Joint (sub-)Committee no.:
226.00.00-00.00

Update: 18/06/2021
Valid from: 18/06/2021

For employees belonging to:

  • the branches of international trade, transport for hire or reward, transport auxiliaries and related services;
  • The industry of the ports;
  • the sector of undertakings carrying out purely logistical activities on behalf of third parties;
  • the sector of activity of undertakings performing removal services for hire or reward.

NSSO figures:

  • 200 contribution for white-collar workers: to the Fund of the Joint Committee for International Trade, Transport and Logistics Employees and for blue-collar workers: to the Fund for the Training of Labourers of the Additional Joint Committee of Labourers,
  • 121 for inland shipping,
  • 083 for freight transport, airport handling and cargo handling,
  • 084 contribution to the Fund of the Joint Committee for International Trade, Transport and Logistics Employees and undertakings performing removals for hire or reward.

The Royal Decree of 6 April 1995 on the establishment and determination of the name and competence of the Joint Committee for employees in international trade, transport and related industries was published in the Belgian Official Gazette on 27 April 1995.

This Royal Decree was amended by:

  • a Royal Decree of 7 May 2007 (B.S. 31 May 2007);
  • A R.D. of 10 July 2013 (B.S. of 22 July 2013);
  • A R.D. of 28 April 2014 (B.S. of 4 June 2014);
  • R.D. of 12 May 2021 (B.S. of 8 June 2021).

A. Competence - RD

Article 1.

§ A Joint Committee is hereby established, to be known as the "Joint Committee for Employees in International Trade, Transport and Logistics", which shall be responsible for the employees whose main activity is work and their employers:

  1. the branches of international trade, transport for hire or reward, transport auxiliaries and related services;

  2. the port industry, irrespective of whether they are located inside or outside the port areas as defined by the Joint Committee for Port Industries;

  3. the sector of undertakings which, both inside and outside port areas, carry out exclusively logistics activities for third parties.

Logistics activities shall mean the reception, storage, weighing, packing, labelling, preparation of orders, management of stocks or dispatch of raw materials, goods or products at the various stages of their economic cycle, without producing new semi-finished or finished raw materials, goods or products.

Third-party logistics means carrying out logistics activities for other natural or legal persons and on condition that the companies carrying out logistics activities on behalf of third parties do not at any time become the owners of the raw materials, goods or products concerned.
Companies which purchase raw materials, goods or products from affiliated companies of the group and sell those raw materials, goods or products to affiliated companies of the group shall be treated as companies carrying out logistics activities for third parties, in so far as those raw materials, goods or products are also the subject of logistics activities.

A group of affiliated companies is understood to mean those affiliated companies that also satisfy the conditions set out in Article 11, 1°, of the Law of 7 May 1999 on the Companies Code.
The Joint Committee for International Trade, Transport and Logistics shall not be competent for companies exclusively engaged in logistics activities on behalf of third parties and assimilated companies when these logistics activities form an inseparable part of a production or commercial activity for which these logistics activities are included in the competence of a specific Joint Committee.

§ By way of example, the following enterprises and activities are included in these industries and related services

  1. the commodity brokers, trade prospectors, commercial agents and commodity commissioners in the context of international trade;

  2. the international trading houses ;

  3. the shipping companies;

  4. the inland waterways transport undertakings;

  5. road haulage undertakings for hire or reward;

  6. the maritime offices;

  7. the ship's agents;

  8. the transport brokers, charterers and shipbrokers;

  9. the shipping agents;

  10. the transport commissioners;

  11. the forwarding agents and commission agents in transport;

  12. the toll agencies and customs agents;

  13. the delivery services and/or courier companies;

  14. undertakings organising, coordinating, processing data or information on transport activities;

  15. undertakings for the rental of containers, semi-trailers, rolling stock for the transport of goods, motor vehicles for road transport

  16. Pilotage, towing and salvage companies;

  17. sea, inland waterway and/or airship supply undertakings;

  18. companies, both inside and outside port areas, for stowing (loading and/or unloading goods);

  19. the damage controllers and adjusters;

  20. the experts in claims handling for goods, containers, barges, rolling stock for the transport of goods and/or ships;

  21. the goods controllers and/or inspectors;

  22. the ship classification societies;

  23. Nautical inspection undertakings;

  24. aircraft loading and/or unloading companies and related services;

  25. undertakings which perform removal operations on behalf of third parties.

