Notions concerning the Jambon law

1 Basics

The law JAMBON replaced the old law TOBBACK regarding private security. This new law contains important changes for security activities performed by security companies. Some ‘security activities’ have been also inserted.

We give here a summary of the most important changes as part of the implementation of the ISPS Code for port facilities.


2.1 The law regulates

  • (external) guarding companies
  • Internal guarding services
  • Security companies

2.2      The law foresees ‘Guarding activities’:

  1. Surveillance and/or protection of goods: this is the typical kind of guarding
  2. Protection of people (Body guarding)
  3. Surveillance and protection of transport of valuables
  4. Monitoring alarm systems
  5. Surveillance and management of people for maintaining security in publicly, or not publicly, accessible sites
  6. Finding in infringements …. under the control of competent authority… (control of parking meters…)
  7. Leading groups for traffic safety….

2.3 Executing guarding activities

2.3.1 Security companies

Art. 4. Any company is considered as a security company if it offers or performs guarding activities or is known as doing such.

2.3.2 Internal guarding service

Art. 5. Any internal service performing guarding activities is considered as such if the activities are performed:

  1. on sites managed by a natural or legal person organising the internal guarding service;
  2. for third parties performing trade activities, other than guarding activities, under the same trade name than the natural or legal person organising the internal guarding service;
  3. for legal persons being part of the same company and which are linked or associated within the meaning of articles 11 and 12 of the Company Code;
  4. for third parties working on the same site as the natural or legal person organising the internal guarding service as long as these third parties’ missions are linked to the missions of the natural or legal person organising the internal guarding service.
2.3.3 Missions

There is a principle of speciality for a (external) guarding company: this company may only guard and get missions from its own hierarchy. The customer must always contact the guarding company to give an order and have it executed.

For an internal guarding company there is no limitation: the company may also receive other tasks to perform

2.3.4 Competences Access control General competences for implementation where private security is allowed as by the law:
Art. 102. Guards may, when performing their guarding activities, control people at the entrance of the sites they guard

The sole purposes:

  • check if these people have weapons or other dangerous objects
  • visually check the inner contents of luggage, and
  • check if these people carry such items.

Art. 103. Guards may, with the same goal, visually check the vehicles at the entrance of not publicly accessible sites they guard.

Art. 104. Only padding down the clothes of the concerned person is allowed, and this must be performed by a guard of the same sex as this of the concerned person; this can only be done provided that concerned persons voluntarily submit themselves to these checks.

Art. 105. Guards may refuse the access to persons who:

  1. do not voluntarily submit themselves to the checks;
  2. attempt to enter not publicly accessible sites without any authorisation;
  3. do not have the required access document;
  4. could disrupt the smooth running of the event;
  5. could get into danger the safety of present persons or the safe management of the site.

If one person has a weapon, the guard immediately informs the police force.

When somebody, whose access has been denied, still tries to get inside the guards informs this person that access will be prevented.

If the concerned person decides to reject the denial, the guards may, without using violence or constraint, prevent the person from getting within the site.

Guards may not refuse or prevent the access to a site on base of direct or indirect discrimination.

Art. 106. Guards may, only on customer’s request, ask people to show identification documents:

1° at the entrance of non-publicly accessible sites, only during the time needed to check the identity; …

Guards may not copy, hold or keep identification documents. Special competences for private security during the access control when applying the ISPS Code
Art. 137. The competences and obligations described in articles 140 and 142 are to be applied in airports, international railway stations, nuclear sites, military sites, in international institutions or embassies defined by the King, in ISPS Port facilities and in SEVESO establishments.

Art. 140. In addition of what has already been described in article 102, guards may, on sites as defined in article 137 (including ISPS Port facilities) perform access control for preventing weapons or dangerous items to be brought within the guarded site by:

  1. searching the luggage that people carry or by padding down clothes of the concerned persons;
  2. checking and searching vehicles, including driver’s cabin, entering the guarded non-publicly accessible site.

Art. 141. The padding down described in article 140 may only be performed by guards of the same sex as the concerned person.

Art. 144. Guards may check, on nuclear sites or ISPS Port facilities, when performing their guarding activities described in article 3-13°, with detection means, if non-authorised persons, described in article 546/1 and 488quinquies of the Penal Code, are hiding inside or close to vehicles.

The concerned guards may never get inside the vehicles. If they detect the presence of persons inside or close to vehicles, they immediately inform the police.


2.4 The intervention of private security in a political conflict or a labour dispute is forbidden

Article 50 §1 of the law:

It is forbidden for security companies, security internal services or for people working for them to:

  1. intervene in a political conflict or a labour dispute
  2. get into contact with people performing union activities or with political aim
  3. perform a surveillance on political, philosophical, religious or union opinions or belonging to a mutual, as well as for the expression of these opinions or on this belonging, for creating or feeding databases for this purpose.

2.5 Carrying of weapons (Art 101)

Carrying weapons is only possible when performing security activities defined by article 3, 1° and 2°, as long as these activities are performed on sites where any other person is supposed to be present except security guards, and for preforming activities defined in 3, 3° and 5°.

Guards may only carry weapons if necessary when other means or methods are not sufficient to foresee and prevent a particular risk that guards, or the persons they protect, have to face.

Guards are only allowed to use their weapon in case of self-defence.

Firearms are to be kept in an armoury under the responsibility of an appointed member of the personnel; the amount of kinds of weapons can be restricted, everything has to be recorded in a register. Members of the team who have to carry a weapon should get a training and perform exercises in a recognised shooting range.

2.6      Wearing a uniform (Art 95)

Wearing working clothes is allowed for externa land internal guarding services on the condition that:

  • these clothes cannot be confused with those worn by agents of the public force
  • the model of these working clothes is approved by the Minister of Internal Affairs

2.7 Vehicles

Vehicles used by security guards cannot be confused with those of the police. They may not have blue flashing lights and certainly not a two-sound siren


Lic Crim RUG

Managing Director