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Saint-Josse begins impounding foreign-registered cars

21:16 06/08/2023

The Brussels commune of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode has impounded about 10 cars with foreign registration plates in the past week.

The alderman responsible for street parking, Philippe Boiteke, said the move was to send a clear signal to the vehicle's owners, forcing them to identify themselves at the municipality.

“If you live in Belgium permanently, your car must also be registered in Belgium, otherwise, it's impossible to punish an owner who doesn't pay for parking,” Boiteke said.

“We are targeting cars that are present on a regular basis in the municipality and that our officers have clearly identified. Cars belonging to tourists or visitors are obviously not targeted.”

An estimated 10% of parking spaces in Saint-Josse-ten-Noode are taken up by cars with foreign plates, according to Boiteke.

“For vehicles registered abroad, we currently have no means of exerting pressure to recover the sums owed by people who have not paid their parking fees – there are only reciprocal agreements with France and the Netherlands,” said a spokesperson for regional parking agency

“Parking is enforced differently in other countries and it's very complicated for an agency like ours to call on the courts or the police in a foreign country to start a recovery procedure.”

The parking agency's new management contract for the years 2022-2025 provides for the introduction of a system that will enable vehicles that fail to comply with the parking rules to be ticketed.

But for this to happen, according to, each municipality that has entrusted the agency with the management of its parking needs to adopt a municipal byelaw authorising us to impound foreign cars, which is not always the case.

Written by Helen Lyons



Too much fuss about parking, but haven't heard anything about whether all those foreign cars permanently circulating in Brussels for weeks or months, even have valid insurance coverage that would actually deliver in case of an accident.
For example, does anyone realistically believe that an insurance company in war-struck Ukraine would be capable of reimbursing for an accident caused by a Ukraine registered car in Belgium?
They have war over there, maybe the insurance agents are enlisted, maybe the poor souls have been killed in action, maybe the company has been bombed out of existence.
I hope that our politicians have worked out some kind of coverage scheme for this type of cases. If not, they should, yesterday!

Aug 7, 2023 10:36