General terms and conditions of sale of the BELGIAN CONFLICT MANAGEMENT CENTRE (CEBEGECO), trade name of BUSINESS ASSISTANCE SPRL
Registered office : Avenue Ecolys, 2 à 5020 Namur (Suarlée), Belgique
Enterprise Number (B.C.E.) : 0884.703.742
Telephone: + 32 474 324 128
1. Scope and definitions
The present general terms and conditions of sale shall apply to all orders placed by the Client with the Belgian Conflict Management Centre (thereafter referred to as CEBEGECO) with regard to an amicable settlement of disputes, including any and all accessory service provision or orders placed « on-line » (meaning through the www.cebegeco.be website).
These general terms and conditions of sales shall apply to the Belgian territory as well as to any foreign territory.
They are, whenever necessary, supplemented by special conditions specified between the parties. In case of discrepancies or inconsistencies between the general terms and conditions and the special conditions, the latter shall prevail over the present general terms and conditions.
The Client is defined as the person validly representing a legal person or its natural person or a consumer in the sense of Article I.1,2°of the Code of Economic law and indicating its agreement on the purchase order, offer or service contract issued by CEBEGECO.
Unless proved otherwise, the Client acknowledges having received and read a copy of the present general terms and conditions of sale.
Where the contract is concluded on-line (meaning through electronic means), the Client acknowledges having read and accepted the present general terms and conditions when it ticks the box stating « I have read and accepted the general terms and conditions of sale of CEBEGECO».
If one of the provisions of the general terms and conditions was to be declared inapplicable or invalidated for one reason or another, this inapplicability or invalidity shall not affect the application or validity of the other provisions of the general terms and conditions.
These general terms and conditions of sale shall be the only ones applicable, thus excluding any general and specific terms and conditions of purchase of the Client.
The mere fact that CEBEGECO does not avail itself at one time or another of the present general terms and conditions of sale shall not be construed as amounting to a waiver of the right to rely subsequently upon the said terms and conditions.
CEBEGECO reserves the right to modify its general terms and conditions at any time. The terms and conditions applicable to the order are those listed on the website at the time of the conclusion of the contract. The present terms and conditions may be printed or downloaded by the Client when it places its order on-line.
2. Preliminary remark
CEBEGECO offers, amongst others, mediation and dispute resolution services that are available on-line by means of a video conference system. The objective pursued is to allow an easier implementation of the chosen process for example in cross-border disputes where the physical distance between the parties is important.
To this end, a personal, secure and confidential space will be made available to the Client on the CEBEGECO platform.
This custom interface will collect all information related to the Client as well as its personal data. It will also be able to contain documents necessary for the debates and exchanges.
3. Offer, order and service contract
The arbitration agreement, the mediation protocol and the contract for the management of the dossier express the consent of the Client in an irrevocable manner.
These documents describe, as a minimum and definitively, the service (details and services covered, practical implementing measures, payment terms, etc.).
Acceptance, through the signature of the Client, constitutes a contract.
Where the contract is concluded on-line, the order takes place by filling out clearly, completely and exactly, according to the steps described, the required fields of the on-line order form. The concluded contract is archived by CEBEGECO and is not accessible by the Client with the exception of what is provided by Article 10 of the present general terms and conditions.
A process as “auto-completion” or “mask” is used in order to identify and correct mistakes that have been made when entering data.
4. Alternative dispute resolution mechanisms
CEBEGECO (Belgian Conflict Management Centre) offers services concerning alternative dispute resolution mechanisms (ADR).
Mediation is « a dispute resolution mechanism by which an impartial mediator intercedes with the parties in order to assist them in negotiating a fair agreement subject to their free and informed consent. In the end, mediation is a communication technique, a means of re-establishing the dialogue between the parties or persons who do not - or no longer - manage, for a variety of reasons, to resolve their differences alone, while realising that it is way more profitable for them to search for an amicable settlement rather than having a third party, a judge or an arbitrator dictate a solution to them » (La médiation civile et commerciale - actes du colloque du 21 janvier 2000, translated from French into English).
