Which publications must be deposited?

Legal deposit applies to all publications:

  • published in Belgium;
  • published abroad by authors of Belgian nationality and domiciled in Belgium.

Legal deposit is compulsory as soon as you offer the publication to the public, even if it concerns:

  • a limited public, for example members of an association;
  • publications distributed free of charge;
  • publications without an ISBN;
  • publications with a limited edition or “print-on-demand” (POD).

Legal deposit applies to publications in several formats: printed publications, including microfilms, as well as documents published on physical digital media (DVD, CD, CD-ROM, USB key or floppy disk).

Digital publications (like e-books) are currently only deposited on a voluntary basis, pending a Royal Decree bringing the law of 8 July 2018 into force.

In terms of the length of works, legal deposit applies to non-periodical publications of at least five pages, not including the cover pages. These may include :

  • collections of texts, photographs, artistic or scientific plates consisting of single sheets compiled under a single cover;
  • geographical and other maps with printed text;
  • picture books;