Title XVI.
Supervision, enforcement and safety measures


Chapter I.
Area of application and definitions


Article 16.1.1. Translation not available

Article 16.1.2. Translation not available

Translation not available

Chapter II.
Policy and organisation


Section I.
Environmental enforcement policy


Article 16.2.1. Translation not available

Article 16.2.2. Translation not available

Article 16.2.3. Translation not available

Article 16.2.4. Translation not available

Article 16.2.5. Translation not available

Section II.
Flemish High Council for Environmental Enforcement

Translation not available

Article 16.2.6. Translation not available

Article 16.2.7. Translation not available

Article 16.2.8. Translation not available

Article 16.2.9. Translation not available

Article 16.2.10. Translation not available

Article 16.2.11. Translation not available

Chapter III.
Supervision


Section I.
Supervisors


Subsection I.
General provisions


Article 16.3.1. Translation not available

Article 16.3.2.

Only persons who have the required qualifications and characteristics to properly fulfil the task of supervision may be appointed as Supervisors. The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed conditions to be fulfilled by the Supervisors.

The Flemish Government may specify further provisions to be satisfied by the supervisors, including among others conditions relating to qualifications.


Article 16.3.3.

The Supervisors perform the task of supervision in an independent and a neutral manner.

They must be able to perform their task properly and must be provided with the necessary resources to this end.

They should not suffer a disadvantage due to the task that they perform as Supervisor.

The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed rules for this.


Article 16.3.4. Within the limits of the budget appropriations, the Flemish Government can subsidise the appointment of the Supervisors, stated in Article 16.3.1, 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, as well as provide assistance for the training and continued education of those Supervisors. The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed rules for this.

Article 16.3.4bis. Translation not available

Subsection II.
Municipal Supervisors and Inter-municipal Associations and Police Zone Supervisors

Translation not available

Article 16.3.5. Translation not available

Article 16.3.6. Translation not available

Article 16.3.7.

In the absence of the Supervisors appointed pursuant to Article 16.3.1, 1, 3, 4 en 5, ad interim Supervisors may be appointed for a maximum period of one year.

The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed rules for this.


Translation not available

Translation not available

Subsection III.
Regional Supervisors


Article 16.3.8. Translation not available

Section II.
Supervisory tasks


Article 16.3.9. Translation not available

Section III.
Supervision rights


Subsection I.
General provisions


Article 16.3.10.

The Supervisors have the following supervision rights while carrying out their supervisory tasks:

  1. right of access, stated in Article 16.3.12;
  2. right to inspect and take a copy of business data, stated in Article 16.3.13;
  3. right to investigate items, including the right to take samples, measurements, carry out tests and analyses, stated in Article 16.3.14;
  4. right to investigate the means of transport, stated in Article 16.3.17;
  5. right to receive support, stated in Article 16.3.18;
  6. right to make determinations by means of audiovisual resources, stated in Article 16.3.19;
  7. right to receive police assistance, stated in Article 16.3.21.
The Flemish Government determines the supervision rights to be exercised by each category of Supervisors.

Article 16.3.11. Supervisors only use their supervision rights insofar as that is considered reasonably useful for the fulfilment of their supervisory tasks.

Translation not available

Subsection II.
Right of access


Article 16.3.12.

Supervisors may always, without prior notice, freely enter any place and take with them the necessary material. They must respect the internal and external safety procedures while doing this.

However, they only have access to occupied rooms if they meet one of the following conditions:

  1. they have prior and written permission from the occupant;
  2. they have been authorised to do this, in advance and in writing, by the judge of the police court. In that case, the Supervisors only have access between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Subsection III.
Right to inspect and take a copy of business data


Article 16.3.13.

With a view to exercising the supervision rights, as referred to in Article 16.3.10, 1 to 5 inclusive, Supervisors may demand access to all business documents and other business data carriers as they consider necessary for carrying out this supervision. To this end, they may ask for those data carriers to be submitted to them at a location they specify.

They may ask for a copy of all business documents and other business data carriers to be provided to them free of charge or make a copy themselves. If copying is not possible, they may keep these data carriers or take these with them, against a written proof issued by them, for the period required to complete their task.


Subsection IV.
Right to investigate items


Article 16.3.14. Translation not available

Article 16.3.15.