CEBEGECO practices mediation in civil, commercial, social and family matters.
Mediation can be judicial (ordered by a judge), voluntary (freely decided by the parties with the intervention of a certified mediator) or independent (where the mediator is not certified by the Federal Mediation Commission).
4.2. Interest-based negotiation
This process does not aim at ensuring that each of the parties involved obtains the complete satisfaction of its claims but rather focuses on common interests in order to reach a rational agreement based on objective and verifiable criteria.
The aim of the interest-based negotiation is therefore to search for a compromise, an agreement based on the interests of both parties without focusing on their positions (primary claims) while collectively exploring possible solutions (options that could bring mutual benefit to the parties and satisfy their needs).
The negotiation will deal separately with the personal issues (relational dimensions) and with the mains issues of the discussions (the rational problem).
Arbitration is another dispute resolution mechanism by which the parties agree to submit their dispute to an arbitral tribunal composed of one or three persons. On the basis of the claims of the parties, this tribunal gives a decision, an arbitration award, which has binding powers.
If necessary, the execution of this award may be subject to a forced execution.
Transaction is an agreement by the parties to put an end to a dispute that has arisen or will arise by making mutual concessions. A transaction has the authority of res judicata between the parties.
5. Means of executing the on-line mediation
The client may register through the personal space on the www.cebegeco.be website or may directly contact CEBEGECO by e-mail or by telephone. The latter then provides all useful information about the opportunity to start an on-line mediation process and how it takes place.
Stage 1 :
The client submits its application using the on-line form by clearly, completely and exactly filling it out according to the steps described in it.
Once registered, the Client has access to the on-line payment module.
It then completes its application by transferring the amount required to its electronic wallet.
After confirmation of the order, a mediator certified by the Federal Mediation Commission is assigned to the case.
The latter contacts the party(-ies) and invite it(them) to attend a first information meeting by video conference. Each party is free to accept the process or not.
Stage 2 :
The information meeting is scheduled after the registration of all parties on the CEBEGECO website and when the electronic wallet of each party has been credited with the minimum amount required, the cost of the meeting being charged prior to it.
At the end of this information meeting, the parties may choose to begin the mediation process or not. If the parties decide to begin the mediation process, a mediation protocol is signed by them as well as by the certified mediator in accordance with Article 1731 of the Judicial Code. (Protocols: professional / individual).
The mediator will take care of sending an original and signed document to each of the parties. A scanned version will also be sent by e-mail to those interested or will be posted in the personal space.
Stage 3 :
The first session can then be fixed. Each on-line mediation session lasts 1 hour. The parties are the ones bearing the costs of the session according to the rate established in the mediation protocol.
The rate includes the value added tax (except for family mediation which is exempt from VAT).
The amount of the fees of the mediator will be charged from the electronic wallet of each of the parties prior to the session. The number of sessions cannot be determined in advance. It is the parties who establish their own agenda based on the availability of the mediator and the frequency of the sessions.
Stage 4 :
After completion of the process, the mediator may, at the request of the parties, draft a mediation agreement for a fixed amount that will be determined by mutual agreement (the cost varies depending on the complexity of the dispute at hand). This amount will be charged from the electronic wallet of the Client prior to the drafting.
Stage 5 :
If necessary, the agreement reached by the parties can be certified by a judge.
6. Obligations of the Client
When a meeting has been scheduled, if there is a change in the date of the execution of the services or a cancellation, the Client shall inform CEBEGECO by e-mail at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of the session. If the Client fails to do so, the amount corresponding to the services not cancelled will remain due, that is, payable ipso jure and without any further formalities.
Reciprocity clause for the consumers : if CEBEGECO is unable to provide its services as agreed with the Clients (except in unforeseeable circumstances or force majeure) and if the meeting is not canceled by the mediator 24 hours beforehand, CEBEGECO shall be required to propose to the Client a new date within eight (8) days as well as a reduction of 50 % on the amount of the session.
