled to benefits in kind in the territory of that other Contracting State.
3. In-kind benefits are provided on behalf of the competent body by the agency of the place of residence according to the provisions it applies. However, the duration of the benefits is determined by the relevant state legislation.
4. Paragraphs 1er2 and 3 of this Article shall not apply to members of the family if they have an autonomous right to benefits in kind under the laws of the Contracting State in the territory of which they reside.
On the other hand, a right derived from benefits in kind prevails over autonomous rights where the autonomous right in the Contracting State of residence is directly and exclusively as the member of the family concerned resides in that Contracting State.
Article 15
Specific situations relating to in-kind benefits
1. The insured person who is, under Article 7, paragraphs 3 and 4, and Articles 8 to 11, subject to the legislation of a Contracting State, as well as the members of his or her accompanying family, shall receive benefits in kind for the duration of their stay in the territory of the other Contracting State.
2. In-kind benefits are provided, on behalf of the competent body, by the body of the place of residence according to the provisions it applies. However, the duration of the benefits is governed by the relevant state legislation.
Article 16
In-kind benefits for recipients of disability, old age or survival benefits
1. The beneficiary of disability, old age or survival benefits or annuities as a result of an occupational injury or illness, due under the laws of the two Contracting States, shall, for himself and the members of his family, receive benefits in kind, in accordance with the law of the State in whose territory he resides and the responsibility of the competent body of that State.
2. The beneficiary of a disability, old age or survival benefit or an annuity as a result of an occupational injury or illness, due exclusively under the laws of one of the two Contracting States, which resides in the territory of the other Contracting State, shall, for himself and the members of his family, benefit in kind. In-kind benefits are provided on behalf of the competent body by the agency of the place of residence according to the provisions it applies. However, the duration of the benefits is governed by the legislation that the competent State applies.
Article 17
Contributions due by old age benefit recipients,
Death and Disability
1. The competent body of a State that applies legislation providing for deductions of contributions for the coverage of benefits in kind, may not appeal and recover such dues, calculated according to the legislation it applies, except to the extent that the expenses related to benefits provided under Article 16 of this Convention are borne by an agency of that State.
2. Where, in the cases referred to in article 16, paragraph 2, the beneficiary of old age, death or disability benefits must pay contributions for the coverage of benefits in kind according to the law of the State in which he resides, such contributions may not be recovered by reason of his place of residence.
Article 18
In-kind benefits in case of stay in the Territory
of the competent State
The persons referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of Article 14 and paragraph 2 of Article 16 of this Convention who reside in the territory of the competent Contracting State shall be entitled to benefits in kind in the territory of that State, to the responsibility of that State and in accordance with the provisions applicable to the body of the place of residence.
Article 19
Refund of benefits in kind between organizations
1. The actual amount of in-kind benefits provided under the provisions of Articles 13, 14, 15 and 16, paragraph 2, shall be reimbursed by the competent body to the organization that served the said benefits, as provided in the Administrative Arrangement.
2. Competent authorities may agree to the full or partial waiver of the reimbursement referred to in paragraph 1er or agree on another method of reimbursement.
Rule 20
In-kind benefits
1. Where an insured person or members of his or her family may claim benefits in kind under the law of a single Contracting State, such benefits shall be paid exclusively to the competent body of that State.
2. Where an insured person may claim benefits in kind under the laws of the two States concerned, the following rules apply:
(a) these benefits shall be borne by the agency of the Contracting State in whose territory they are served;
(b) where benefits are served in the territory of another State than the two Contracting States, they shall be solely dependent on the body of the place of residence.
Article 21
Cash benefits for sickness and maternity
1. The insured person who fulfils the conditions laid down in the relevant State legislation to be entitled to the cash benefits of health insurance and maternity insurance, if any, taking into account the provisions of Article 12 of this Convention, shall be entitled to such benefits even if it is in the territory of the other State. Cash benefits are served directly by the competent body whose beneficiary reports. The benefits in kind necessary for the continuation of the medical treatment of the person referred to in this paragraph shall be served by the body of the place of residence under the law applied by that body on behalf of the competent body, however the duration of the grant of benefits shall be governed by the legislation that the competent State applies.
2. The beneficiary of cash benefits under the legislation of a Contracting State may retain the benefit of such benefits if the beneficiary transfers his residence to the territory of the other Contracting State. The competent authority of the debtor State of benefits may require that the transfer of residence be subject to prior authorization from the competent body. However, this authorization may only be denied if the travel of the person concerned is not recommended for appropriate medical reasons.
CHAPTER 2. - Occupational accidents and diseases
Article 22
Benefits in kind served on the territory of the other Contracting State
1. The insured person who, because of an occupational injury or illness, is entitled to benefits in kind in accordance with the laws of a Contracting State, shall be entitled to benefits in kind in case of residence or residence in the territory of the other Contracting State.
2. In-kind benefits are provided, on behalf of the competent body, by the body of the place of residence or residence according to the provisions it applies, the duration of the grant of benefits being, however, governed by the law of the competent State.
Article 23
Refund of benefits in kind between organizations
1. The actual amount of in-kind benefits provided under section 22 shall be reimbursed by the competent body to the organization that served the said benefits, as provided in the Administrative Arrangement.
2. Competent authorities may agree to the full or partial waiver of the reimbursement referred to in paragraph 1er or agree on another method of reimbursement.
Article 24 Taking into consideration occupational accidents
and previous occupational diseases
If the legislation of a Contracting State explicitly or implicitly provides that the industrial accidents or occupational diseases that have occurred prior to the contracting State shall be taken into consideration to assess the degree of disability, occupational accidents and occupational diseases that have occurred before the law of the other Contracting State shall be deemed to have occurred under the legislation of the first Contracting State.
Rule 25
Industrial accidents
The accident on the road to work that took place in the territory of the Contracting State other than the competent State is deemed to have occurred in the territory of the competent State.
Rule 26
Finding of occupational disease
1. Where an insured person, a victim of a professional illness, has carried out an activity likely to cause such illness under the law of the two Contracting States, the benefits to which the victim or his survivors may claim are granted exclusively under the law of the State in the territory of which that activity was carried out in the last place and subject to the fulfilment of the conditions provided for by that legislation, taking into account, where appropriate, the provisions of paragraph 2.
2. If the award of professional sickness benefits under the legislation of a Contracting State is conditional on the condition that the illness under consideration has been medically recognized for the first time in its territory, that condition shall be deemed to be met when the illness was first found in the territory of the other Contracting State.
3. If the award of professional sickness benefits under the legislation of a Contracting State is conditional on the condition that the activity likely to cause such illness has been carried out for a certain period of time, the competent body of that State may take into account the periods during which such activity was carried out under the law of the other Contracting State, as if it had been exercised under the law of the first State.
