This is the legal wording coming from article 10 of the Law on medicinal products.

Two situations are concerned:

  • The scientific programme of the event takes place over several consecutive calendar days. Ex.: it commences on day A and finishes on day B
  • The scientific programme of the event takes place on one single day (or less) but requires an overnight stay as the event takes place abroad. Ex.: an event commences in Paris at 8.00am and finishes at 4.00pm. Participants must arrive the night before in order to be punctual for the start of the event. The event as a whole therefore takes place over several consecutive calendar days, even though the programme lasts for less than one day.

Yes, a visa is required as the programme alone already takes place over more than one consecutive calendar day.

If a company organises a scientific meeting lasting less than a day where only a dinner and/or a lunch is being offered and that is taking place abroad because of a congress at the same time to which all the invited healthcare professionals are participating, then no visa is required if:

  • it lasts less than a day,
  • it has nothing to do with the congress taking place at the same venue and its agenda and invitation were set and sent out in advance (this is prior to the congress taking place at the same time),
  • it concerns an international public,
  • only a meal is being offered.

Please note: in that case, Circular No. 622 of December 1, 2015 of the Federal Agency for Medicines and Health Products has to be respected. This circular states the following: “In total, a maximum of 20 euros Hospitality per person per full hour scientific event is allowed with a maximum of 40 euros per lunch and 80 euros per dinner (all inclusive: including meals, drinks, taxes, room rental, etc.).”

If, on the other hand, it concerns the sponsoring of only meals during a congress, see FAQ 8.4.