The environmental permit

Last modified:

Friday 10 September 2021

What is an environmental permit?

An environmental permit is an administrative licence which imposes on self-employed individuals, sole traders, small-scale craft companies or industrial companies measures to take to ensure its activities are not harmful to the environment, health or safety.

An environmental permit is very often required even if you believe that your activities, machines or products do not cause pollution. Search the complete list of installations subject to an environmental permit or via the list of activity sectors.

Looking for information about existing environmental permits for your property, see the map made available by Brussels Environment or send them a request.

The environmental permit explained (FR)

Be aware

  • Selected land or property must always be covered by a planning permit corresponding to your activities. One single reliable place to check this: the town’s urban planning department. Don’t settle for information provided by the owner, estate agent or former operator! For many projects, you will need to apply for a new planning permit and comply with the provisions of land use plans).

  • Submit your permit applications as soon as you have decided on the address of the premises. Plan ahead because you will need to factor in the time it takes to prepare your file and the length of the permit application procedure! You cannot start operating until you have obtained the necessary permits.

  • If you have not obtained your permit, it is ill-advised to sign a commercial lease agreement, a sales agreement, etc. Useful tip: insert a suspension clause in these documents so they only enter into force when the permits are issued.

Apply for an environmental permit

Installations subject to environmental permits are divided into six classes depending on their nature and the extent of the danger they may cause.

In general only one application for an environmental permit (class 1A, 1B, 1D or 2) or a single declaration (1C or 3) is submitted, knowing that the most dangerous installation defines the class. Brussels Environment offers a practical guide(FR) that will help you to prepare your application, to submit your file to the appropriate competent authority (the municipality or Brussels Environment), to know the steps of the procedure specific to your type of application.

Special cases with regard to procedure

Do you need more information about environmental permits?

See Brussels Environment’s practical guide (French or Dutch)

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