Rule 27
Aggravation of occupational disease
Where, in the event of an aggravation of a professional illness, the insured person who benefits or has benefited from a compensation for a professional illness under the laws of one of the Contracting States shall, for a professional illness of the same nature, apply the following rules:
(a) if the person concerned has not exercised his or her territory The state of employment likely to cause occupational disease or worsen it, the competent body of the first State is obliged to take charge of the benefits, taking into account the worsening, according to the provisions of the legislation it applies;
(b) if the person concerned has exercised his or her territory State such employment, the competent body of the first State shall be obliged to assume the charge of the benefits, without regard to the aggravation, according to the provisions of the legislation it applies; the competent body of the second State grants the person an additional amount determined according to the law of that State and equals the difference between the amount of the benefit due after the aggravation and the amount of the benefit that would have been due before the aggravation.
CHAPTER 3. - Old, death and disability
Rule 28
Total insurance periods
1. Subject to the provisions of paragraph 2, the periods of insurance and the periods assimilated in accordance with the law of one of the Contracting States relating to old age, survival or disability benefits shall be totaled as necessary, provided that they do not overlap, with the periods of insurance provided under the law of the other Contracting State, for the acquisition, maintenance or recovery of the right to disability.
When periods assimilated to an insurance period coincide, Belgium will only take into account the periods assimilated directly by a professional activity in Belgium.
2. Where the legislation of one of the Contracting States subordinates the granting of old age, survival or disability benefits provided that the insurance periods have been fulfilled in a specified profession, shall not be totaled, for admission to the benefit of such benefits, that the insurance periods performed or assimilated in the same profession in the other Contracting State.
3. When the legislation of one of the Contracting States provides for the granting of old-age, survival or disability benefits provided that the insurance periods have been completed in a specified profession and when such periods have not been able to qualify for such benefits, such periods shall be deemed to be valid for the liquidation of old-age, survival or disability benefits provided for by the general scheme of employed workers.
4. Where, subject to the application of paragraph 1er of this Article, a person shall not meet the conditions required to open the right to benefits, as the periods of insurance have been fulfilled in accordance with the legislation of a third State to which the two Contracting States are bound by social security agreements providing for the totalization of insurance periods are totaled.
5. If only Belgium is bound by a third State by a social security agreement applicable to the person concerned, the insurance periods carried out in accordance with the legislation of that third State are totaled to open the right to the old age, survival or disability benefits of the two Contracting States.
Rule 29
Calculation of old age and survival benefits
1. If a person may claim old-age or survival benefits under the law of one of the Contracting States without the need to complete the benefits, the body of that State shall calculate the right to benefit directly on the basis of the periods of insurance carried out in that State and only under the legislation it applies.
The organization also calculates the amount of the old-age or survival benefit that would have been obtained by applying the rules set out in paragraph 2, (a) and (b). The highest amount is only retained.
2. If a person may claim an old age or survival benefit under the law of one of the Contracting States, whose right is only open in the light of the totalization of insurance periods carried out in accordance with Article 28, the following rules apply:
(a) the organization of that Contracting State shall calculate the theoretical amount of the benefit that would be payable if all insurance periods under the laws of the two Contracting States had been carried out only under the legislation it applies;
(b) the organization of that Contracting State shall then calculate the amount due, on the basis of the amount referred to in (a), to the prorated duration of the insurance periods under its sole legislation, in relation to the duration of all insurance periods recorded under (a).
3. If the duration of the total insurance periods in accordance with Article 28 of this Convention exceeds the maximum insurance period required by the applicable legislation, the competent body shall determine the amount of the benefit on the prorated basis of the insurance periods under this legislation in relation to the insurance periods used as the basis for calculating the amount of the entire benefit.
Rule 30
Calculation of disability benefits
1. If the right to disability benefits provided for in the legislation of one of the Contracting States is opened only by totalization of the periods of insurance carried out in the two Contracting States in accordance with Article 28 of this Convention, the amount of the benefit due shall be determined in accordance with the terms set out in Article 29, paragraph 2, of that Convention.
2. Where the right to Belgian disability benefits is open without the need to appeal to the provisions of Article 28 of this Convention, and the amount resulting from the addition of the Albanian disability benefit and the Belgian disability benefit calculated under paragraph 1er of this Article is less than the amount of the benefit due on the basis of the only Belgian legislation, the competent Belgian agency allocates an equal complement to the difference between the sum of the two above-mentioned benefits and the amount due under the only Belgian law.
Rule 31
Disability benefits during a stay
in the other Contracting State
The beneficiary of a disability benefit from the legislation of one of the Contracting States shall retain the benefit of that benefit during a stay in the other Contracting State, where that stay was previously authorized by the competent body of the first Contracting State. However, such authorization may only be refused when the stay is in the period in which, under the legislation of the first Contracting State, the competent body of that Contracting State must carry out the assessment or revision of the disability status.
Rule 32
Insurance periods below one year
Notwithstanding the provisions of Article 28, in the cases referred to in Article 29, paragraph 2, and Article 30, paragraph 1erno disability, old age or survival benefit is due by the competent Belgian agency when the insurance periods under its legislation, prior to the realization of the risk, do not, as a whole, reach a year.
Rule 33
New possible calculation of benefits
1. If, due to the increase in the cost of living, the change in the level of wages or other accommodation clauses, the old age, survival or disability benefits of one of the Contracting States are amended by a percentage or amount determined, the other Contracting State shall not make a new calculation of old age, survival or disability benefits.
2. However, in the event of a change in the method of establishment or the rules for calculating old age, survival or disability benefits, a new calculation is made in accordance with Articles 29 and 30. This provision has no effect on benefits that have already been paid on the effective date of this amendment.
PART IV. - Miscellaneous provisions
Rule 34
Responsibilities of competent authorities
The competent authorities:
(a) Take, by administrative arrangement, the necessary measures for the application of this Convention and designate liaison bodies, institutions of the place of residence or residence and competent bodies;
(b) define the administrative mutual assistance procedures, including the allocation of expenses related to obtaining medical, administrative and other certificates required for the purposes of this Convention;
(c) disclose directly any information regarding the measures taken to implement this Convention;
(d) notify, as soon as possible and directly, any changes to their legislation that may affect the application of this Convention.
Rule 35
Administrative collaboration
1. For the purposes of this Convention, the competent authorities as well as the competent bodies of each of the two Contracting States shall lend their good offices, as if it were the application of their own legislation. This assistance is in principle free of charge; However, the competent authorities may agree on the reimbursement of certain costs.
2. The benefit of the exemptions or reductions of taxes, stamp duties, transplantation or registration provided for in the legislation of one of the Contracting States for the documents or documents to be produced pursuant to the legislation of that State is extended to the documents and documents similar to be produced under the law of the other State.
