Belgian shops may no longer refuse cash payments

Belgian shops may no longer refuse cash payments
Credit: Belga / Siska Gremmelprez

Shopowners and businesses in Belgium will soon be obliged to accept cash payments in addition to cash, after the Federal Government approved the measure on Thursday evening.

As the number of places where clients can no longer pay with cash and the number of complaints about this phenomenon is on the rise, the Federal Government approved a bill to require shopkeepers to accept cash as well.

The current rules around paying with cash are based on European case law, but to punish infringements against the rules, a Belgian law was also needed. From now on, the economic inspection will be able to intervene and sanction shopkeepers if they are caught refusing cash payments twice.

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For self-employed people's organisation Unizo, the new law is a "bullying measure that only costs time and money," they said in a press release. "The Government wants to solve a problem that doesn't exist."

"The 6% of entrepreneurs who now work cashless, because their customers simply do not demand cash, must adapt. Yet again, these are additional regulations costing money and time, while things were going perfectly well for those working without cash," said Unizo's delegate director Danny Van Assche.

As of July 2022, shops that previously only took cash payments were also obliged to start offering an electronic form, such as with a bank card or via smartphone.

The new law must first be published in the Belgian Official Gazette before taking effect.

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