European Foundation
for the Improvement of
Living and Working Conditions

The tripartite EU agency providing knowledge to assist
in the development of better social, employment and
work-related policies

COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch

Database of national-level responses

Eurofound's COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch collates information on the responses of government and social partners to the crisis, as well as gathering examples of company practices aimed at mitigating the social and economic impacts.

Factsheet for case BE-2020-24/970 – measures in Belgium

Temporary tax reduction in the HORECA sector

Tijdelijke btw-verlaging naar 6% in de horeca

Country Belgium , applies nationwide
Time period Temporary, 08 June 2020 – 31 December 2020
Type Legislations or other statutory regulations
Category Promoting the economic, labour market and social recovery
– Support for spending, stimulus packages
Author Dries Van Herreweghe (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) and Eurofound
Case created 13 July 2020 (updated 16 July 2020)

Background information

On 6 June 2020, the Council of Ministers approved a draft royal decree to reduce the VAT rate applicable to certain restaurant and catering services.

Despite the designation 'restaurant services', this also concerns the provision of nonfood drinks (if accompanied by a sufficient number of relevant additional services) in all possible on-trade outlets (cafés, taverns,...). This measure will apply to all permanent or temporary establishments providing restaurant or catering service

Content of measure

As a result of this Royal Decree, from the 8th of June 2020 until the 31st of December 2020 a reduced value added tax rate of 6% will apply to restaurant and catering services, excluding the supply of beers with an actual alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 0.5% as well as other beverages with an actual alcoholic strength by volume exceeding 1.2% by volume.

There will be no exceptions other than the alcoholic beverages mentioned above. This means that dishes with products that are even priced at 21% (caviar, crawfish, lobsters, crabs, oysters, ...) are also subject to the 6% VAT rate.

Use of measure

There is no registration of the uptake of the measure, given the general nature of the measure, it can be estimated that the majority of the sector can make use of it.

Target groups

Workers Businesses Citizens
Does not apply to workers Sector specific set of companies
Does not apply to citizens

Actors and funding

Actors Funding
National government
National funds

Social partners

Social partners' role in designing the measure and form of involvement:

Trade unions Employers' organisations
Role Unknown Unknown
Form Not applicable Not applicable

Social partners' role in the implementation, monitoring and assessment phase:

  • Unknown
  • Main level of involvement: N/A


No information is currently available on the concrete involvement of the social partners in the drafting of the measure.

Views and reactions

No public statements to be found on the specific measure. Employers organisations like Unizo are providing information and informative sessions to their members to explain clarify.

Sectors and occupations

    • Economic area Sector (NACE level 2)
      I - Accommodation And Food Service Activities I55 Accommodation
      I56 Food and beverage service activities

This case is not occupation-specific.



Eurofound (2020), Temporary tax reduction in the HORECA sector, case BE-2020-24/970 (measures in Belgium), COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch, Dublin,

Disclaimer: This information has not been subject to the full Eurofound evaluation, editorial and publication process. All information is preliminary and subject to change.