3. All acts and documents to be produced under this Convention shall be exempted from the legalization visa of diplomatic and consular authorities.
4. For the purposes of this Convention, the competent authorities and the competent bodies of the Contracting States are empowered to correspond directly with each other and with any person, irrespective of his or her residence. Correspondence may be made in one of the official languages of the Contracting States.
Rule 36
Requests, declarations and remedies
Requests, declarations or appeals that should have been brought, according to the law of one of the Contracting States, within a specified period of time, to an authority, body or jurisdiction of that State, shall be admissible if they are brought within the same period to an authority, body or jurisdiction of the other Contracting State. In this case, the authority, body or jurisdiction so seized shall forthwith transmit such requests, declarations or recourse to the authority, body or jurisdiction of the first Contracting State, either directly or through the competent authorities of the Contracting States.
The date on which such requests, declarations or appeals have been filed with an authority, body or jurisdiction of the other Contracting State shall be deemed to be the date on which the authority, body or jurisdiction competent to hear such requests.
An application or document may not be rejected by the competent authority or competent bodies of a Contracting State on the sole pretext that it is written in an official language of the other Contracting State.
Rule 37
Communication of personal data
1. Organizations of the two Contracting States are authorized to communicate, for the purposes of the application of this Convention, personal data, including data relating to the income of persons, whose knowledge is necessary for the organization of a Contracting State for the application of social security legislation.
2. The communication by the body of a Contracting State of personal data is subject to the data protection legislation of that Contracting State.
3. The preservation, processing or dissemination of personal data by the agency of the Contracting State to which it is communicated shall be subject to the data protection legislation of that Contracting State.
4. The data referred to in this Article shall not be used for any purpose other than the application of social security legislation.
Rule 38
Payment of benefits
The competent bodies responsible for benefits under this Convention shall be validly released in the currency of their State.
If the person concerned decides that the benefit is paid to him in another currency than the official currency of one of the Contracting States, the risk of exchange shall be borne by that person.
The financial transfers resulting from the application of this Convention shall take place in accordance with the relevant agreements between the two Contracting States.
The provisions of a Contracting State ' s foreign exchange control legislation shall not preclude the free transfer of financial amounts resulting from the application of this Convention.
Rule 39
Recognition of decisions and binding documents
1. All enforceable decisions rendered by a court of one of the Contracting States, as well as enforceable acts rendered by the competent body or the competent authority of one of the Contracting States, relating to social security contributions and other amounts to be collected from social security, are recognized in the territory of the other Contracting State.
2. Recognition may be denied only when it is incompatible with the public order of the Contracting State in whose territory the decision or act must be executed.
3. The procedure for the execution of decisions and acts that have become final must be in conformity with the legislation governing the execution of such decisions and acts of the Contracting State in the territory of which the execution takes place. The decision or act is accompanied by a certificate attesting to its enforceability.
4. The dues and other amounts to be collected shall, in the course of a procedure of execution, bankruptcy or forced liquidation in the territory of the other Contracting State, have the same priority as the equivalent claims in the territory of that Contracting State.
5. Claims to be subject to recovery or forced recovery are subject to the same treatment as claims of the same nature of an organization located in the territory of the Contracting State on which the collection or forced recovery is carried out.
Rule 40
Settlement of disputes
Disputes relating to the interpretation and application of this Convention shall be settled, to the extent possible, by the competent authorities.
If the competent authorities cannot reach a solution, they may, in accordance with international law, resort to arbitration.
Rule 41
Undue payments
1. If the agency of a Contracting State has paid to the beneficiary of benefits an amount that exceeds the amount to which it is entitled, that agency may request, under the conditions and limits provided for in the legislation that it applies, to the agency of the other Contracting State obligated with a corresponding benefit in favour of that beneficiary, to retain the amount paid in excess of the arrears to be paid to the recipient. The latter body operates the deduction under the conditions and limits where such compensation is authorized by the legislation it applies, as if it were unduly paid by itself, and transfers the amount so retained to the creditor body of the first contracting State. The terms and conditions for the application of this provision will be mutually agreed between the competent Belgian and Albanian authorities.
2. If the amount paid in excess cannot be deducted from the arrears to be paid, the body of a Contracting State that has paid to a beneficiary of benefits an amount that exceeds that to which it is entitled may, under the conditions and limits provided for in the legislation that it applies, request the agency of the other Contracting State, debtor of benefits in favour of that beneficiary, to retain that amount on the amounts it pays to the beneficiary. The latter body operates the deduction, under the conditions and limits where such compensation is authorized by the legislation it applies, as if it were unduly paid by itself, and transfers the amount so retained to the creditor body of the first Contracting State.
Rule 42
Cooperation in combating fraud
In addition to the implementation of the general principles of administrative cooperation, the competent authorities of the Contracting States will agree, in an administrative arrangement, on the terms and conditions under which they lend their assistance to combat cross-border fraud related to contributions and social security benefits, in particular with regard to the effective residence of persons, the appreciation of resources, the calculation of contributions and the accumulated benefits.
PART V. - Transitional and final provisions
Rule 43
Eventualities prior to the entry into force of the Convention
1. This Convention also applies to any event that has occurred prior to its entry into force.
2. This Convention shall not open any entitlement to benefits for a period prior to its entry into force.
3. Any period of insurance under the law of one of the Contracting States before the date of entry into force of this Convention shall be taken into consideration for the determination of the right to a benefit opening in accordance with the provisions of this Convention.
4. This Convention does not apply to rights that have been liquidated by the granting of a lump sum allowance or the reimbursement of contributions.
Rule 44
Revision, prescription, termination
1. Any benefit that has not been disposed of or has been suspended because of the nationality of the person concerned or because of his residence in the territory of the Contracting State other than the territory of which the competent debtor is located is, at the request of the person concerned, liquidated or restored from the entry into force of this Convention.
2. The rights of persons who have obtained, prior to the entry into force of this Convention, the liquidation of a benefit shall be revised upon request, taking into account the provisions of this Convention. In no case shall such a review have the effect of reducing the previous rights of beneficiaries.
3. If the request referred to in paragraphs 1er or 2 of this Article shall be submitted within two years from the date of entry into force of this Convention, the rights opened in accordance with the provisions of this Convention shall be acquired from that date, without the provisions of the law of either Contracting State, relating to the termination or limitation of rights, being enforceable against the persons concerned.
4. If the request referred to in paragraphs 1er or 2 of this Article shall be submitted after the expiration of a period of two years after the entry into force of this Convention, the rights which are not subject to a termination or are not prescribed shall be acquired from the date of the application, subject to more favourable provisions of the law of the Contracting State concerned.
Rule 45
Duration
This Convention shall be concluded for an indefinite period. It may be denounced by one of the Contracting States by written notification addressed to the other Contracting State with a twelve-month notice.
