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Remembered Today:

A heads up concerning rules and regulations. Ypres Salient tour guides


chrislock
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To any who feel this may apply:

Last week a local tour guide informed us that the Ypres town hall has decided to offer an invitation to all dedicated tour guides/companies operating in and around the town of Ypres to attend a town hall meeting in April. This being to confirm that all tour guides/companies are operating legally within local authority and possibly wider field jurisdiction in Belgium.

The following Legal requirements are currently in place with the police currently operating vehicle stop checks.

REQUIREMENTS

1/ VVB license is required from the local authority. ( Verhurden Van Voertuig Met Bestuurder ) *Renting a vehicle with a driver.

To achieve a VVB license, the following must firstly be secured and then included with your VVB license application form. (Town Hall )

Copy of Belgian/Resident's ID card. (Town Hall)

Attest of good behaviour/conduct (Town Hall)

The applicant must have higher education qualifications/proof - applicable to the business concerned. (Chamber of commerce)

Attest confirming no monies are owed to Social Insurance. ( Social Security)

Attest from local Income Tax Office confirming that monies are not owed in tax or revenue. (Tax/Revenue Office)

Proof of purchase/hire/lease of your tour vehicle. (Vehicle provider)

2/ BTV number. This must also be applied for. ( Tax/Revenue office )

This is only possible providing you have the necessary qualifications/skills considered for approval.

3/ Correct level of business vehicle/clients insurance. ( Insurance Company )

4/ TX plate or Taxi registration plate. This is not mandatory across the board however, it will apply to many and the rules which govern are complicated.

Legal advice should hence be sought when applying for company insurance. ( Insurance Company )

**All local guides/companies invited in April to attend a town hall meeting which will confirm what is legally required.

If required, further or confirming advice is best sought from the Ypres Town Hall, local Tax/Revenue Office and dedicated local Belgian insurance companies.

Rules, regulations and legislation have always been and still are very fluid in Belgium and hence the best advice is to periodically check with the above departments and offices for new amendments.

I hope the above is of benefit.

Best wishes

Chris.

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**All local guides/companies invited in April to attend a town hall meeting which will confirm what is legally required.

Chris - I haven't got an axe to grind here so please take this as a neutral observation.

The items in your post seem to relate to guides who are Belgian nationals and / or guides who reside in or operate from the area under the jurisdiction of the Ypres authorities. Is that correct or are you saying that these proposed or actual regulations (will) apply to all guides who come into the Ypres area and guide whilst there ? - ie a guide on a coach from Britain will be subject to these requirements - ditto a guide from elsewhere in the EU who is visiting Ypres with clients ?

If that's what you are reporting then I can imagine this contravening a whole raft of EU legislation from the dreaded "human rights" laws - looks a bit daft to me.

Tom

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Just for those of us who are registered as per Belgian ID card carrying rules who pay Belgian taxes and who are basically governed by local authority employment legislation. Phew!! Everyone else can relax and do their own EU thing I think....... :unsure:

Meanwhile in France............. :doh:

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Just for those of us who are registered as per Belgian ID card carrying rules who pay Belgian taxes and who are basically governed by local authority employment legislation. ...

In which case Chris it looks like a very unfair imposition upon guides who live "under the control of" the Ypres authorities. "You" will have to comply with all these regulations but a guide who is not a resident subject of the Ypres authorities can work in the area without having to comply with these rules.

When I first read your list in post #1 it struck me as more than a little daft. Now it looks downright crazy. Surely this is wide-open for a legal challenge ?

Tom

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It is good to see that the Belgium authorities have set the bar at a height that all local professional guides can get over. Nothing wrong with ensuring that the local guides are professional in every way.

In France, if you are not totally fluent in French (spoken and written) then, the bar has been set at such a height that they only expect French nationals to get over it.

Peter

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Peter,


How are you ?


As you know the regulations in France are... in French.

The exam to get the Passengers Transport Licence (mandatory to transport passengers in your car) is in French in France but you can pass the same exam in the UK in english, which is recognised in Europe and allows you to get the equivalence in France. I know that some of our colleagues have been to the UK to do it. But whatever the language is, this is a quite difficult exam.

You don't have to be fluent in French to work as a guide, otherwise there won't be many guides here !


See you next year,


Sly
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It is good to see that the Belgium authorities have set the bar at a height that all local professional guides can get over. Nothing wrong with ensuring that the local guides are professional in every way.

In France, if you are not totally fluent in French (spoken and written) then, the bar has been set at such a height that they only expect French nationals to get over it.

Peter

Knowing that the adjective relating to Belgium is Belgian should perhaps be part of the required 'knowledge' ... :whistle:

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Hi Sly,

We are well but, still awaiting consistent warmer weather down under. Mind you, Thursday is forecast at 40 degrees C and, then back down to low 20s.

All the very best to you for Christmas and, see you next year.

Hi Chris,

and, my very best you also. See you also, somewhere in Belgium (not Belgian).

Very best, Peter

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Knowing that the adjective relating to Belgium is Belgian should perhaps be part of the required 'knowledge' ... :whistle:

Probably using it in the sense that the Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy does - Belgium the only swear word universally accepted anywhere in the Galaxy as in "Oh Belgium man" or "that's totally Belgium" (don't blame me blame Douglas Adams.) Shows what hey think of the authorities "The Belgium authorities have created some total Belgium stupid rules"

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Such is life Tom but when in Rome..... :thumbsup:

Chris - are your dealings with the Belgian authorities in English or Dutch / Flemish ?

As you know the regulations in France are... in French. ....

Sly - same question really - can you ("one") comply with the French regulations using the English language ?

Tom

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Our docs files confirms all local government, town hall, tax revenue, insurance documents are offered and received in Dutch only!

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Tom,

In any case I would really reccommend to have an accountant: he's not only doing "accounting" but he also deals with all the official documents, forms, etc... you just have to sign. So you don't need to speak fluent french if he does it for you. And also in case of a control, it makes a big difference to have an accountant or not.

Sly

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Chris ~ Sly - the reason I ask is because I am an English speaker; my knowledge of French is limited (I'm famously "effluent" in French), and the Germanic languages are a mystery to me, beyond what I learned from "The Victor" (people speaking Germanic languages always sound to me as if they are about to invade somewhere :w00t: ).

Having said that, - although I know both French and Belgian people who speak excellent English, I don't know anybody whose first language is French or Belgian who gets anywhere near to understanding everyday nuances in English. Ditto with colloquialisms and slang. With very few exceptions guides who are guiding English speaking groups really need to be natural English speakers, - the same applying to guides who are leading French and Belgian groups of course (speaking their group's language as a first language).

This legislation and setting of standards by the continentals is all well and good, but it does little or nothing to promote good guiding at the sharp end - subject knowledge and the ability to communicate that knowledge.

Tom

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