Posted the: 2004-07-20 Numac: 2004015112 Foreign Affairs, external trade and development COOPERATION FEDERAL PUBLIC SERVICE June 8, 2004. -Law approving the agreement between the Belgo Union and the Republic of Benin concerning the encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments, signed in Brussels on 18 May 2001 (1) (2) ALBERT II, King of the Belgians, has all, present and future, hi.
The Chambers have adopted and we endorse the following: Article 1. This Act regulates a matter referred to in article 77 of the Constitution.
S. 2. the agreement between the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union and the Republic of Benin concerning the encouragement and protecting reciprocal investments, signed in Brussels on 18 May 2001, will release its full and complete effect.
Promulgate this Act, order that it self under the seal of the State and published by le Moniteur.
Given to Brussels, June 8, 2004.
ALBERT by the King: the Minister of Foreign Affairs, L. MICHEL the Foreign Trade Minister, Ms. F. MOERMAN seen and sealed with the seal of the State: the Minister of Justice, Ms. L. ONKELINX _ Notes (1) Session 2003-2004.
Bill, filed January 28, 2004, no. 3 - 483/1.
Report, no. 3-483/2.
Discussion, meeting of March 9, 2004.
Vote, meeting of March 9, 2004.
Room Documents draft transmitted by the Senate, no. 51-947/1.
Text adopted in plenary meeting and submitted to the Royal assent, no. 51-947/2.
Parliamentary Annals Discussion, may 6, 2004 meeting.
Vote, may 6, 2004 meeting.
(2) see also the Decree of 4 April 2003 Flemish Region (Moniteur belge of 20 August 2003 - Ed. 1), the Decree of the Walloon Region of 13 November 2002 (Moniteur belge of 4 December 2002 - Ed. 2) and the order of the Brussels-Capital Region of 3 July 2003 (Moniteur belge of the July 2003 e9 - Ed 1).
Agreement between the Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union and the Republic of Benin concerning the encouragement and reciprocal investments the Government of the Kingdom of Belgium protection, acting in his name on behalf of the Government of Grand Duchy of Luxembourg under existing agreements, the Walloon Government, the Flemish Government and the Government of the Brussels-Capital Region, on the one hand, and the Government of the Republic of BENIN , on the other hand, (hereinafter referred to as the 'Contracting Parties');
Eager to strengthen their economic cooperation in creating favourable conditions for investments by nationals of one of the Contracting Parties in the territory of the other Contracting Party;
Have agreed as follows: ARTICLE 1 Definitions for the purposes of this agreement, 1. "investors" means: has) "national", i.e. any natural person who, under the laws of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Republic of Benin is considered as a citizen of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Republic of Benin respectively which makes investments in the territory of the State of the other Contracting Party in accordance with this agreement;
b) societies, i.e. any corporation incorporated under the laws of the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the Republic of Benin and having its registered office in the territory of the other Contracting Party, which makes investments in the territory of the State of the other Contracting Patier, in accordance with this agreement.
2. the term 'investment' means assets any and all direct or indirect contribution in cash, in kind or in services, invested or reinvested in all sectors of economic activity, whatever it is.
Are considered including, but not exclusively, as of the investments within the meaning of this agreement: a) movable and immovable property and any other real rights such as mortgages, privileges, liens, usufruct and similar rights;
b) shares, shares and other forms of equity, even minority or indirect, in the capital of companies formed in the territory of one of the Contracting Parties;
c) obligations, claims and rights to all benefits with economic value;
d) copyright, industrial property rights, technical processes, trade names and goodwill;
e) concessions from public or contractual law, particularly those relating to prospecting, cultivation, extraction or exploitation of natural resources.
No change in the legal form in which the assets and capital have been invested or reinvested will affect their investment quality within the meaning of this agreement.
3. the term "earnings" means the net amounts of taxes reported by investment and in particular, but not exclusively, profits, interest, increases in capital, dividends, royalties or compensation.
4. the term "territory" applies to the territory of the Kingdom of Belgium, to the territory of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and the territory of the Republic of Benin, as well as the maritime areas, i.e. the marine and submarine areas that extend beyond the territorial waters of the State and over which it exercises, in accordance with international law, sovereign rights and jurisdiction for the purpose of exploration exploitation and conservation of natural resources.
ARTICLE 2 Promotion of investment 1. Each of the Contracting Parties will encourage investment in its territory by investors of the other Contracting Party and admit such investments in accordance with its legislation.
2. in particular, each Contracting Party will allow the conclusion and execution of contracts and license agreements of commercial, administrative or technical, provided assistance that these activities have a report with the investments.
ARTICLE 3 Protection of investments 1. All direct or indirect investments made by investors of either of the Contracting Parties, shall enjoy on the territory of the other Contracting Party fair and equitable treatment.