Rule 46
Guarantee of acquired or acquired rights
In the event of denunciation of this Convention, the rights and payments of benefits acquired under the Convention shall be maintained. Contracting States shall make arrangements with respect to acquisition rights.
Rule 47
Entry into force
This Convention shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the date of receipt of the note by which the last of the two Contracting States has served the other Contracting State that the formalities required are fulfilled.
In faith, the undersigned, duly authorized, have signed this Convention.
Done in Brussels on 9 December 2013, in duplicate, in the English, Albanian, French and Dutch languages, the four texts being equally authentic. In the event of a discrepancy of interpretation, the English text will prevail.

Agreement on social security between The Kingdom of Belgium and The Republic of Albania
The Kingdom of Belgium
and
The Republic Of Albania,
Wishing to arrange the mutual relations between the two countries in the field of social security,
Decided to conclude an Agreement for this purpose and agreed as follows:
PART I - General provisions
Article 1
Definitions
1. For the implementation of this Agreement :
(a) The term "Belgium" means: the Kingdom of Belgium;
The term "Albania" means: the Republic of Albania.
(b) The term "territory" means:
In relation to Belgium : the territory of the Kingdom of Belgium;
In relation to Albania : the territory of the Republic of Albania.
(c) The term "legislation" means : the laws and regulations concerning social security specified in article 2.
(d) The term "competent authority" means: the Ministers, each to the extent that he is responsible for the implementation of the legislation specified in Article 2.
(e) The term "agency" means: the institution, organisation or authority responsible in full or in part for the implementation of the legislation specified in paragraph 1 of Article 2.
(f) The term "competent agency" means: the agency financially in charge of benefits.
(g) The term "insurance period" means:
as regards Belgium : any period recognised as such in the Belgian legislation under which this period was completed, as well as any period recognised as equivalent to an insurance period under that legislation;
as regards Albania : any period of contribution, working period, occupational activity and any period recognised as equivalent to an insurance period under the Albanian legislation.
(h) The term "benefit" means: any pension, any benefit in kind or in cash provided for by the legislation of each of the contracting States, including any supplements or increases applicable under the legislation specified in Article 2.
(i) The term "family member" means: any person defined or recognised as a family member or designated as a member of the household by the legislation under which the benefits are provided, or in the case referred to in article 14, by the legislation of the contracting State in whose territory such person resides.
(j) The term "residence "means : the place where a person habitually resides.
(k) The term "stay" means: temporary residence.
2. Any term not defined in paragraph 1 of this Article shall have the meaning assigned to it in the applicable legislation.
Article 2
Legislative Scope
1. This Agreement shall apply:
a) as regards Belgium, to the legislations concerning :
(i) sickness and maternity benefits in kind or in cash for employed persons, sailors of the merchant marine and self-employed persons;
(ii) benefits in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases;
(iii) old-age and survivors' pensions for employed and self-employed persons;
(iv) invalidity benefits for employed persons, sailors of the merchant marine and self-employed persons;
and, as regards Part II only, to the legislations concerning :
(v) the social security for employed persons;
(vi) the social statute of self-employed persons;
b) as regards Albania, to all legislations concerning :
(i) as regards the Social Insurance Scheme:
- sickness benefits in cash for employed persons;
- maternity benefits in cash for employed and self-employed persons, as well as for employers;
- benefits in cash in respect of accidents at work and occupational diseases for employed persons;
- old-age, invalidity and survivors' pensions for employed and self-employed persons, as well as for employers;
ii) as regards the Compulsory Health Insurance Scheme the following categories are benefiting from the compulsory health insurance scheme:
(a) employed people;
(b) self-employed individuals;
(c) a family workers;
(d) other economically active persons;
(e) persons receiving benefits from Social Security Institute;
(f) persons who receive social assistance or disability payments, in accordance with relevant legislation;
(g) persons registered as unemployed - jobseekers at the National Employment Service;
(h) foreign asylum seekers in the Republic of Albania;
(i) children under age 18;
(j) pupils and students under 25 years old, provided they do not have income from economic activities;
(k) categories of individuals defined by separate laws;
(l) persons that are voluntary insured.
2. This Agreement shall also apply to all acts or regulations which amend or extend the legislation specified in paragraph 1 of this Article.
It shall apply to any act or regulation which extends the existing schemes to new categories of beneficiaries, unless, in this respect, the Contracting State which has amended its legislation notifies within six months of the official publication of the said acts the other Contracting State of its objections.
This Agreement shall not apply to acts or regulations that establish a new social security branch, unless the competent authorities of the Contracting States agree on this application.
Article 3
Personal Scope
Unless otherwise specified, this Agreement shall apply to all persons who are or have been subject to the legislation of either of the Contracting States, and to other persons who derive rights from such persons.
Article 4
Equality of Treatment
Unless otherwise specified in this Agreement, the persons referred to in Article 3 shall be subject to the obligations and shall benefit from the legislation of the Contracting State under the same conditions as nationals of that State.
Article 5
Export of Benefits
1. Unless otherwise specified in this Agreement, benefits in cash in respect of sickness, invalidity, accidents at work and occupational diseases and those in respect of old-age and survivors' pensions, acquired under the legislation of either of the contracting States cannot be subject to any reduction or modification owing to the fact that the beneficiary stays or resides in the territory of the other contracting State.
2. The benefits in cash in respect of old-age, survivors, accidents at work and occupational diseases due from either of the Contracting States are paid to nationals of the other Contracting State residing in the territory of a third State, under the conditions provided in the national legislation of the former Contracting State for its nationals residing in the territory of that third State.
Article 6
Reduction or Suspension Clauses
The reduction or suspension clauses provided for in the legislation of one Contracting State, in case one benefit coincides with other social security benefits or with other incomes owing to a professional activity, shall be applied to the beneficiaries, even if these benefits were acquired by virtue of a scheme of the other Contracting State, or if the related professional activities are exercised in the territory of the other Contracting State.
However, this provision shall not apply when benefits of the same nature are granted by the competent agencies of both Contracting States in accordance with the provisions of articles 29 and 30 of this Agreement.
PART II - Provisions concerning the applicable legislation
Article 7
General Provisions
1. Subject to Articles 8 to 10, the applicable legislation is determined according to the following provisions :
a) a person who exercises a professional activity in the territory of a Contracting State shall be subject to the legislation of that Contracting State, regardless of the State in which the employer has its registered office;
b) a person who is a member of the travelling or flying personnel of an enterprise which, for hire or reward or on its own account, operates international transport services for passengers or goods and has its registered office in the territory of a Contracting State shall be subject to the legislation of that Contracting State;
c) a person who works as an employee on board a ship that flies the flag of a Contracting State, shall be subject to the legislation of the State in which he has his residence.
