Law Approving The Agreement Between The Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union And The Government Of The State Of Qatar Concerning The Encouragement And Reciprocal Protection Of Investments, Made In Doha On November 6, 2007 (1) (2) (3).

Original Language Title: Loi portant assentiment à l'Accord entre l'Union économique belgo-luxembourgeoise et le Gouvernement de l'Etat du Qatar concernant l'encouragement et la protection réciproques des investissements, fait à Doha le 6 novembre 2007 (1) (2) (3)

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25 AOUT 2012. - An Act to approve the Agreement between the Belgian Economic Union and the Government of the State of Qatar on the mutual encouragement and protection of investments, made in Doha on 6 November 2007 (1) (2) (3)



ALBERT II, King of the Belgians,
To all, present and to come, Hi.
The Chambers adopted and We sanction the following:
Article 1er. This Act regulates a matter referred to in Article 77 of the Constitution.
Art. 2. The Agreement between the Belgian Economic Union and the Government of the State of Qatar on the mutual encouragement and protection of investments, which was made in Doha on 6 November 2007, will come out its full and full effect.
Promulgate this law, order that it be clothed with the seal of the State and published by the Belgian Monitor.
Given in Split, August 25, 2012.
ALBERT
By the King:
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Trade and European Affairs,
D. REYNDERS
Seen and sealed the state seal:
The Minister of Justice,
Ms. A. TURTELBOOM
____
Note
(1) Session 2011-2012.
Senate
Documents. - Bill tabled on 13/03/2012, No. 5-1529/1. - Report, no. 5-1529/2.
Annales parliamentarians. - Discussion and voting. Session of 05/07/2012.
House of Representatives.
Documents. - Project transmitted by the Senate, No. 53-2336/1. - Report made on behalf of the commission, No. 53-2336/2. - Text adopted in plenary and subject to Royal Assent, No. 53-2336/3.
Annales parliamentarians. - Discussion and voting. Session of 19/07/2010.
(2) See decree of the Flemish Region of 09/07/2010 (Moniteur belge du 26/07/2010), decree of the Walloon Region of 04/02/2012 (Moniteur belge du 02/03/2010), ordinance of the Brussels Capital Region of 15/03/2012 (Moniteur belge du 28/03/2012).
(3) This Agreement shall enter into force on 30/04/2014, in accordance with Article 15.

Agreement between the Belgian Economic Union and the Government of the State of Qatar on mutual encouragement and protection of investments
The Kingdom of Belgium,
The Walloon Region,
The Flemish Region,
And the Brussels-Capital Region,
and
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg,
on the one hand,
and
The Government of the State of Qatar,
on the other hand,
(hereinafter referred to as the Contracting Parties)
Desirous of strengthening their economic cooperation by creating favourable conditions for the realization of investments by investors of one of the Contracting Parties in the territory of the other Contracting Party,
agreed that:
Article 1er
Definitions
For the purposes of this Agreement:
1. The term "investors" means:
(a) "nationals", that is, any natural person who, according to the laws of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or the State of Qatar is considered to be a citizen of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or the State of Qatar respectively;
(b) "societies", i.e. legal persons - among other things the Government and governmental bodies, companies, companies, firms or business associations - constituted in accordance with the laws of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or the State of Qatar and having their headquarters in the territory of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg or the State of Qatar respectively.
2. The term "investments" means any assets or direct or indirect contributions to digital, in kind or in services, invested or reinvested in any sector of economic activity.
These include, but are not limited to, investments within the meaning of this Agreement:
(a) movable and immovable property and any other real rights such as mortgages, privileges, leases, usufructs and similar rights;
(b) shares, shares and other forms of participation in the capital of corporations incorporated in the territory of one of the Contracting Parties;
(c) obligations, receivables and rights to all benefits of economic value;
(d) copyright, industrial property rights, technical processes, names filed and the trade fund;
(e) concessions of public or contractual law, including those relating to prospecting, development, extraction or exploitation of natural resources.
No change in the legal form in which assets and capital have been invested or reinvested will affect their quality of "investments" within the meaning of this Agreement.
3. The term "income" refers to amounts generated by an investment and, in particular, not exclusively, profits, interests, capital increments, dividends, royalties or allowances.
4. The term "territory" applies:
(a) the territory of the Kingdom of Belgium and the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, as well as the maritime zones, that is, the marine and submarine zones that extend beyond the territorial waters of the Kingdom of Belgium and on which the Kingdom of Belgium exercises, in accordance with international law, its sovereign rights and jurisdiction for the exploration, exploitation and conservation of natural resources;
(b) in the territory of the State of Qatar, namely the land territory of the State of Qatar, the internal and territorial waters, including the seabed and their subsoil, the airspace above, the exclusive economic zone and the continental shelf, on which the State of Qatar exercises its sovereignty and sovereign rights, in accordance with the provisions of international law and the national laws and regulations of Qatar.
