Public Belgium Author: Kristina Dosen
In the Wallonia region of Belgium, customers in shops are no longer automatically handed paper receipts; instead, they must actively request one. While this may seem like a small change, it carries significant environmental implications. Under the Walloon decree, merchants are now required to print receipts only upon customer request.

Fiscal subject related

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Content accuracy validation date: 22.09.2023
Content accuracy validation time: 12:35h


Comeos, the Belgian Federation of Trade and Services, supports the measure as a positive step in the right direction for achieving a more healthy environment and reducing paper waste. However, it calls for a unified national approach, given that many retailers operate across all three regions of Belgium and not just Wallonia. They also emphasize the need for a transitional period of at least 12 months to implement this change effectively. However, the precise transitional period hasn’t been adopted yet.

In shops in Wallonia, a paper receipt will no longer be the standard, the office of Walloon Environment Minister Tellier confirmed. Customers can still get the receipt; however, if they ask for it, they will receive it, but not automatically. Shops are required to allow customers to receive the ticket receipt via email or SMS.

Paper receipts will thus no longer be automatically printed by sellers in this region. There are exceptions, according to legal provisions laid down at the federal level. The receipt must still be printed in hotels, restaurants, the catering sector (HoReCa), car washes, and for products with a legal guarantee period.

The Walloon government also scheduled that there would be a transition period to allow businesses to comply, but the minister's office specifies that the end of the transition period is still under discussion with the industry.

Initially, there will be no strict enforcement or penalties for non-compliance, although some exceptions exist, such as the current requirement to print receipts in areas like the hotel sector, restaurants, and car washes for tax purposes. While Wallonia's new policy to reduce paper receipts is a commendable step toward environmental conservation, it also sends the message to customers to become mindful of their receipt requests, opting for the greener choice if possible.



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