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How can a diplomatic mission hire security agents?

It is common knowledge that most embassies or diplomatic missions require the use of security guards to ensure the security of their premises.

In our practice, we have noticed that some embassies employ such agents under conditions contrary to Belgian law.

Indeed, these are limited to directly hiring security agents under employment contracts without completing other formalities than those applicable to any hiring of local staff under salaried status.

However, under the law of 2 October 2017, regulating private and particular security, and its implementing decrees, the occupation of security agents shall only be carried out independently of the rules of labor law which must naturally be applied, in the two following ways:

  • Either by setting up an internal security service authorized by the Federal Authorities (SPF Intérieur); this service and the people who make it up must meet several legally defined conditions; it is important to note that this service must be implemented even if a single security guard is hired.
  • Or by using the services of an external security company also having the approval of the Federal Authorities (SPF Intérieur); the list of authorized security companies can be consulted free of charge on the website of the Federal Public Service Interior

Violation of these regulations is punishable by administrative penalties of up to EUR 25,000.00 in fines, or even greater sums in the event of a repeat offense.

We therefore recommend that diplomatic missions wishing to hire security personnel under the terms of an employment contract, call on a professional, who can guide them in setting up an internal security service approved by the Federal Authorities.

Meet the author

Alexandre BAHRAMI

Alexandre Bahrami has been registered with the Brussels Bar since 2001. He holds a master's degree in private law and a specialized higher studies diploma (DESS) in public and private law litigation.


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