Dematerialisation of securities: key dates. Does this affect you?

What is the law on dematerialisation?

  • It is the law of 14 December 2005 abolishing bearer securities. Since 2008, this law has prevented the physical issuance of bearer securities. The law means increased security but, above all, better control of the improper use of bearer securities and anonymity.


What's been happening since 2008?

  • Since 2008: The issue of new bearer securities has been impossible.

The legislature decided to apply a 1% tax on dematerialisation in 2012 and a 2% tax in 2013 to speed up the change. No decision has yet been taken regarding extending the tax (if need be, at a higher rate) in 2014.

  • In 2014: Bearer securities shall, depending on circumstances, be either converted into registered securities, or into dematerialised securities.
  • On 1 January 2015: In the case of securities with unknown owners, these will have to be sold (at auction) by the issuer. The proceeds of the sale will have to be deposited with the Deposit and Consignment Office (Caisse de Dépôts et Consignations/Deposito- en Consignatiekas).
  • On 1 January 2016: From 31 December 2015 onwards, a delay fine of 10% per year will be levied by the Deposit and Consignment Office, payable by the holder filing a claim.


Who should do what?

  • The company that has securities representing its share capital, which are bearer securities, must choose which position it will adopt:
  • either it decides to dematerialise its securities
  • or it decides to opt for registered securities or it does not choose, in which case, all bearer securities will automatically be converted into registered securities.
BNP Paribas Fortis offers its services to clients who would like to dematerialise their securities or convert them into registered securities.


Who is affected?

  • Only the SA (limited companies) and SCA (partnerships limited by shares) of a European company registered in Belgium or of a cooperative company which issues bearer bonds.
  • Having bearer securities in circulation
  • If you would like to find out more about the impact of this legislation on your company, please complete our questionnaire (pdf, FR).


How can we help?

  • We can provide an issuer account which will help you keep track of all your dematerialised securities.
  • You can find an example of a list of registered securities at


Need more information?

Abolition of bearer securities: what do you need to do? (pdf, FR) Dematerialisation in 3 stages (pdf, FR)Dematerialised or registered securities (pdf, FR)