5. The term "environmental legislation" means the laws and regulations in force on the territory of each Contracting Party, or any provision contained in these laws and regulations, which are primarily intended to protect the environment, or to prevent any danger to the life or health of men, animals or plants by:
(a) prevention, reduction or control of releases, spills or emissions of pollutants or contaminants to the environment;
(b) control of chemicals, substances, materials and hazardous or toxic wastes for the environment and dissemination of information thereon;
(c) protection or conservation of wild flora and fauna, including endangered species, their habitat, and natural areas specially protected in the territory of Contracting Parties.
6. The term "work legislation" means the laws and regulations in force in the territory of each Contracting Party, or any provision contained in these laws and regulations, having a direct relationship with the universally recognized rights of the workers listed below:
(a) the right of association;
(b) the right to organize and collective bargaining;
(c) Prohibition of any form of forced or compulsory labour;
(d) a minimum age of admission of children to employment;
(e) acceptable working conditions for minimum wages and working hours, as well as the safety and health of workers.
Article 2
Investment promotion
1. Each Contracting Party shall encourage investment in its territory by investors from the other Contracting Party and admit such investments in accordance with its legislation.
2. Each Contracting Party shall authorize the conclusion and execution of licence contracts and trade, administrative or technical assistance agreements, provided that such activities relate to investments.
Article 3
Investment protection
1. All investments made by investors of one of the Contracting Parties shall enjoy fair and equitable treatment in the territory of the other Contracting Party.
2. Subject to the measures necessary for the maintenance of public order, these investments will enjoy constant security and protection, excluding any unjustified or discriminatory measures that may hinder, in law or in fact, the management, maintenance, use, enjoyment or liquidation of such investments.
Article 4
Most-favoured national and national treatment
1. Each Contracting Party shall grant investment by investors of the other Contracting Party a treatment that will not be less favourable than that granted to investments by its own investors or investors of any third State.
2. In addition, each Contracting Party shall grant investors of the other Contracting Party, also in respect of the income of their investments, a treatment that will not be less favourable than that granted to investors of any third State.
3. With regard to exploitation, management, maintenance, use, enjoyment, sale or any other form of investment alienation, each Contracting Party shall grant in its territory to investors of the other Contracting Party a treatment that will not be less favourable than that granted to its own investors or investors of any third State, if that treatment is more favourable.
4. Such treatment shall not extend to the privileges granted by a Contracting Party to investors of a third State, by virtue of its participation or association in a free trade zone, a customs union, a common market or any other form of regional economic organization.
5. The provisions of this section do not apply to tax matters.
Article 5
Environment
1. Recognizing that each Contracting Party has the right to establish its own level of environmental protection and to define its environmental and development policies and priorities, as well as to adopt or amend its ad hoc laws accordingly, each Contracting Party shall ensure that its legislation guarantees a high level of environmental protection and shall make every effort to continuously improve such legislation.
2. The Contracting Parties recognize that it is not appropriate to limit national environmental legislation to encourage investment. In this regard, each Contracting Party shall ensure that it is not granted an exemption or derogation in any other way to such legislation, nor shall it be offered an exemption or other exemption for the purpose of encouraging the formation, maintenance or expansion of an investment in its territory.
3. The Contracting Parties reaffirm their commitments under international environmental agreements. They will ensure that these commitments are fully recognized and implemented in their national legislation.
4. The parties recognize that mutual cooperation offers them greater opportunities to improve environmental standards. At the request of one of the parties, the other party will accept that representatives of their governments meet for consultation on any matter falling within the scope of this Article.
Article 6
Labour
1. Acknowledging that each Contracting Party has the right to establish its own labour protection standards and to adopt or amend its ad hoc laws accordingly, each Contracting Party shall ensure that its legislation sets standards of work in accordance with the universally recognized rights of workers set out in paragraph 6 of Article 1er and will constantly improve these standards.
2. The Contracting Parties recognize that it is not appropriate to limit national labour legislation to encourage investment. In this regard, each Contracting Party shall ensure that it is not granted an exemption or derogation in any other way to such legislation, nor shall it be offered an exemption or other exemption for the purpose of encouraging the formation, maintenance or expansion of an investment in its territory.
3. The Contracting Parties reaffirm their obligations as members of the International Labour Organization and their commitments under the ILO Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights of Labour and its follow-up. Contracting Parties shall ensure that such principles and universally recognized rights of workers as set out in Article 1, paragraph 6er be recognized and protected in their national legislation.
