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SNCB, drugs, justice: everything that changes on February 1

Cessation medication will be better off.

SNCB adjusts rates

The average cost of standard and weekly SNCBs (first and second class) will be 1.89% down on February 1. The subscription rate for household and school subscriptions will increase by 1.18%, compared to an average adjustment of 0.29% for all other products. In the case of TEC, tariffs will not increase in 2019, while Stib prices will remain stable for the sixth consecutive year.

At the end of December, SNCB announced an average annual adjustment of 0.69% for all its tariffs, which is less than half the health index (1.64%).

Tickets for the TEC network in Wallonia do not record any increase in tariffs. By this decision, the Walloon Government wants to prevent the attractiveness of public transport as a mobility solution. In Brussels, ticket prices and subscriptions to Stib will not even increase this year. The latest increase is due to 2013, when the monthly subscription increased from 47.5 to 49 euros. The annual subscription costs 499 euros.

Cures for cessation of smoking are better covered

As of February 1, 2019, smokers will pay significantly less to test smoking cessation treatment, and up to three attempts to withdraw every five years.

Before starting a complete smoking cessation treatment, smokers must purchase a test kit that will be tested for two weeks. This set, sold at a price of 49.95 euros, was still the responsibility of the patient. From 1 February, a personal contribution of € 9.80 will be paid to the recipient of the preferential scheme and € 14.80 for others.

In addition, smokers will be entitled to three full treatment procedures, which are reimbursed every five years instead of a total of two previous treatments.

Perception of roles rights will take place at the end of court proceedings

As of February 1, the party that is losing will have to pay the role of rights at the end of court proceedings. The complainant currently pays these costs at the beginning of the proceedings, which may be an obstacle to access to justice. Single rates are also set for role rights. Entitlement to the role will increase from € 40 to € 50 in the field of peace justice, € 100 to € 165 in the first instance, € 210 to € 400 per appeal and € 375 to € 650 cassation. "Justice must be accessible to everyone. All citizens are eligibleJustice Minister Koen Geens.

Preliminary work is now possible in the federal public service

The Federal Administration will be able to call temporary staff from 1 February 2019. The Royal Decree on this topic was published in Moniteur in mid-January.

The use of temporary workers will then be possible within federal public services, public enterprises (bpost, Proximus, etc.) and HR Rail, the legal staff of railway staff.

Temporary employment is only allowed for the temporary replacement of contractual or statutory staff, for temporary temporary work and for exceptional work for a maximum of 12 months.

Temporary agency work is not allowed in case of strike or blocking.

Entry into force of the EU-Japan Trade Agreement

Adopted in mid-December by the European Parliament, the extensive EU-Japan trade agreement will enter into force on 1 February.

The free trade agreement between Japan and the European Union (JEFTA) will include approximately 600 million consumers and almost one third of world GDP. It will eliminate the bulk of the EUR 1 billion duty paid annually by companies exporting to Japan and a number of regulatory barriers. The Japanese market will also open 127 million consumers to the main agricultural and industrial exports of the Union.

On the European side, the agri-food industry emerged as the main winner, with the agreement abolishing tariffs for almost all foods, but sometimes even after a transitional period.

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