The sampling, measurements or tests are carried out by the Supervisors or by laboratories or environmental experts certified for that purpose.

The analyses are carried out by the Supervisors or by laboratories certified for that purpose.

If accreditation is not held for a specific sampling, measurement, test or analysis, this sampling, measurement, test or analysis shall be carried out by the supervisors, or by the accredited laboratory, or in accordance with a reference measurement method or, where none exists, in accordance with a method accepted by the authority appointed to this task by the Flemish Government.


Article 16.3.16.

The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed rules related to the taking of samples, measurements, tests and analyses.

The Flemish Government can stipulate the rules for the certification of laboratories or environmental experts. They can also stipulate the conditions that must be met when using the certification.


Subsection V.
Right to investigate the means of transport


Article 16.3.17.

Supervisors may investigate or let others investigate the means of transport and the transported goods, as well as demand the right to inspect the legally required documents.

They may give orders to the drivers or the escorts. They may order the drivers or escorts to stop their vehicle free of charge and take it to a location they specify free of charge.


Subsection VI.
Right to receive support


Article 16.3.18. Translation not available

Subsection VII.
Right to make determinations by means of audiovisual resources


Article 16.3.19. Translation not available

Subsection VIII.
Right to receive assistance


Article 16.3.20. Everyone must provide all assistance that could be reasonably requested by the Supervisors while exercising their supervision rights within the period of time specified by them.

Article 16.3.21.

Supervisors may demand the assistance of the police while carrying out their supervisory tasks.

To make it possible to exercise their supervision right with regard to inspecting and taking a copy of business data, Supervisors may, with the assistance of the police, proceed to opening and making use of or letting others make use of the items if the following conditions are met:

  1. performing the supervisory task requires the exercise of the supervision right;
  2. the exercise of the supervision right is not possible in any other way;
  3. the person who has the use of the items in question does not give their permission for opening or using them.

Section IV.
Prevention and detection of environmental violations and environmental crimes


Subsection I.
Advice


Article 16.3.22. If Supervisors establish that an environmental violation or an environmental crime is imminent, they can give all the advice they deem useful to prevent that from occurring.

Subsection II.
Detection of environmental violations


Article 16.3.23. Translation not available

Translation not available

Subsection III.
Detection of environmental crimes


Article 16.3.24. Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 16.3.25. Translation not available

Article 16.3.26. When an environmental crime is detected, Supervisors may, for the purpose of providing proof, take all protective measures with regard to these issues for a maximum period of seventy-two hours. The Supervisors who have taken such protective measures immediately inform the Public Prosecutor of the court within whose area of jurisdiction the environmental crime has been committed.

Subsection IIIbis.
Identification


Article 16.3.26bis. Translation not available

Subsection IV.
Orders


Article 16.3.27. If, while carrying out their supervisory tasks, the Supervisors detect an environmental violation or environmental crime, they can order the suspected offender and possible other involved parties to take the necessary measures to end this environmental violation or environmental crime, wholly or partially rectify its consequences or prevent any recurrence of this.

Chapter IV.
Administrative enforcement


Section I.
General provisions


Article 16.4.1. The Supervisors retain their supervision rights during the administrative enforcement phase.

Article 16.4.2. Translation not available

Article 16.4.3. Administrative measures or administrative fines may only be imposed for offences that are in violation of the legal regulations that have been stipulated and have come into effect prior to those facts.

Article 16.4.4. In the event of the imposition of administrative measures or administrative fines, the persons stated in Article 16.4.6, as well as the regional entity stated in Article 16.4.25, ensure that there is no obvious disparity between the facts forming the basis of the administrative measures or administrative fines, and the measures or the fines imposed on the basis of those facts.

Section II.
Administrative measures

Translation not available

Subsection I.
Imposition


Article 16.4.5. Translation not available

Article 16.4.6. Translation not available

Article 16.4.7. Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 16.4.8.

In the cases stated in Article 16.4.7, 1, 1 and 2, administrative measures have an end date by which they must be carried out. In determining that implementation period, the time reasonably required to carry out the measures is taken into account.

If no end date is stipulated, the administrative measures must be carried out as soon as possible.


Translation not available

Article 16.4.9. The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed rules regarding the form and contents of the administrative measures.

