Belgium and the Netherlands will swap lands starting on January 1, 2018

Belgium and the Netherlands will proceed on January 1, 2018 to an official exchange of territories, announced the governor of the Province of Liege, Herve Jamar through a press release last Friday.

The two countries decided in 1961 to improve the connection between the Juliana Canal and the Albert Canal. The bed of the Meuse river moved to the cities of Visé, Maastricht and Eijsden-Margraten. Plots from Belgium were then landlocked in the Netherlands, and vice versa. These changes have led to difficulties, particularly for the police and rescue services to access these locations.

A consultation was initiated in 2014, explained the governor of the Province of Liège. Negotiations took place between the competent ministers, the Walloon Region, the provinces, three communes, the police and the organizations managing the waterways of the two countries.

Starting on January 1st, the exchange of territories will be official. Belgium yields a little more than 16 ha of land in the Netherlands, and inherits 3 ha and the Lock Lanaye, a strategic crossing point for river traffic.