The Commercial Court in Brussels has declared that Uberpop is an illegal service, and ordered that Uber conform to Brussels legislation within 21 days, to avoid a 10,000-euro fine per violation, up to a limit of 1 million euros. Uber immediately announced it would appeal the sentence.
“We have yet to read the verdict, but we will probably appeal. In the meantime, our other Brussels transportation network, UberX, will remain active,” revealed Susanne Elias-Stulemeijer, communications officer at Uber.
Filip Nuytemans, Uber Belgium CEO, points out the repercussions this will have on his clients: “We are analysing the ruling which will negatively affect our partners using the Uber platform, as well as the tens of thousands of Brussels residents using Uber to travel around the capital (…). Our professional service UberX is not included in the ruling and will continue unchanged. We insist Brussels residents should be allowed to choose how they travel.” “The government is currently working on an update of the legislation on which today’s sentence is based – pre-smartphone legislation. We hope Minister-President Rudi Vervoort and his government will prioritise this legislative update so that Uber can contribute to the reduction of traffic in one of Europe’s most congested cities,” adds Mr. Nuytemans.
Uber launched a car/limousine service with professional drivers, UberX, in Brussels early in September. The company maintains this service is absolutely legal.
The French-speaking department of the Commercial Court in Brussels had previously ruled that Uber should cease its car-sharing activities in April 2014. This sentence followed an accusation by Les Taxis Verts. The American firm appealed the ruling and asked for the file to be transferred to the Flemish-speaking department of the Commercial Court in Brussels.