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Brussels prepares to ban business cards on windscreens

11:09 11/08/2020

The Brussels region is preparing to ban business cards being left on vehicle windscreens, an advertising practice made illegal in Wallonia last year.

A spokesperson for the Brussels environment minister Alain Maron said the region-wide ban could be introduced "within a short timeframe".

The cards, mostly advertising used car dealerships, are handed out by a large group of distributors, often undocumented migrants, who gather daily at Brussels Midi rail station.

They are handed a bag with thousands of cards to distribute, given instructions of where to go, and paid as little as €20 per day, cash in hand.

Two cases of suspected illegal employment are currently being investigated by Brussels' workplace auditor, RTL reports.

Many of the cards do not mention a company or VAT number. The businesses are often undeclared, with no physical showroom, which offer cash in hand to car owners looking to sell their vehicle.

As well as the environmental damage from the discarded advertisements, several drivers have complained of damage caused by the business cards to the rubber seal around their car windows.

The practice became an offence in Wallonia in February 2019, but several local police forces say the law is rarely enforced.

One exception is Nivelles, in Walloon Brabant, which issued its own local ban in 2016, initially giving community support officers the power to impose administrative fines on distributors caught in the act.

A Nivelles town hall spokeswoman said: "Since then, around twenty cases have been opened and fines have been issued."

Photo: Benoit Doppagne/Belga

Written by The Bulletin