§ 3. Does not fall within the competence of the Joint Committee for International Trade, Transport and Related Industries:

  1. the enterprises which, in the framework of their normal production or processing activities in Belgium, either buy and/or sell raw materials or goods abroad or import and/or export raw materials or goods;

  2. undertakings which, in respect of the raw materials, goods or services in which they engage primarily in international trade, are subject to another Joint Committee which is specifically responsible for this. (This exclusion does not apply to companies exclusively engaged in logistics activities on behalf of third parties and companies assimilated to those in the area of competence of the Joint Committee for International Trade, Transport and Logistics Employees, with the exception of companies falling within the competence of the Joint Committee for Chemical Industry Employees and the Joint Committee for Petroleum Industry and Trade Employees);

  3. the principal workers who come under the authority of (the Joint Committee for employees in the chemical industry), the Joint Committee for employees in the petroleum industry and trade, the Joint Committee for the port industry, the Joint Committee for the hotel industry or the Joint Committee for commercial aviation;

  4. sailing personnel and personnel working on board ships during their presence in a port located on Belgian territory, both falling under the competence of the Joint Committee for Merchant Shipping;

  5. travel agents and tour operators;

  6. undertakings which, in the field of petroleum products and/or derivatives, are responsible solely for the transport on behalf of third parties, including the transport of the product from one loading point to another on the instructions of the principal, without the undertaking ever carrying out any financial or commercial activity in relation to that product.

Art. 2 to 6

(…..)

B. CLA of 13 September 2007

A special collective bargaining agreement of 13 September 2007 was concluded in the PC. 226. This CLA was filed with the Collective Labour Relations Department and registered on 9 October 2007 under number 85113/CO/226.

Article 1

This special collective agreement applies to the employers and the employees of the companies that fall for the first time under the competence of the Joint Committee for employees in international trade, transport and logistics as of 10 June 2007, the competence and name of which have been modified by the Royal Decree of 7 May 2007, published in the Belgian Official Gazette of 31 May 2007.

Article 2

All collective labour agreements concluded within the Joint Committee for Employees in International Trade, Transport and Related Industries which are still in force on 10 June 2007 shall apply as from that date to the companies referred to in Article 1.

Article 3

This collective labour agreement takes effect on 10 June 2007 and is concluded for an indefinite period. Each of the signatory parties may terminate it subject to six months' notice. The termination shall be notified by registered letter to the President of the Joint Committee for International Trade, Transport and Logistics Employees and to each of the signatory parties and shall take effect on the third working day following the date of sending.

C. Comment

General

Joint Committee 226 has been responsible for companies exclusively engaged in logistics activities since 10 June 2007.

The Joint Committee is competent for

  1. the branches of international trade, transport for hire or reward, transport auxiliaries and related services;
  2. the port industry, irrespective of whether they are located inside or outside the port areas as defined by the Joint Committee for Port Industries;
  3. the sector of undertakings which, both inside and outside port areas, carry out exclusively logistics activities for third parties.

§ Some terms

A number of concepts are important here:

Logistics activities are reception, storage, weighing, packaging, labelling, preparation of orders, management of stocks or dispatch of raw materials, goods or products at the various stages of their economic cycle. No new semi-finished or finished raw materials, goods or products may be created. In this case, it is not the logistics sector that is competent, but the competent production sector.

On behalf of third parties shall be understood to include the performance of logistical activities for other natural or legal persons and on condition that the undertakings performing logistical activities on behalf of third parties do not at any time become the owners of the raw materials, goods or products concerned.

§ Principle: an exclusive joint committee for logistics

The distinction between distribution company - production/commercial company

Logistics activities occur at all stages of the chain between the producer and the user or consumer. Furthermore, any enterprise that produces or trades goods will store them in warehouses awaiting processing or delivery. Here lies the distinction between logistics as part of the business activity (business function) and as an independent economic activity (business activity).

An enterprise that stores its own goods for processing or trading is not a distribution enterprise but a production or trading enterprise.

When an undertaking carries out the distribution of goods on behalf of third parties, the nature of this activity changes. The enterprise now makes its know-how in goods handling available in return for payment, i.e. it becomes a service enterprise. These undertakings perform a specific economic activity and are competitors. We then speak of a distribution company or a service company.