4. The parties recognize that mutual cooperation offers them greater opportunities to improve labour protection standards. At the request of one of the Contracting Parties, the other party will agree that representatives of their Governments meet for consultation on any matter falling within the scope of this Article.
Article 7
Private and restrictive measures of ownership
1. Each of the Contracting Parties undertakes not to take any measures of expropriation or nationalization or any other measure whose effect is to directly or indirectly dispossess the investors of the other Contracting Party of their investments in its territory.
2. If public utility, security or national interest requirements warrant a derogation from paragraph 1erthe following conditions shall be met:
(a) measures shall be taken in accordance with a legal procedure;
(b) they will not be discriminatory or contrary to a specific commitment;
(c) they shall be provided with provisions for the payment of adequate and effective compensation.
3. The amount of the allowance will be the effective value of the investments on the day before the measures were taken or made public.
Such allowances shall be paid in the currency of the State of which the investor is a national or in any other convertible currency. They will be paid without undue delay and will be freely transferable. They will be of interest to the normal commercial rate from the date of the fixing of their amount to that of their payment.
4. Investors of one of the Contracting Parties whose investments would have suffered damage from war or other armed conflict, revolution, state of national emergency or revolt in the territory of the other Contracting Party shall, on the part of the other Contracting Party, receive at least equal treatment to that granted to investors of the most-favoured nation in respect of restitution, compensation, compensation or other compensation.
Article 8
Transfers
1. Each Contracting Party shall grant investors of the other Contracting Party the free transfer of all payments relating to an investment, including:
(a) amounts intended to establish, maintain or develop investment;
(b) amounts intended for the settlement of contractual obligations, including amounts necessary for the reimbursement of borrowings, royalties and other payments arising from licences, franchises, concessions and other similar fees, as well as the remuneration of expatriated personnel;
(c) Investment income;
(d) the proceeds of the total or partial liquidation of investments, including capital gains or increases;
(e) compensation paid pursuant to section 7.
2. Nationals of each Contracting Party authorized to work for an investment in the territory of the other Contracting Party will also be allowed to transfer an appropriate quotity of their remuneration to their country of origin.
3. Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, foreign exchange transfers will be allowed in the currency of the original investment or in any other convertible currency. These transfers will take place at the market exchange rate applicable to the date of the transfer.
4. Each of the Contracting Parties shall make transfers without undue delay and without any other charges than usual bank charges.
Article 9
Subrogation
1. If one of the Contracting Parties or a public body of the Contracting Party pays compensation to its own investors under a particular investment guarantee, the other Contracting Party shall recognize that the rights of investors are transferred to the Contracting Party or the public body concerned, in their capacity as insurer.
2. With respect to the rights transferred, the other Contracting Party may apply the obligations that are legally or contractually binding on the insurer subject to the rights of the indemnified investors.
Article 10
Rules applicable
Where an investment issue is governed both by this Agreement and by the national legislation of one of the Contracting Parties or by international conventions currently in force or contracted in the future by the Parties, the investors of the other Contracting Party may avail themselves of the provisions that are most favourable to them.
Article 11
Special agreements
1. Investments that have been the subject of a particular agreement between one of the Contracting Parties and investors of the other Party shall be governed by the provisions of this Agreement and those of that particular agreement.
2. Each Contracting Party undertakes to ensure at any time compliance with its obligations with respect to investors of the other Contracting Party.
Article 12
Settlement of disputes between a Contracting Party
and an investor of the other Contracting Party
1. Any dispute under this Agreement, which arises directly from an investment and arises between one of the Contracting Parties and an investor of the other Contracting Party shall be settled amicably between the parties to the dispute.
2. In the absence of amicable settlement by direct arrangement between the parties to the dispute or by diplomatic conciliation within six months of its notification, the dispute shall be submitted, at the option of the investor, to the competent jurisdiction of the State where the investment has been made, or to international arbitration.
To this end, each Contracting Party shall give its early and irrevocable consent to any dispute being submitted to that arbitration. This consent implies that they do not demand the exhaustion of domestic administrative or judicial remedies.
3. In case of recourse to international arbitration, the dispute shall be submitted to one of the following arbitration bodies, at the investor's choice:
(a) an ad hoc arbitration tribunal established in accordance with the arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on Commercial Law (C.N.U.D.C.I.);
(b) the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (I.C.R.D.I.), established by "the Convention for the Settlement of Disputes relating to Investments between States and Nationals of Other States", opened for signature in Washington on 18 March 1965, when each State Party to this Agreement shall be a member of that Agreement. As long as this condition is not fulfilled, each Contracting Party agrees that the dispute be submitted to arbitration in accordance with the Regulation of the C.I.R.D.I. Supplementary Mechanism.
