Parking fines and inheritance rights: these are the changes from 1 September
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    Parking fines and inheritance rights: these are the changes from 1 September

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    The arrival of 1 September brings with it a number of legal and other changes: The amount of parking fines imposed by municipal authorities goes up from €55 to €58n for minor offences, and from €100 to €116 for more serious offences. At the same time, offences considered of the fourth degree – parking and stopping on a pedestrian crossing – will now no longer be treated at the municipal level, but be handled judicially.

    A new inheritance law, intended to allow a person more flexibility in deciding who his legacy is to go to, comes into force. For example, a person can bequeath up to one-half of his fortune to someone other than his or her children, regardless of how many they are in number. Until now, each child was reserved a share of the inheritance, even if the number of children meant there was little or nothing left to bequeath to other causes.

    All vehicles placed on the commercial market, including old-timers and vintage cars, will now have to pass the WLTP test for emissions standards before being allowed on the roads. The rule has been in place for all new vehicles since last September.

    Single-use plastic bags given away in shops are illegal from 1 September, with certain exceptions, including organically-sourced bags, which may be used for the packaging of loose fresh fruit and vegetables, as well as substantially liquid articles such as olives. The ban applies to thin bags of less than 50 microns in thickness, and applies everywhere goods are sold, including supermarkets, street stalls and pharmacies.

    Following a European directive, all halogen light-bulbs will be withdrawn from sale, in favour of lower-consumption LED bulbs.

    Alan Hope
    The Brussels Times