Mention a retention of title clause on your invoice

With a retention of title clause it is contractually stipulated that ownership does not transfer from seller to buyer until the purchase price has been paid in full. Thus, the buyer will acquire ownership of goods when he made a payment in full.

A seller who mentions a retention of title clause on his invoice, has the right to recover his goods if the buyer fails to pay the price in full. The only condition is that the retention of title clause is stipulated in writing (or mentioned on the invoice) no later than the time of delivery of the goods.

It is no longer required for the goods to be present in kind, as it was previously required by the Bankruptcy Law. Even in the case that the goods have been mixed or processed into new goods, or if another creditor seized the goods in the meantime. The unpaid seller acquires a “superpriority” over other (mortgage) creditors or pledgers – in many cases banks.

The retention of title applies to the value of the goods, so not always to the complete invoice amount.

Registration of a retention of title in the Pledge Register is optional. For goods that become immovable through incorporation, the retention must be registered anyhow. After registration, it comes with priority over a mortgage creditor. The registration is not free of charge. Depending on the value of the goods, the fee varies between 20 EUR and 500 EUR.