Subsection II.
Procedure for the imposition of administrative measures

Translation not available

Article 16.4.10. Translation not available

Subsection III.
Withdrawal


Article 16.4.11. Translation not available

Article 16.4.12. The administrative measures, as appropriate stated in Article 16.4.7, 1, 1 or 2, describe the conditions for the withdrawal of the measures.

Article 16.4.13.

If the conditions stated in the administrative measures are fulfilled, the person who has taken the administrative measures can officially and in a reasoned manner withdraw these measures.

Exceptionally, that person can officially and in a reasoned manner withdraw the administrative measures as stated in Article 16.4.7, 1, 1 or 2 if the conditions imposed in the administrative measures have not been fulfilled. The Flemish Government can stipulate more detailed conditions in this respect. Reasoned and official withdrawal of administrative measures as stated in Article 16.4.7, 1, 1 or 2 is also possible if changed circumstances require the imposition of new administrative measures.


Article 16.4.14. Translation not available

Article 16.4.15. Translation not available

Subsection IV.
Implementation


Article 16.4.16. Translation not available

Subsection V.
Appeals

Translation not available

Article 16.4.17. Translation not available

Subsection VI.
Request for the imposition of administrative measures


Article 16.4.18. Translation not available

Translation not available

Translation not available

Translation not available

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Section III.
The Environmental Enforcement Board

Translation not available

Subsections I.
General provisions


[...].

Article 16.4.19. Translation not available

Translation not available

B.
Composition

Translation not available

Article 16.4.21. Translation not available

Article 16.4.22. Translation not available

C.
Functioning

Translation not available

Article 16.4.23. Translation not available

Article 16.4.24. Translation not available

Section IV.
Administrative fines


Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 16.4.26. Translation not available

Article 16.4.27. Translation not available

Article 16.4.28. Translation not available

Article 16.4.29. Translation not available

Article 16.4.30. Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 16.4.31. Translation not available

Article 16.4.32. Translation not available

Article 16.4.33. Translation not available

Article 16.4.34. Translation not available

Article 16.4.35. Translation not available

Article 16.4.36. Translation not available

Article 16.4.37. Translation not available

Article 16.4.38. Translation not available

Article 16.4.39. Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 16.4.40. Translation not available

Article 16.4.41. Translation not available

Article 16.4.42. Translation not available

Article 16.4.43. Translation not available

Article 16.4.44. Translation not available

Subsection V.
Appeal to the Environmental Enforcement Court

Translation not available

A.
Assistance and representation

Translation not available

Article 16.4.45. Translation not available

B.
Commencement of proceedings

Translation not available

Article 16.4.46. Translation not available

Article 16.4.47. Translation not available

Article 16.4.48. Translation not available

Article 16.4.49. Translation not available

C.
Periods

Translation not available

Article 16.4.50. Translation not available

D.
Composition of the dossier

Translation not available

Article 16.4.51. Translation not available

Article 16.4.52. Translation not available

Article 16.4.53. Translation not available

E.
Investigation

Translation not available

Article 16.4.54. Translation not available

Article 16.4.55. Translation not available

Article 16.4.56. Translation not available

Article 16.4.57. Translation not available

Article 16.4.58. Translation not available

Article 16.4.59. Translation not available

F.
Hearing and judgement

Translation not available

Article 16.4.60. Translation not available

Article 16.4.61. Translation not available

Article 16.4.62. Translation not available

Article 16.4.63. Translation not available

Article 16.4.64. Translation not available

Article 16.4.65. Translation not available

Chapter V.
Collection and recovery of due amounts


Article 16.5.1. Translation not available

Article 16.5.2. Translation not available

Translation not available

Article 16.5.3. Translation not available

Article 16.5.4. The civil servant, entrusted with the collection and recovery, also decides over the reasoned requests for deferment or distribution of payment submitted to him by the offender.

Chapter Vbis.
The tracking of environmental offences


Article 16.5.5. Translation not available

Article 16.5.6. The regional environmental tracking officials must be in possession of the required qualifications and qualities so as to ensure the proper implementation of their tracking powers.

Article 16.5.7. Translation not available

Article 16.5.8.

The regional environmental tracking officials shall carry proof of identity and show this immediately when requested to do so.

The Flemish Government shall determine who issues proof of identity, as well as its content and its form.