2. In case of simultaneous exercise of a self-employed activity in Belgium and an employed activity in Albania, the activity exercised in Albania shall be assimilated to an employed activity exercised in Belgium, in order to determine the obligations resulting from the Belgian legislation concerning the social status of self-employed persons.
3. The person who exercises simultaneously a self-employed activity in the territory of both Contracting States shall only be subject to the legislation of the Contracting State in which territory he has his habitual residence. For the purpose of determining the amount of the incomes to be taken into account for the contributions to be charged under the legislation of this Contracting State, the professional incomes as a self-employed person acquired in the territories of both States shall be taken into account, in accordance with their respective legislation.
4. The person who exercises simultaneously a salaried activity in the territory of both Contracting States shall only be subject to the legislation of the Contracting State in which territory he has his habitual residence. For the purpose of determining the amount of the incomes to be taken into account for the contributions to be charged under the legislation of this Contracting State, the professional incomes as a salaried person acquired in the territories of both States shall be taken into account, in accordance with their respective legislation.
Article 8
Special Provisions
1. An employed person who, being in the service of an employer with an office on which he normally depends in the territory of one of the Contracting States, is posted by that employer in the territory of the other Contracting State to work on its account, shall remain subject to the legislation of the former Contracting State, as if he continued to be employed in his territory on the condition that the foreseeable duration of his work does not exceed 24 months and that he is not sent to replace another person whose The family members who accompany the employed person will be subject to the legislation of that former Contracting State unless they exercise professional activities.
2. If the posting referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article continues beyond 24 months, the competent authorities of the two Contracting States or the agencies designated by them may agree that the employee remains subject only to the legislation of the first Contracting State.
3. Paragraph 1 of this Article shall apply where a person who has been sent by his employer from the territory of one Contracting State to the territory of a third country is subsequently sent by that employer from the territory of the third country to the territory of the other Contracting State.
4. The employee of a transport company that has its registered office in the territory of one of the Contracting States, and is posted by its employer to the territory of the other Contracting State, or that works there temporarily or ambulatory, is subject to the legislation of the Contracting State on which the company has its registered office.
However, if the company has a branch or a permanent representation on the territory of the other Contracting State, then the there employed employee is subject to the legislation of the Contracting State where the branch or permanent representation is located.
The family members who accompany the employed person will be subject to the legislation of the same Contracting State as the employed person, unless they exercise professional activities.
Article 9
Civil Servants
Civil servants and equivalent personnel of a Contracting State, posted in the territory of the other Contracting State to exercise their activity there, as well as their family members who accompany them and do not exercise themselves professional activities, shall remain subject to the legislation of the former Contracting State.
Article 10
Members of Diplomatic Missions and Consular Posts
1. Nationals of a Contracting State sent by the government of that Contracting State to the territory of the other Contracting State as members of a diplomatic mission or a consular post are subject to the legislation of the former Contracting State.
2. Persons engaged locally by a diplomatic mission or a consular post of one of the Contracting States in the territory of the other Contracting State are subject only to the legislation of the latter Contracting State.
3. When the diplomatic mission or the consular post of the accrediting State employs persons who, pursuant to paragraph 2 of the present article, are subject to the legislation of the host State, the mission or post will fulfil the obligations imposed on the employers under the legislation of the latter State.
4. The provisions in paragraphs 2 and 3 of the present article also apply by analogy to persons employed in private service of a person specified in paragraph 1 of the present article.
5. The provisions of paragraphs 1 to 4 of the present article neither apply to honorary members of a consular post nor persons employed in private service of these persons.
6. The provisions of the present article also apply to the family members of the persons referred to in paragraphs 1 to 4, living at home, unless they exercise a professional activity.
Article 11
Exceptions
In the interest of certain insured persons or certain categories of insured persons, the competent authorities can, by mutual agreement, specify exceptions to the provisions of Articles 7 to 10 provided that the affected persons shall be subject to the legislation of one of the Contracting States.
PART III - Particular provisions concerning benefits
CHAPTER 1 - Sickness and maternity
Article 12
Totalisation of insurance periods
For the acquisition, retention or recovery of the right to benefits and the period during which they are provided, the insurance periods completed pursuant to the legislation of both States are totalised where necessary and to the extent that they do not overlap.
Article 13
Benefits in kind during a stay in the territory of the other Contracting State
1. An insured person entitled to benefits in kind by virtue of the legislation of one of the contracting States and whose condition necessitates immediate medical care during a stay in the territory of the other Contracting State shall be entitled to benefits in kind in the territory of this other Contracting State.
2. The benefits in kind are provided on behalf of the competent agency by the agency of the place of stay in accordance with the provisions it administers; the period during which benefits may be granted is, however, determined by the competent State or agency whose legislation is applicable.
3. Paragraph 1 of the present article shall not apply:
a) when an insured person proceeds without the authorisation of the competent agency to the territory of the other contracting State in order to receive there a medical treatment;
b) except in case of absolutely emergency, to prosthesis, major appliances and other substantial benefits in kind whose list has been established in common agreement by the competent authorities.
4. The competent agency of the place of stay must determine the immediate necessity of the care referred to in paragraph 1, and the absolute emergency referred to in paragraph 3.
Article 14
Benefits in kind for beneficiaries and their family members residing in the territory of the other Contracting State
1. An insured person entitled to benefits in kind according to the legislation of one of the contracting States and who resides in the territory of the other contracting State receives, as well as his family members who reside there too, benefits in kind in the territory of this other contracting State.
2. The family members of an insured person subject to the legislation of a contracting State and who reside in the territory of the other contracting State receive benefits in kind in the territory of this other contracting State.
3. The benefits in kind are provided on behalf of the competent agency by the agency of the place of residence in accordance with the provisions it administers. The period during which benefits may be granted is, however, determined by the legislation of the competent State.
4. Paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of the present article shall not apply to family members if they have an independent right to benefits in kind based on the legislation of the Contracting State where they reside.
A derivative right to benefits in kind shall, however, take priority over independent rights, where the independent right in the Contracting State of residence exists directly and solely on the basis of the residence of the family member concerned in that Contracting State.
Article 15
Specific situations concerning benefits in kind
1. The insured person who, by virtue of article 7 paragraphs 3 and 4 and of articles 8 to 11, is subject to the legislation of a contracting State, and the members of his family who accompany him, receive benefits in kind for the entire duration of their stay in the territory of the other contracting State.
2. The benefits in kind are provided on behalf of the competent agency by the agency of the place of stay in accordance with the provisions it administers. The period during which benefits may be granted is, however, determined by the legislation of the competent State.
Article 16
Benefits in kind for the beneficiaries of invalidity, old-age or survivor's benefits
1. The beneficiary of invalidity, old-age or survivors' benefits or annuities from an accident at work or an occupational disease, due under the legislation of both contracting States, receives for himself and for the members of his family benefits in kind in accordance with the legislation of the State in whose territory he resides and on account of the competent agency of this State.