2. subject to the measures necessary for the maintenance of public order, these investments will enjoy security and constant protection, excluding any unjustified or discriminatory measures that could obstruct the performance, in law or in fact, management, maintenance, use, enjoyment or the liquidation of such investments.
3. the processing and the protection defined in paragraphs 1 and 2 shall be at least equal to those enjoyed by investors of a third State and shall be, under no circumstances, less favourable than those recognized by international law.
4. However, such processing and such protection does extend not privileges that a Contracting Party shall accord to investors of a third State, under its participation or its association to a free trade area, a customs union, a common market or any other form of regional economic organization.
5. income investment and in the event of their reinvestment in accordance with the legislation of a Contracting Party, shall enjoy the same protection as the initial investment.
ARTICLE 4 measures custodial and restrictive property 1. Each of the Contracting Parties undertakes to take no action of expropriation or nationalization or any other measures whose effect is to deprive the investors of the other Contracting Party of investments which belong to them its territory directly or indirectly.
2. If for reasons of public utility, security or national interest warranted a derogation from paragraph 1, the following conditions shall be met: has) measures taken under a legal procedure;
(b) they are not discriminatory or contrary to a specific commitment;
(c) they will be accompanied by provisions for the payment of adequate and effective compensation.
3. the amount of compensation will correspond to the actual value of the investments concerned on the eve of the day where measures have been taken or made public.
Benefits will 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 delay and freely transferable. They shall bear interest at the normal commercial rate from the date of fixing their amount of their payment.
4. investors of one of the Contracting Parties whose investments have suffered damages due to war or other armed conflict, revolution, State of emergency national or revolt occurred in the territory of the other Contracting Party, will benefit, on the part of the latter, at least equal treatment to that accorded to the investors of the nation most favoured in what concerning refunds compensation, compensation, or other compensation.
5. to the matters governed by this article, each Contracting Party shall accord to investors of the other Contracting Party treatment at least equal to that which it reserves on its territory to investors of the most favoured nation.
This treatment is certainly not less favourable than that recognized by international law.
ARTICLE 5 transfers 1. Each Contracting Party shall accord to investors of the other Contracting Party the free transfer of payments relating to an investment, and in particular: a) of monies intended to establish, maintain or develop the investment;
for the regulation of contractual obligations, including money for the repayment of loans, royalties and other payments arising out of licenses, franchises, concessions and other similar rights, as well as the salaries of expatriate staff;
(c) income from investments;
d) of the proceeds of the total or partial liquidation of investments, including gains or increases the capital invested;
(e) compensation paid in pursuance of article 4.
2. the nationals of each of the Contracting Parties allowed to work as an investment in the territory of the other Contracting Party will also be allowed to transfer a proportion appropriate remuneration in their country of origin.
3. transfers will be made in freely convertible currency at the applicable at the date of these course to cash transactions in the currency used.
4 each Contracting Party shall issue authorisations necessary to ensure without delay the execution of transfers and this, without other charges as taxes and fees everyday.
5. the guarantees provided for by this article shall be at least equal to those accorded to investors of the most favoured nation.
ARTICLE 6 Subrogation 1. If one of the Contracting Parties or a public body thereof pays compensation to its own investors under a guarantee given in respect of an investment, the other Contracting Party will recognize that the rights of investors are transferred to the Contracting Party or the public body concerned, in their capacity as insurer.
2. as regards the rights transferred, the other Contracting Party may assert against the insurer subrogated in the rights of compensated investors, obligations that legally or contractually to the latter.
3 entirely different between a Contracting Party and the insurer of one investor of the other Contracting Party will be rule in accordance with the provisions of article 9 of this agreement.
ARTICLE 7 rules applicable where a question relating to investments is governed by this agreement and by the national law of one of the Contracting Parties or by international currently in force or contracted in the future agreements by the Parties, the investors of the other Contracting Party may avail itself of the provisions which are more favourable.
ARTICLE 8 special agreements 1.
Investments were the subject of a special 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 this particular agreement.
2. each Contracting Party undertakes to ensure compliance with the obligations it has assumed in the investors of the other Contracting Party at any time.
ARTICLE 9 settlement of disputes relating to investment 1. Any dispute relating to investments arising between an investor of one of the Contracting Parties and the other Contracting Party will be a written notification, accompanied by a sufficiently detailed notes, by the more diligent party.
Insofar as possible, the parties will attempt to settle the dispute by negotiation, possibly involving the specialized opinion of a third party, or by conciliation between the Parties through the diplomatic channel.
2 the absence of amicable settlement by direct arrangement between the parties to the dispute or by conciliation through diplomatic channels within six months of its notification, the dispute will be submitted, at the choice of the investor, either to the competent court of the State where the investment was made, or to international arbitration.