When using the video conference system, the Client shall take all necessary steps to ensure the neutrality of the location. This neutrality may, for instance, be ensured by placing the computer in front of a neutral background (ideally a wall).
It is expected from the Client to behave respectfully (courteous language, etc.).
Where the Client undertakes an on-line mediation procedure, it shall imperatively have a high-speed internet connection, a webcam and connect the latter at each of the mediation sessions, including the information meeting.
There will be no session without the video.
7. Right of withdrawal
Where the Client is a consumer, the latter has a right of withdrawal of fourteen (14) days as prescribed in Article VI. 47 of the Code of Economic law.
In this case, no services may be provided during the fourteen (14) days period. If the consumer wishes that services be provided before expiry of the fourteen (14) days period, it needs to make an express and written request to CEBEGECO. If the consumer decides to make use of its right of withdrawal after that some services have been provided, it shall be liable to pay a compensation proportional to the services that have been provided by CEBEGECO prior to the use of this right and in accordance with Article VI. 51 of the Code of Economic law.
In order to exercise its right of withdrawal, the consumer may use the form available on the website of CEBEGECO at the following address www.cebegeco.be or may make a clearly worded statement explaining its decision to withdraw from the contract established by CEBEGECO.
8. Rates and payment terms
The rates are for services provided in Belgium excluding the value added tax and other charges (secretariat, cost of travel, etc.).
The rates vary depending if the Client is a consumer or a professional but also depending on the subject areas and the type of resolution mechanism chosen.
The services provided with regard to family mediation are exempt from V.A.T. under Article 44, §2, 5° of the Belgian V.A.T. Code.
Where there is a dispute between and individual and a company, the rates for companies shall apply.
In the context of a co-mediation involving two mediators or a mediator and an expert, an additional charge of 50 % shall be asked to the mediated parties.
8.1. Orders placed on-line
Where an order is placed on-line, payment is required immediately at the date of the order, meaning as soon as the « order with payment obligation » button is activated.
All exchanges of e-mails within the CEBEGECO platform are free of charge. Telephone calls to the CEBEGECO lines are invoiced according to the « basic tariff » applied by the telephone operator of the Client.
The role of the electronic wallet : prior to ordering services, the Client transfers money to its electronic wallet. 24 hours before the performance of services, the electronic wallet of the Client will be charged of the amount corresponding to the session.
CEBEGECO shall not be required to provide services if the total amount of the session has not been previously paid in full.
In case the process is being abandoned or cancelled at least 24 hours before the performance of services, the balance of the electronic wallet of the Client shall be credited, at its demand, to its bank account.
The following means of payment are accepted in order to transfer money to the electronic wallet.
i. By credit or debit card (Visa, Mastercard, CB, PayPal). The secure on-line payment by credit or debit card is done through the HiPay platform (www.hipay.com) and the latter ensures maximum safety as it uses the SSL protocol (Secure Socket Layer).
ii. By bank transfer to the bank account of BUSINESS ASSISTANCE SPRL whose references are :
IBAN : BE77 7320 1627 5742
BIC : CREGBEBB
8.2. In all other situations
Unless otherwise agreed in writing, invoices are payable net, without discount and on receipt by bank transfer.
Disputes with regard to invoices shall be notified in writing within a period of eight (8) days from the date of reception of the invoice (the postmark being proof of the date) to the registered office of BUSINESS ASSISTANCE SPRL, under penalty of inadmissibility.
Non-payment of an invoice on its due date shall, by right and without prior formal notice, lead to the immediate payability of any amount owed by the Client, regardless of the more generous payment terms previously granted.
If an invoice remains unpaid at its due date, CEBEGECO reserves the right to suspend ongoing services without notice or compensation and reserves all rights.
9. Late payment - Penalty clause
Any invoice or amount that has not been paid by the due date shall be subject, as of right and without prior formal notice, to conventional late payment interests at an annual rate of 12 % starting on the due date of the invoice and ending on the date of actual payment.
