The new law governing the transport police of 27 April 2018 came into force as from the 1st November 2018.

Anyone who commits an offence on a train, in a station or on railway premises may receive an administrative file.

There are three kinds of offence:

1) Offences relating to travel tickets

2) Offences relating to anti-social behaviour committed on railway premises

3) Offences impacting on railway safety

There are three kinds of prosecution:

1) Criminal type: in case of persistent offences i.e. over ten offences relating to travel tickets

2) Decriminalised type (administrative fines)

In case of minor acts of anti-social behaviour: riding a bicycle on railway premises, smoking on-board a train, a travel ticket offence, etc.

3) Mixed type (criminal prosecution OR an administrative procedure)

In the event of serious anti-social behaviour: embarking or alighting after the train conductor has given the departure signal, failure to comply with the conditions for carrying hand baggage, folding bicycles not compliant with the law, opening doors before the train has come to a complete stop, abusive use of a sound system, graffiti, violent behaviour, pulling the alarm handle, forcing the train doors, etc.

Depending on the kind of offence committed, prosecution will be criminal or administrative.

Again, depending on the kind of offence committed, if the offence relates to tickets, there is a first way to end the matter with the settlement described in detail in the part called Penalty fare notice and tickets bought on-board trains

If the offence is likely to lead to criminal prosecution, then the person involved may face a term of imprisonment of eight days to five years and/or a criminal fine of at least €26 (increased by an additional premium – currently multiplied by eight).

If the offence has led to an administrative fine, then the person involved may face an administrative fine of an amount that varies with the seriousness of the offence and whether or not it is a first offence or a repeat offence:

  • Category 1 - for example: smoking or riding a bike in a station
1st offence 2nd offence (*and following offences within a year)
3rd and following offences (within a year)
50 € 75 € 150 €
  • Category 2 - for example: graffiti or boarding the train while the doors are closing
1st offence 2nd offence (*and following offences within a year) 3rd and following offences (within a year)
100 € 250 € 350 €
  • Category 3 - for example: offences involving transport tickets
1st offence 2nd offence (*and following offences within a year)
250 € 500 €*
  • Category 4 - for example: exhibiting violent behaviour or disrupting rail traffic
1st offence 2nd offence (*and following offences within a year)
300 € 500 €*

Exception: if the administrative fine is issued to a minor, who at the time of the offence was aged between 14 and 18, the administrative fine cannot be greater than €175 (for minors under 14, there is no administrative fine but the fine is still €75).

If the passenger does not correct their situation or if no such correction is allowed, then the administrative procedure starts with a letter being sent by registered mail. The person concerned is notified that they have committed a breach of the transportation laws and that they risk receiving an administrative fine. They will also receive the copy of the statement or report of the offence and they are invited to respond by confirming their means of defence within a period of 30 days.

If the person concerned was between the age of 14 and 18 at the time of the offence or if they are an adult and have committed an offence punishable with a Category 4 fine (for example: exhibiting violent behaviour or disrupting rail traffic), they can further request to be heard. This possibility of a hearing does not apply to transportation ticket offences.

After noted the means of defence available to the person concerned or, where applicable, after having heard them, the sanctioning officer may only decide to impose or not impose the administrative fine provided for by law. They cannot adapt or reduce the fine amount.

The decision reached is communicated to the person concerned by registered mail.

Any person who has an administrative fine imposed on them may lodge an appeal within a period of one month following notification of the decision.

This appeal may be lodged by application before the relevant Police Court (for adults) or before the relevant Juvenile Court (for minors).

Once the appeal deadline has passed, the decision imposing the administrative fine becomes enforceable. In other words, it may be sent to a bailiff to enforce recovery of the debt.

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