2. The beneficiary of an invalidity, an old-age or a survivors' benefit or annuity from an accident at work or an occupational disease due exclusively under the legislation of either of the contracting States, who resides in the territory of the other contracting State, receives for himself and for the members of his family benefits in kind. The benefits in kind are provided on behalf of the competent agency by the agency of the place of residence in accordance with the provisions it administers. The period during which benefits may be granted is, however, determined by the legislation of the competent State.
Article 17
Contributions by recipients of old-age, death and invalidity benefits
1. The competent institution of a State which is responsible under the legislation it applies for making deductions in respect of contributions for benefits in kind, may request and recover such deductions, calculated in accordance with the legislation it applies, only to the extent that the cost of the benefits under article 16 of this Agreement is to be borne by an institution of the said State.
2. Where, in the cases referred to in article 16 paragraph 2, the recipient of old-age, death or invalidity benefits is subject to the payment of contributions in order to cover benefits in kind under the legislation of the State in which the recipient concerned resides, these contributions shall not be payable by virtue of such residence.
Article 18
Benefits in kind during a stay
on the territory of the competent Contracting State
The persons referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of article 14 and in paragraph 2 of article 16 of the present Agreement, who stay in the territory of the competent Contracting State, receive benefits in kind in the territory of this State, on its account and in accordance with the provisions administered by the agency of the place of stay.
Article 19
Reimbursement of benefits in kind between agencies
1. The real amount of the benefits in kind provided by virtue of the provisions of articles 13, 14, 15, and 16 paragraph 2, is reimbursed by the competent agency to the agency who has provided these benefits, in accordance with the procedure determined in the Administrative Arrangement.
2. The competent authorities may, in common agreement, waive in full or in part the reimbursement referred to in paragraph 1 or provide for another method of reimbursement.
Rule 20
Accountability of benefits in kind
1. When an insured person or its family members are entitled to benefits in kind according to the legislation of one Contracting State, these benefits are exclusively on account of the competent agency of this Contracting State.
2. When an insured person is entitled to benefits in kind according to the legislation of both contracting States, the following rules are applicable:
a) these benefits are on account of the agency of the Contracting State on which territory they have been provided;
b) when the benefits are provided on the territory of another State than the two Contracting States, they are exclusively on account of the agency of residence.
Article 21
Benefits in cash in case of sickness and maternity
1. The insured person who satisfies the conditions of the legislation of the competent State for entitlement to benefits in cash of the sickness and maternity insurance, taking into account where appropriate the provisions of article 12 of the present Agreement, shall remain entitled to these benefits if he stays in the territory of the other State. The benefits in cash are directly provided by the agency competent for the beneficiary. The benefits in kind necessary for the continuation of the medical treatment of the person mentioned in this paragraph are provided by the agency of the place of stay according to the legislation this agency applies on behalf of the competent agency. The period during which benefits may be granted is, however, determined by the legislation of the competent State.
2. The beneficiary of benefits in cash under the legislation of a contracting State is still entitled to these benefits if he transfers his residence to the territory of the other contracting State. The competent authority of the State debtor of the benefits may require a prior authorisation of the competent agency for the transfer of residence. This authorisation can, however, only be refused if the movement of the person concerned is not advisable for duly established medical reasons.
CHAPTER 2 - Accidents at work and occupational diseases
Article 22
Benefits in kind administered on the territory of the other Contracting State
1. The insured person who, due to an accident at work or an occupational disease, is entitled to benefits in kind in accordance with the legislation of a Contracting State receives benefits in kind when he stays or resides in the territory of the other Contracting State.
2. The benefits in kind are provided on behalf of the competent agency by the agency of the place of stay or residence in accordance with the provisions it administers; the period during which benefits may be granted is, however, determined by the legislation of the competent State.
Article 23
Reimbursement of benefits in kind between agencies
1. The real amount of the benefits in kind provided by virtue of article 22 is reimbursed by the competent agency to the agency that has provided these benefits, in accordance with the procedure determined in the Administrative Arrangement.
2. The competent authorities may, in common agreement, waive in full or in part the reimbursement referred to in paragraph 1 or provide for another method of reimbursement.
Article 24
Taking into account of accidents at work and occupational diseases which have occurred previously
If the legislation of a contracting State provides expressly or by implication that accidents at work or occupational diseases which have occurred previously shall be taken into consideration in order to assess the degree of incapacity, the accidents at work and occupational diseases which have occurred previously under the legislation of the other contracting State shall be considered as having occurred under the legislation of the former State.
Rule 25
Accidents during commuter traffic
The accident occurred during the commuter traffic on the territory of the Contracting State other than the Competent State is considered to have occurred on the territory of the Competent State.
Rule 26
Observation of an occupational disease
1. When an insured person who has contracted an occupational disease has, under the legislation of both contracting States, pursued an activity which by its nature is likely to cause that disease, the benefits that he or his survivors may claim shall be awarded exclusively in accordance with the legislation of the State in whose territory the activity was lastly pursued and subject to the fact that the person concerned satisfies the conditions of this legislation, taking into account, where appropriate, the provisions of paragraph 2.
2. If, under the legislation of a contracting State, the granting of benefits in respect of an occupational disease is subject to the condition that the disease in question was first diagnosed within its territory, such condition shall be deemed to be satisfied if the disease was first diagnosed in the territory of the other contracting State.
3. If, under the legislation of a contracting State, the granting of benefits in respect of an occupational disease is subject to the condition that the activity likely to cause the disease in question was pursued during a certain period, the competent agency of this State takes into account, if necessary, the periods during which this activity has been pursued under the legislation of the other Contracting State, as if it had been pursued under the legislation of the first State.
Rule 27
Aggravation of an occupational disease
In the event of aggravation of an occupational disease, if the insured person who has received or is receiving compensation for an occupational disease under the legislation of either of the contracting States asserts, for an occupational disease of the same nature, rights to benefits under the legislation of the other contracting State, the following rules shall apply:
a) if the person concerned has not pursued in the territory of the latter State a professional activity likely to cause or to aggravate the disease in question, the competent agency of the former State shall be bound to meet the costs of the benefits under the provisions of the legislation which it administers, taking into account the aggravation;
b) if the person concerned has pursued such a professional activity in the territory of the latter State, the competent agency of the former State shall be bound to meet the costs of the benefits under the provisions of the legislation which it administers without taking the aggravation into account; the competent agency of the second State shall grant a supplement to the person concerned, the amount of which shall be determined by the legislation of this State and shall be equal to the difference between the amount of the benefit due after the aggravation and the amount of the benefit which would have been due prior to the aggravation.