Logistics activities can be carried out by these two types of undertakings, namely service undertakings and trading undertakings. Service undertakings store and distribute goods on behalf of third parties without becoming the owner of the goods. Trading companies, on the other hand, become the owners of the goods stored and deliver them after sale. This does not take into account that the customers are companies belonging to the same group or multinational. The company receives an economic consideration for the sale of the products and not for the provision of services.

On the basis of the previous scheme, these service companies were covered for their employees by a specific joint committee if it was responsible for logistics activities or, otherwise, by the Joint Committee for Employees in International Trade, Transport and Related Industries.

For the trading companies, the white-collar workers were also covered by a specific Joint Committee if this was competent for the trade, and otherwise by the Supplementary Joint Committee for Labourers and the Supplementary National Joint Committee for Clerical Staff.

In practice, this tangle of joint industrial committees for different distribution centres led to legal uncertainty. Not only did they fall under different joint labour committees while in fact performing the same activities, but some companies also had to change joint labour committees regularly, depending on their 'stock'.

The principle: distribution companies are covered by PC 226

This residual character of PC 226 is now abolished. From now on, purely logistics companies (service companies or distribution companies) always fall under the jurisdiction of the expanded PC 226.

An enterprise that stores its own goods for processing or trading is not a distribution enterprise, but a production or trading enterprise. In this case, logistics is part of the business activity and not an independent economic activity. The competent joint committee is then determined by the specific product in which the enterprise trades.

The assimilation: commercial enterprise and still under PC 226

Logistics activities which operate within a group of companies and which do become owners of the goods they handle are treated as logistics companies. A condition is that the raw materials, goods or products are purchased from affiliated companies and that these raw materials, goods or products are also sold to affiliated companies, and in so far as these raw materials, goods or products are the subject of these logistics activities.

According to the King, this assimilation is justified by the fact that, sensu stricto, these companies carry out a wholesale activity, but are not really traders as they do not determine their selling prices and profit margins themselves, do not have a sales organisation and have a limited and predefined clientele. Their activities have the same purpose as those of logistics companies. In order to clearly distinguish these companies from genuine wholesale companies, it is provided that they must be part of a group of affiliated companies that meet the conditions set out in Article 11, 1st of the Law of 7 May 1999 on the Companies Code.

Although such a group of associated companies need not be international in character, in practice it usually is.

§ Excluded activities

The Joint Committee for Transport and Logistics shall not be competent in respect of undertakings exclusively engaged in logistics activities on behalf of third parties, and undertakings treated as such, if those logistics activities an inseparable part constitute a production or commercial activity where these logistical activities are included in the competence of a specific joint committee.

The King is of the opinion that in order to promote the collection of labour relations, it is appropriate for enterprises and communities of employees that form a social and organisational unit to belong to the same joint committee. In fact, this refers to the concept of 'technical business unit', as defined by the Business Organisation Act of 1948 and given shape in case law.

When the logistics activities are part of such a technical business unit, they follow the PC of the main activity of the enterprise. Companies that form a social and economic unit must therefore belong to the same PC and thus apply the same minimum wage and working conditions.

A number of sectors are also expressly excluded. More specifically, this concerns the Joint Committee for the Chemical Industry (PC 207), the Joint Committee for the Petroleum Industry and Petroleum Trade (PC 211), the Joint Committee for the Port Industry (PC 301), the Joint Committee for the Hotel Industry (PC 302) and the Joint Committee for Commercial Aviation (PC 315).

§ Summary: PC 226 for white-collar workers in international trade, transport and logistics.

Logistics activities

All companies which, both inside and outside the port areas, carry out exclusively logistical activities on behalf of third parties and do not form an inseparable part of a production or commercial activity, fall under PC 226.

Activities other than logistics

All companies whose main activity is in the following industries fall under PC 226:

  • the branches of international trade, transport for hire or reward, transport auxiliaries and related services
  • the sector of the ports, regardless of whether these undertakings are located inside or outside the port areas, as defined in the area of the joint committee for the port industry

Excluded sectors

The following sectors are expressly excluded:

  • the joint committee for the chemical industry (PC 207)
  • the joint committee for the petroleum industry and trade (PC 211)
  • the joint committee for port industries (PC 301)
  • the joint committee for the hotel industry (PC 302)
  • the Joint Committee for Commercial Aviation (PC 315).