Under the same conditions, the amount of the invoice shall be automatically charged, as of right and without prior formal notice, with an increase of 15% as a lump sum payment for damages with a minimum of 50 EUR.
10. Duration and termination of the contract
Contracts are concluded with regard to periodic services and therefore terminate when parties have fully performed their obligations.
With the exception of the arbitration process, the Client may terminate the amicable dispute resolution process at any given time by sending a written notice to the registered office of BUSINESS ASSISTANCE SPRL, or an e-mail to the following address : email@example.com .
11. Guarantees and liabilities
The Client always has the possibility to be assisted by the counsel of its choice (lawyer, expert, etc.).
Where the services are being provided on-line, the above-mentioned counsel will have access to a personal interface on the CEBEGECO website ;
CEBEGECO is committed to working only with qualified individuals, who hold a Master in Law degree or an equivalent diploma depending on the specialisation and certifications required, in particular where mediation and arbitration are concerned.
In the context of a co-mediation, CEBEGECO may request the support of various experts such as psychologists, child psychiatrists, tax advisors, accountants, etc.
The www.cebegeco.be website guarantees the security and confidentiality of exchanges. The case managers are subject to the obligation of professional secrecy. The certified mediators are subject to the rules of the European Code of Conduct for Mediators which are applicable to the profession.
The services provided by CEBEGECO are subject to an obligation pertaining to means.
CEBEGECO is committed to providing all the necessary care to the execution of the missions assigned to it by the Client.
The liability of CEBEGECO shall be released, as of right and without any formality, in the case of an event which does not make it possible to normally continue providing services without delays, or more generally, in a case of force majeure. By « a case of force majeure » is meant any unpredictable or irresistible or external event, these three criteria being alternative.
The same applies where services could not be provided due to an act attributable to the Client.
12. Intellectual property
All creations (digital materials, analysis, logos, software, office automation tools, documentations, etc.) of CEBEGECO are protected under Copyright law and remain its full and exclusive property unless there is an express provision indicating the contrary.
The creations of CEBEGECO may only be used by the Client in the context of synallagmatic agreements unless there is an express authorisation indicating the contrary.
The Client shall not reproduce, directly or indirectly, in totality or in part, adapt or modify, commercialise or diffuse to its staff members or to third parties, the digital and written materials or any other resources made available to it without the prior and written permission of CEBEGECO.
CEBEGECO certifies that it is the holder of the intellectual property rights relating to the services commercialised and provided to the Client or that it has obtained the right from the third party owner to regularly use those.
13. Confidentiality and protection of personal data
In carrying out the tasks assigned to it, CEBEGECO commits itself to respecting professional secrecy and showing dignity, probity and delicacy.
Any personal data collected while providing services covered by the present general terms and conditions is treated in accordance with the Act of 8 December 1992 on the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data.
The entity responsible for processing personal data is BUSINESS ASSISTANCE SPRL whose registered office is located at Avenue Ecolys, 2, 5020 Namur (Suarlée), Belgique.
Any person concerned has the right to access and rectify its personal data, or the right to delete data if it has good reasons to do so, as prescribed by the Act of 30 july 2018 relating to the protection of privacy in relation to the processing of personal data.
In order to invoke this right, the Client may simply contact CEBEGECO for free at the following e-mail address : firstname.lastname@example.org or by postal mail at the address of the registered office of the entity.
14. Mediation clause
The parties agree that any disagreement or dispute arising out or in connection with the present general terms and conditions of sale or arising from their interpretation or their application shall be subject to mediation.
For this purpose, the parties agree to participate in at least one mediation meeting that shall be attended by a representative having decision-making authority.
The mediator shall be chosen by the parties from the judicial district of their choice.
15. Court jurisdiction and applicable law
In the event of any dispute, only Belgian law shall apply and only the courts of the judicial district of Namur shall be competent to settle the dispute.