If the arbitration procedure has been introduced at the initiative of a Contracting Party, the Contracting Party shall, in writing, invite the investor concerned to designate the arbitration body which shall be seized of the dispute.
4. The ad hoc arbitration tribunal referred to in paragraph 3 (a) shall be constituted as follows:
(a) Each party to the dispute shall appoint an arbitrator, and the two arbitrators so designated shall jointly appoint a third arbitrator, who shall be a national of a third State and shall be designated as president of the court by both parties. All arbitrators shall be appointed within two months of the date on which one of the Parties has communicated to the other party its intention to submit the dispute to arbitration.
(b) If the deadlines specified in paragraph 3 (a) of this Article have not been met, either Contracting Party, in the absence of any other arrangement, shall invite the Secretary-General, the Under-Secretary-General of the Court of Arbitration at the Hague to make the necessary appointments.
(c) The ad hoc arbitration tribunal shall make its decisions by a majority vote. Such decisions shall be final and binding on the parties and shall be applied in accordance with the national law of the Contracting Party to the dispute. They shall be taken in accordance with the provisions of this Agreement and the laws of the Contracting Party to the dispute.
(d) The court shall interpret its sentence and state the basis of its decision and shall motivate it at the request of either party. Unless otherwise agreed between the parties, arbitration will take place in The Hague (Netherlands).
Subject to the above provisions, the court will apply the arbitration rules of the United Nations Commission on Commercial Law (C.N.U.D.C.I.), 1976.
5. None of the Contracting Parties, a party to a dispute, shall raise any objection, at any stage of the arbitration proceedings or the execution of an arbitration award, as the investor, an opposing party to the dispute, would have received compensation covering all or part of its losses in the execution of an insurance policy or the guarantee provided for in Article 9 of this Agreement.
6. Arbitration awards will be final and binding for the parties to the dispute. Each Contracting Party undertakes to enforce the awards in accordance with its national legislation.
Article 13
Disputes between Contracting Parties
concerning the interpretation or application of this Agreement
1. Any dispute relating to the interpretation or execution of this Agreement shall be resolved, if possible, by diplomatic means.
2. If the dispute is not resolved by diplomatic means, the dispute shall be submitted to a joint commission composed of representatives of the two Parties; the Party shall meet at the request of the most diligent and without undue delay.
3. If the joint commission cannot resolve the dispute, the dispute shall be submitted, at the request of either Contracting Party, to an arbitral tribunal constituted, for each particular case, as follows:
Each Contracting Party shall designate an arbitrator within two months of the date on which one of the Contracting Parties has indicated to the other of its intention to submit the dispute to arbitration. Within two months of their designation, the two arbitrators shall jointly appoint a third-country national who shall serve as president of the arbitral tribunal.
If these deadlines have not been observed, one or the other Contracting Party shall invite the President of the International Court of Justice to make the necessary appointment or appointments.
If the President of the International Court of Justice is a national of either Contracting Party or of a State with which one or the other Contracting Party does not maintain diplomatic relations, or if, for another reason, the Vice-President of the International Court of Justice shall be invited to make the necessary appointment or appointments.
4. The court shall establish its own rules of procedure. Its decisions shall be taken by a majority vote; they shall be final and binding for Contracting Parties.
5. Each Contracting Party shall bear the costs associated with the designation of its arbitrator. The court may, however, stipulate in its decision that a greater portion of these costs will be borne by one of the two Contracting Parties and that decision will be mandatory for both Contracting Parties. The court will set its own procedural rules.
Article 14
Previous investments
This Agreement shall also apply to investments made prior to its entry into force by investors of one of the Contracting Parties in the territory of the other Contracting Party in accordance with the laws and regulations of the other Contracting Party.
Article 15
Entry into force and duration
1. This Agreement shall enter into force one month from the date on which the Contracting Parties have exchanged their instruments of ratification. It will remain in force for a period of ten years.
Unless one of the Contracting Parties denounces it at least six months before the expiry of its validity period, it will be automatically extended for a further ten-year period, each Contracting Party reserves the right to denounce it by a notification introduced at least six months before the expiration date of the current validity period.
2. Even in the event of denunciation of this Agreement in accordance with subsection (1) of this section, it will continue to apply to investments that are prior to the expiry date of this Agreement for a period of ten years from the expiration date.
In faith, the undersigned representatives, duly authorized to do so by their respective Governments, have signed this Agreement.
Done in Doha, on 6 November 2007, in two original copies, each in the French, Dutch, Arabic and English language, all texts being equally authentic. The English language text will prevail in the event of a discrepancy of interpretation.