If you want to start a company in Flanders, you must check whether you need an environmental permit. It depends on whether your company falls into category 1, 2 or 3 of the Flemish Environmental Permitting Regulations (VLAREM). For a category 1 or category 2 company an environmental permit is required. A category 3 company must only be reported. You must check yourself into which category your company falls.
The categories 1, 2 and 3 refer to the level of nuisance your company can possibly cause to man and the environment. The following factors play a role in the classification into a given category: size of storage, power of machinery and use of hazardous products or raw materials.
- Category 1 refers to companies having the highest nuisance level.
- Category 2 refers to companies causing less nuisance.
- Category 3 refers to companies with the lowest level of nuisance.
- For categories 1 and 2 an environmental permit is required.
- For category 3 you only need to report your company.
Figure out for yourself into which category your company falls on the basis of the most recent list of VLAREM 1.
The environmental permit differs according to the category your company falls into.
Does your company fall into category 1?
- Apply for an environmental permit with the Permanent Committee of the province where the operation will take place.
- The environmental permit is granted or refused within 4,5 months.
Does your company fall into category 2?
- Apply for an environmental permit with the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of the municipality where the operation will take place.
- The environmental permit is granted or refused within 3,5 months.
Does your company fall into category 3?
- You must only report this.
- Often you can find a model form for reporting a category 3 company on the website of your municipality.
If your environmental permit is refused, you can appeal against this decision.
- Category 1 companies can lodge an appeal with the Government of Flanders.
- Category 2 companies can lodge an appeal with the Permanent Committee of the province.
Flemish Environmental Permitting Regulations (VLAREM 1)
Milieuvergunningen (Environmental Licences Division)
Koning Albert II-laan 20 bus 8
Graaf de Ferrarisgebouw
Tel.: 02 553 79 97