CHAPTER 3 - Old-age, survivors and invalidity
Rule 28
Totalisation of insurance periods
1. Notwithstanding the provisions of paragraph 2, for the acquisition, retention or recovery of the right to old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits, the insurance periods and the equivalent periods completed pursuant to the legislation of one of the Contracting States concerning old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits are totalised, when necessary and to the extent that they do not overlap, with the insurance periods completed pursuant to the legislation of the other Contracting State.
When periods recognised as periods equivalent to an insurance period coincide, Belgium will only take into account the equivalent periods directly following a professional activity in Belgium.
2. If the legislation of one of the Contracting States subordinates the granting of old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits to the condition that the insurance periods are to be completed in a given occupation, only insurance periods completed or recognised as equivalent in the same occupation in the other Contracting State shall be totalised for admission to entitlement to these benefits.
3. If the legislation of one of the Contracting States subordinates the granting of old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits to the condition that the insurance periods are to be completed in a given occupation, and when these periods did not result in entitlement to the said benefits, the said periods shall be considered valid for the determination of the old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits provided for in the general scheme of employed persons.
4. If, notwithstanding the application of paragraph 1 of this Article, a person does not fulfil the requirements to create a right to benefits, the insurance periods that have been completed pursuant to the legislation of a third state with whom both Contracting States are joined by social security agreements that provide the totalisation of insurance periods, are totalised.
5. If only Belgium is joined to a third state by a social security agreement that is applicable to the person concerned, the insurance periods completed pursuant to the legislation of this third state are totalised for the entitlement to old-age, survivors' and invalidity benefits of both Contracting States.
Rule 29
Calculation of old-age and survivor benefits
1. If a person is entitled to old-age or survivors' benefits under the legislation of one of the Contracting States without necessarily proceeding to totalisation, the agency of this State shall calculate the benefit entitlement directly on the basis of the insurance periods completed in this State and only under its legislation.
This agency shall also calculate the amount of the old-age or survivors' benefit that would be obtained by applying the rules specified in paragraph 2 a) and b). Only the higher of these two amounts shall be taken into consideration.
2. If a person is entitled to an old-age or survivors' benefit by virtue of the legislation of one of the Contracting States, with his right being created solely by taking the totalisation of the insurance periods into account pursuant to Article 28, the following rules apply:
a) the agency of this Contracting State shall calculate the theoretical amount of the benefit due as if all the insurance periods completed according to the two Contracting States' legislations were exclusively completed under its legislation;
b) the agency of this Contracting State shall then calculate the amount due, on the basis of the amount specified under a), in proportion to the duration of the insurance periods under its legislation, in relation to the duration of all insurance periods accounted under a).
3. If the length of the insurance periods totalised pursuant to Article 28 of the present Agreement exceeds the maximum insurance period possible under the applied legislation, the competent agency determines the amount of the benefit pro rata to the insurance periods completed under this legislation in proportion to the insurance periods that have served as the base for calculating the amount of the undivided benefit.
Rule 30
Calculation of invalidity benefits
1. If the right to invalidity benefits provided for by the legislation of one of the Contracting States is created solely by totalisation of insurance periods completed in both Contracting States in accordance with Article 28 of the present Agreement, the amount of the benefit due is determined according to the procedure determined by Article 29, paragraph 2 of this Agreement.
2. If the right to the invalidity benefits is opened without recourse to the provisions of Article 28 of the present Agreement, and if the amount resulting from the sum of the Albanian invalidity benefit and of the Belgian invalidity benefit calculated in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article is lower than the amount of the benefit due solely on the basis of the Belgian legislation, the Belgian competent agency will grant a complement equal to the difference between the total amount of these two benefits and the amount due solely according to
Rule 31
Invalidity benefits during a stay in the other Contracting State
The beneficiary of an invalidity benefit under the legislation of one of the Contracting States is still entitled to this benefit during a stay in the other Contracting State when that stay has first been authorised by the competent agency of the first Contracting State. That authorisation can, however, only be refused if the stay takes place in the period during which, by virtue of the legislation of the first Contracting State, the competent agency of this Contracting State must estimate or revise the state of invalidity.
Rule 32
Insurance periods inferior to one year
Notwithstanding the provisions of article 28, in the cases aimed at in article 29 paragraph 2 and article 30 paragraph 1, no invalidity, old age or survivors' benefit is due by the Belgian competent agency when the insurance periods fulfilled under its legislation, the preceding realisation of the risk, do not reach, in total, one year.
Rule 33
Possible revision of benefits
1. If, due to a rise in the cost of living, the variation of the wage levels or other adaptation clauses, the old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits of one of the Contracting States are changed with a given percentage or amount, there is no need to proceed to a new calculation of the old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits of the other Contracting State.
2. On the other hand, in case of modification of the rules or of the computation process with regard to the establishment of the old-age, survivors' or invalidity benefits a new computation shall be performed according to Articles 29 and 30. This provision has no effect on the benefits already paid on the date of entry into force of this modification.
PART IV - Miscellaneous provisions
Rule 34
Responsibilities of the Competent Authorities
The competent authorities:
a) shall take, by means of an administrative arrangement, the measures required to implement this Agreement, and shall designate the liaison agencies, the agencies of the place of stay or residence and the competent agencies;
b) shall define the procedures for mutual administrative assistance, including the sharing of expenses associated with obtaining medical, administrative and other evidence required for the implementation of this Agreement;
(c) shall directly communicate to each other any information concerning the measures taken for the application of this Agreement;
d) shall directly communicate to each other, as soon as possible, all changes in their legislation to the extent that these changes might affect the application of this Agreement.
Rule 35
Administrative Collaboration
1. For the implementation of this Agreement, the competent authorities as well as the competent agencies of both Contracting States shall exchange good practices as they would for the application of their own legislation. In principle, this assistance shall be provided free of charge; however, the competent authorities may agree on the reimbursement of some expenses.
2. The benefit of the exemptions or reductions of taxes, of stamp duties or of registration or recording fees provided for by the legislation of one Contracting State in respect of certificates or other documents which must be produced for the application of the legislation of that State shall be extended to certificates and similar documents to be produced for the application of the legislation of the other State.
3. All acts and documents which must be produced for the implementation of this Agreement shall be exempt from notarisation by diplomatic or consular authorities.
4. For the implementation of this Agreement, the competent authorities and agencies of the Contracting States may communicate directly with each other as well as with any person, regardless of the residence of such person. Such communication may be made in one of the languages used for the official purposes of the Contracting States.
Rule 36
Claims, Notices and Appeals
Claims, notices or appeals which, according to the legislation of one of the Contracting States, should have been submitted within a specified period to an authority, an agency or a jurisdiction of that Contracting State, are acceptable if they are presented within the same specified period to an authority, agency or jurisdiction of the other Contracting State. In this case, the claims, notices or appeals must be sent without delay to the authority or agency of the former Contracting State, either directly or through the competent authorities of the Contracting States.