To this end, each of the Contracting Parties gives early and irrevocable consent that any dispute is subject to arbitration. This consent implies that they waive require exhaustion of internal judicial or administrative remedies.
3. in the event of recourse to international arbitration, the dispute will be submitted to one of the bodies of arbitration designated below, at the option of the investor:-to an arbitration tribunal ad hoc, established according to the rules of Arbitration Commission of the United Nations for the International trade law (UNCITRAL);
-at the international Centre for the settlement of disputes relating to investments (Repubic), created by "the Convention for the settlement of disputes relating to investments between States and nationals of other States", opened for signature at Washington, 18 March 1965, when each State party to this agreement will be a member of it. As long as this condition is not met, each Contracting Party agrees that the dispute be referred to arbitration under the rules of the additional facility of the Repubic;
-to the Court of arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, Paris;
-to the Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce.
If the arbitration procedure was introduced on the initiative of a Contracting Party, this writing prompt the investor concerned to express their choice regarding the arbitration body which shall be seised of the dispute.
4 none of the Contracting Parties, a party to a dispute, will raise objection, at any stage of the arbitration enforcement of an arbitration award, the fact that the investor party opposing to the dispute, would have received an indemnity covering all or part of its losses in pursuance of a policy of insurance or the guarantee laid down in article 6 of this agreement.
5. the arbitral tribunal shall decide on the basis of the domestic law of the contracting party party to the dispute on the territory of which the investment has been made, including the rules relating to conflict of laws, as well as on the basis of the provisions of this agreement, the terms of any specific agreement about investment and the principles of international law.
6. the arbitration award shall be final and binding for the parties to the dispute. Each Contracting Party undertakes to execute sentences in accordance with its national law.
ARTICLE 10 national treatment and most favoured nation for all matters relating to the treatment of foreign investment, the investors of each Contracting Party shall enjoy, in the territory of the other party, the most-favoured-nation treatment.
In regards to the operation, management, maintenance, use, enjoyment, sale or any other form of disposal of investment, each Contracting Party shall accord its territory to investors of the other Contracting Party treatment which will be no less favourable than that it accords to its own investors or to investors of any third State, if this treatment is more favourable.
Such treatment shall not extend to the privileges that a Contracting Party shall accord to investors of a third State, under its participation or its association to a free trade area, a customs union, a common market or any other form of regional economic organization.
The provisions of this article shall not apply to tax matters.
ARTICLE 11 disputes between the Contracting Parties concerning the interpretation or application of the present agreement 1. Any dispute concerning the interpretation or application of this agreement will be resolved, if possible, through the diplomatic channel.
2 the absence of regulation through diplomatic channels, the dispute will be submitted to a joint commission composed of representatives of the two Parties; It shall meet at the request of the most diligent party and without undue delay.
3. If the Joint Committee may settle the dispute, it shall be submitted, at the request of one or other of the Contracting Parties to an arbitral tribunal constituted for each individual case, as follows: each Contracting Party shall appoint an arbitrator within a period of two months from the date on which one of the Contracting Parties has expressed to the other of its intention to submit the dispute to arbitration. In the two months following their appointment, the two arbitrators shall appoint by common accord a national of a third State which will exercise the function of Chairman of the arbitral tribunal.
If these time limits are not observed, one or the other Contracting Party shall invite the President of the International Court of Justice to proceed with the appointment or appointments necessary (s).
If the President of the International Court of Justice is a national of another Contracting Party or of a State with which one or the other Contracting Party has no diplomatic relations, or if for any other reason, he is unable to perform this function, the Vice President of the International Court of Justice will be invited to proceed to the appointment or appointments necessary (s).
4. the tribunal thus constituted shall determine its own rules of procedure. Its decisions will be taken at the majority of votes; They shall be final and binding for the Contracting Parties.
5 each Contracting Party shall bear the costs related to the designation of the arbitrator. Disbursements inherent in the appointment of the third arbitrator and the costs of operation of the tribunal shall be borne equally by the Contracting Parties.
ARTICLE 12 previous investments this Agreement shall also apply to investments made prior to its entry into force by investors of one Contracting Party on the
territory of the other Contracting Party in accordance with the laws and regulations of the latter.
ARTICLE 13 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 shall remain in force for a period of ten years.
Unless one of the Contracting Parties denounces at least six months before the expiry of its period of validity, it will be every time be tacitly renewable for a further period of ten years, each Contracting Party reserves the right to denounce it by a notification introduced at least six months before the date of expiry of the current period.
2. the investments effected prior to the date of expiry of this agreement will be submitted for a period of ten years from this date.
In witness whereof, the representatives undersigned, duly authorized thereto by their respective Governments, have signed this agreement.
Done at Brussels, 18 May 2001, in two originals, each in French and Dutch, all texts being equally authentic. The French text shall prevail in case of conflict of interpretation.