Article 16.5.9. Translation not available

Article 16.5.10. Translation not available

Article 16.5.11. Translation not available

Article 16.5.12. Translation not available

Chapter VI.
Criminal enforcement


Article 16.6.1. Translation not available

Article 16.6.2. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3bis. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3ter. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3quater. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3quinquies. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3sexies. Translation not available

Article 16.6.3septies. Translation not available

Article 16.6.4.

Whoever dumps waste materials in violation of the provisions of the Decree of 23 December 2011 on the sustainable management of material cycles and waste, is sentenced by the criminal judge to carry out the collection, transport and processing of those waste materials within a stipulated period.

While retaining the application of the provisions in the first paragraph, the sentenced person can be obliged to repay the costs for the collection, transport and processing of the waste materials by the municipality, by the Public Waste Agency of the Flemish Region or by the Flemish Region.


Article 16.6.5. After having heard the parties, the judge may, as a safety measure, ban the establishments that have committed the environmental crime from carrying on operations during the periods determined by him.

Article 16.6.6. Translation not available

Article 16.6.7. The authorised official may also request the remedial measures referred to in Article 16.6.6 before the court of first instance judging in civil matters in the legal district in which the environmental offence took place.

Article 16.6.8.

If the person required to carry out the remedial measures thus imposed has carried them out voluntarily, s/he shall notify the authorised official of this by registered letter or recorded delivery.

On receiving this notice, the authorised official will immediately verify the situation on site and draw up a report of the findings. The authorised official shall send a copy of this report to the person on whom the remedial measures were imposed.

The report of the findings shall serve as proof of remediation and establish the date of remediation.


Article 16.6.9. Translation not available

Article 16.6.10. Translation not available

Chapter VII.
Safety measures


Section I.
Basic provisions


Article 16.7.1. Translation not available

Article 16.7.2.

Safety measures can include, among other things:

  1. the termination or execution of operations, transactions or activities, immediately or within a specific period;
  2. the ban on the use of or the sealing of buildings, installations, machines, equipment, means of transport, containers, sites and all that is located in or on these;
  3. the complete or partial closure of an establishment;
  4. the taking away, storage or disposal of materials liable for this, including waste materials and animals;
  5. the keeping out or abandoning of specific areas, sites, buildings or roads.
Safety measures cannot be withdrawn if the risk in question has not yet been either eliminated, restricted to an acceptable level or stabilised.

Article 16.7.3. The order stipulating safety measures, which oblige one to undertake or abstain from an action, clearly describes the obligations that must be fulfilled.

Article 16.7.4.

Expenses incurred for the enforcement of safety measures are wholly or partially at the expense of the persons responsible for causing the significant risk.

The due amounts are collected and recovered in accordance with the provisions of Articles 16.5.1 to 16.5.4 inclusive.


Subsection II.
The procedure for adopting the safety measures with regard to persons responsible for the significant risk


Article 16.7.5.

1.

Safety measures are taken in writing. If an immediate action is required, safety measures may also be verbally taken.

2.

When safety measures are taken in writing, this is done through the notification of the order containing the safety measures.

3.

If safety measures are verbally taken and the persons responsible for the significant risk are not present, then a written notice is left on-site in a visible place.

By means of a written confirmation, the persons responsible for the significant risk are informed of the verbally taken safety measures within five working days after they have been taken. This written confirmation is done by means of a notification.

4.

The Flemish Government can stipulate that the written confirmation stated in 3, second paragraph and the order stated in 2 be distributed electronically. In that case, it stipulates more detailed conditions for this.

5.

The written confirmation stated in 3, second paragraph, and the order stated in 2, include at least:

  1. a description of the significant risk that makes it necessary to adopt safety measures;
  2. a description of the safety measures which are necessary and the possible implementation period.

6.

The Flemish Government can stipulate which authorities need to be informed regarding the safety measures taken, as well as the way in which this should be done.


Section III.
Withdrawal of safety measures


Article 16.7.6. Translation not available

Article 16.7.7. If the significant risk for which safety measures have been taken is eliminated or restricted to an acceptable level or is stabilised, then the person who has taken the safety measures may officially and in a reasoned manner withdraw these.

Article 16.7.8. Translation not available

Article 16.7.9.

The persons against whom safety measures have been taken are informed of the order for the official or reasonably requested withdrawal of safety measures within a period of ten days. This is done by means of a notification.

The period stated in the first paragraph starts on the day on which the order comes into effect.