The date on which these claims, notices or appeals have been submitted to an authority, an agency or a jurisdiction of the second Contracting State shall be considered to be the date of submission to the authority, agency or jurisdiction authorised to accept such claims, notices or appeals.
An application or document may not be rejected by the competent authority or organisations of a Contracting State solely because it is in an official language of the other Contracting State.
Rule 37
Exchange of personal data
1. The agencies of both Contracting States are authorised for the execution of this Agreement to exchange personal data, including data concerning the income of the persons that the agency of a Contracting State needs for the implementation of a legislation concerning social security.
2. In communicating these data, the agency of a Contracting State has to respect the legislation concerning the protection of personal data of this Contracting State.
3. The keeping, processing and distribution of personal data by the agency of the Contracting State to which these data have been communicated, is governed by the legislation concerning the protection of personal data of this Contracting State.
4. The data referred to in the present article shall be used exclusively for the implementation of a legislation concerning social security.
Rule 38
Payment of Benefits
Payments of benefits under this Agreement may be made in the currency of either Contracting State.
If the person concerned decides to have the benefit paid in another currency than the official currency of one of the Contracting States, the risk of exchange is at the charge of the person concerned.
Transfers due to the implementation of this Agreement are performed according to the arrangements in force between the Contracting States.
Legislative provisions concerning currency controls of a Contracting State cannot interfere with the transfer of funds resulting from the implementation of this Agreement.
Rule 39
Recognition of Executable decisions and documents
1. All effective decisions of the courts as well as the executable decisions of the competent agency or competent authorities of one of the Contracting States with respect to contributions and other receivables from the social security shall be recognised in the other Contracting State.
2. Recognition may be refused only in case it contradicts the public order of the Contracting State where the said decision or document must be executed.
3. The procedure of execution of irrevocable decisions and acts has to be in accordance with the legislation of the Contracting State on the territory of which the execution takes place governing the execution of such decisions and acts. The decision or act needs to be accompanied by an attestation confirming its enforceability.
4. The due contributions and other receivables have, within the scope of a procedure of execution, bankruptcy or forced settlement on the territory of the other Contracting State, the same degree of preference as corresponding claims on the territory of this Contracting State.
5. The claims subject to reclamation or forced reclamation are protected by the same guaranties and privileges as the claims of the same nature of an agency situated on the territory of the Contracting State on which the reclamation or forced reclamation takes place.
Rule 40
Resolution of Disputes
Disputes which arise in interpreting or applying this Agreement shall be resolved, to the extent possible, by the competent authorities.
If the competent authorities cannot reach a solution, they can in accordance with international law, resort to arbitration.
Rule 41
Undue payments
1. When the agency of a contracting State has paid to a beneficiary of benefits a sum that exceeds the one he is entitled to, this agency may request, under the conditions and within the limits of the legislation it applies, that the agency of the other State that must pay a corresponding benefit in favour of this beneficiary to deduct the excess amount from the outstanding annuities due to the said beneficiary. The latter agency makes the deduction under the conditions and within the limits such compensation is authorised by virtue of the legislation it applies, as if it were sums paid in excess by itself, and transfers the amount so deducted to the crediting agency. The details of implementation of this provision shall be fixed in common agreement between the Belgian and Albanian competent authorities.
2. If the excess amount cannot be deducted from the outstanding arrears, the agency of a contracting State that has paid to a beneficiary of benefits a sum that exceeds the one he is entitled to, can, under the conditions and within the limits specified by the legislation it applies, request that the benefits paying agency of the other contracting State in favour of this beneficiary deduct the excess amount from the sums it country to the said beneficiary. The latter agency makes the deduction under the conditions and within the limits such compensation is authorised by virtue of the legislation it applies, as if it were sums paid in excess by itself, and transfers the amount so deducted to the crediting agency.
Rule 42
Cooperation concerning the fight against fraud
Alongside the implementation of general principles concerning administrative collaboration, the competent authorities will agree in an administrative arrangement on the regulations according to which they will cooperate to fight against fraud with regard to social security contributions and benefits that cross the boundaries of a Contracting State, and particularly with regard to the actual residence of persons, the estimation of income, the calculation of contributions and the accumulation of benefits.
PART V - Yransitional and final provisions
Rule 43
Events prior to the entry into force of the Agreement
1. This Agreement shall also apply to events which occurred prior to its entry into force.
2. This Agreement shall not create any entitlement to acquire benefits for any period prior to its entry into force.
3. All insurance periods completed under the legislation of one of the Contracting States prior to the date on which this Agreement enters into force shall be taken into consideration in determining entitlement to any benefit in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement.
4. This Agreement shall not apply to rights that were liquidated by the granting of a sum lump payment or the reimbursement of contributions.
Rule 44
Revision, prescription, forfeiture
1. Any benefit that was not paid or that was suspended by reason of the nationality of the interested person or by reason of his residence in the territory of a Contracting State other than that in which the agency responsible for payment is located, shall, on application by the interested person, be paid or restored from the entry into force of this Agreement.
2. The entitlement of interested persons who, prior to the entry into force of this Agreement, obtained the payment of a benefit may be revised upon application by those persons, in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement. In no case shall such a revision result in a reduction of the prior entitlement of the interested persons.
3. If the application referred to in paragraph 1 or 2 of this Article is made within two years of the date of the entry into force of this Agreement, any entitlement arising from the implementation of this Agreement shall be effective from that date, and the legislation of either Contracting State concerning the forfeiture or the prescription of rights shall not be applicable to such interested persons.
4. If the application referred to in paragraph 1 or 2 of this Article is made after two years following the entry into force of this Agreement, the entitlements which are not subject to forfeiture or which are not yet prescribed shall be acquired from the date of the application, unless more favourable legislative provisions of the Contracting State concerned are applicable.
Rule 45
Duration
This Agreement is concluded without any limitation on its duration. It may be terminated by either Contracting State giving twelve months' notice in writing to the other State.
Rule 46
Guarantee of rights that are acquired or in the course of acquisition
In the event of termination of this Agreement, any rights and payment of benefits acquired by virtue of the Agreement shall be maintained. The Contracting States shall make arrangements regarding the rights in the course of acquisition.
Rule 47
Entry into Force
This Agreement shall enter into force on the first day of the third month following the date of receipt of the note through which the last of both Contracting States will have given notice to the other Contracting State that all domestic requirements have been accomplished.
In witness whereof, the undersigned, being duly authorised thereto, have signed this Agreement.
Done at Brussels, on the 9th December 2013, in duplicate in English, Albanian, French and Dutch, each text being equally authentic. In case of any divergence of interpretation, the English text will prevail.