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General rule

  • Not older than 30 years: Authorisation from concerned service required
  • Older than 30 years but not freely accessible due to legal restrictions, for example with regard to the protection of privacy and personal data: Authorisation from National Archivist or his/her representative and signed research declaration required.
  • Older than 30 years but without legal restrictions: freely accessible
Legal framework
  • Archives law of 24 June 1955 amended by the law of 6 May 2009
  • Law of 11 April 1994 about the publicity of the administration
  • Regulation (EU) 2016/679 of 27 April 2016 on data protection and law of 30 July 2018 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data

Specific rules

Registration offices

Remark: Since 1 May 2018, the mortgage registers and registration offices are merged in a single office titled Legal Security under the Administration of Legal Security in the Patrimonial Documentation department of the Federal Public Service Finance.

  • Older than 30 years but not older than 100 years:
    • The parties concerned or their rightful claimants must produce an authorisation issued by the Legal Security registrar from whose office the archives originate in order to obtain an excerpt or copy of these archives.
    • Every other requester must petition an authorisation from the Legal Security registrar and from the justice of the peace of the jurisdiction in which the registration office is located.
  • Older than 100 years: freely accessible
Legal framework
  • Art. 143 of the Estate Duty Code
  • Art. 236 of the Code of Registration Duties, Mortgage Duties and Court Fees
 

Mortgage registries

Remark: Since 1 May 2018, the mortgage registers and registration offices are merged in a single office titled Legal Security under the Administration of Legal Security in the Patrimonial Documentation department of the Federal Public Service Finance.

  • Freely accessible
Legal framework
  • Art. 127 of the Mortgages Law
 

Land registry

Remark: Since 1 January 2015, the land registry office is titled Administration Measurements and Assessments under the General Administration of Patrimonial Documentation of the Federal Public Service Finance.

  • Older than 30 years but not freely accessible due to legal restrictions, for example with regard to the protection of privacy and personal data: Authorisation from concerned land registry office director required
  • Older than 30 years but without legal restrictions: freely accessible
Legal framework
  • Art. 504 of the code of income taxes
  • Royal decree of 30 July 2018 about the creation and maintenance of the cadastral documentation and about the modalities for the deliverance  of cadastral map excerpts
 

VAT office, direct tax office and capital tax office

  • Older than 30 years but not older than 100 years:
    • Every person has the right to access the files about himself or herself.
    • For all other access requests the authorisation of the tax collector is required
  • Older than 100 years: freely accessible
Legal framework
  • Art. 60-63 of the Code of value added tax
 

Acquisition committees

Deeds: minutes - registered copies

  • Deeds older than 100 years may be accessed freely.
  • Access to deeds not older than 100 years and producing copies of them is only allowed for the persons directly concerned, their heirs or legal successors, or for persons like notaries for instance who act on behalf of the persons concerned, their heirs or legal successors. Third parties need prior authorisation from the Administrator-General of the General Administration of the Patrimony Documentation in order to access deeds not older than 100 years. Written requests may be addressed by postal letter (General Administration of the Patrimony, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 33 bte 56, 1030 Brussels) oder by e-mail to the administrator of the Patrimony Administration.

Repertories

  • Repertories older than 100 years may be accessed freely.
  • Access to repertories not older than 100 years is subject to prior authorisation by the Administrator-General of the General Administration of the Patrimony Documentation. Written requests may be addressed by postal letter (General Administration of the Patrimony, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 33 bte 56, 1030 Brussels) oder by e-mail to the administrator of the Patrimony Administration.

Other archive units (mainly files)

  • For security reasons, files about military domains and facilities, and about existing energy supply facilities cannot be publicly accessed under any circumstance.
  • Files older than 100 years may be accessed freely.
  • Access to files older than 30 years but not older than 100 years is subject to prior authorisation by the National Archivist or his or her representative. A research declaration must also be filled in and signed. Access to files not older than 30 years are subject prior authorisation from the Administrator-General of the General Administration of the Patrimony Documentation.” Written requests may be addressed by postal letter (General Administration of the Patrimony, Boulevard du Roi Albert II 33 bte 56, 1030 Brussels) oder by e-mail to the administrator of the Patrimony Administration.
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