India on Data Privacy - Personal Data Protection Bill, 2018

India is finally moving ahead towards having a comprehensive Data Protection Law which is the need of the hour to truly ensure a person’s privacy in today’s digital age.

On January 04, 2019, the Union Minister of Electronics and Information Technology, Mr. Ravi Shankar Prasad, informed the Rajya Sabha that the data protection law has been finalized and the Bill will be tabled in Parliament soon.

New requirements included in the application of import and export permits for hydrocarbons and petroleum products

Mexico - On February 22, 2019, the "Agreement that modifies the Guidelines establishing Hydrocarbon and petroleum products classification and codification subject to import and export permit issued by the Ministry of Energy" (the Agreement) was published in the Federal Official Gazette, which is in force as of February 23rd.

The Agreement standardizes the requirements that must be met in the application for short-term (one-year) import and export permits of hydrocarbons and petroleum products, with those established for the Sectorial Importers Registry of Hydrocarbons.

India - CIRP Regulation Amendments

The Insolvency and Bankruptcy Board of India (IBBI) introduced the Insolvency Resolution Process for Corporate
Persons (Amendment) Regulations, 2019 which came into effect from 24.01.2019. The amendments have been introduced in the light of recent failure/non-seriousness of the successful Resolution Applicant(s) to meet the commitments proposed by them in the Resolution Plan approved by the Committee of Creditor of Corporate Debtor as well as the Hon’ble Adjudicating Authority (National Company Law Tribunal) under Section 31 of the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016 (Code).

Due to failure of the commitments the time, energy and efforts put by all those who were involved in Corporate Insolvency Resolution Process of a Corporate Debtor go into vein. Further, it leads to a peculiar situation as liquidation also cannot be commenced as this type of situation is not even contemplated under Section 33(3) of the Code.

This article summarizes the changes proposed vide these amendments.

Compliance in Russia and the Russian Federal Anti-Corruption Law N° 273

From an investment climate perspective, foreign investors have perceived Russia as a very promising market in terms of investment opportunities but, as well as in other countries across the world, corruption and lack of compliance was a major problem for doing business in Russia. Some of their biggest concerns were how the rule of law is enforced in the country and other issues related to the lack of transparency as well as some administrative issues.

Nowadays,  Russian compliance and anti-corruption legislation has come a long way and counts on a very comprehensive legislative framework on anti-corruption and compliance. 

The ABL Compliance Unit has just published an article dedicated to this topic.

Consumer Protection Regulations

The ABL Young Lawyer’s Group has published its 9th Report on ‘Consumer Protection Regulations”. Consumer Protection is important because consumers often experience a significant imbalance of bargaining power as compared to producers and sellers of products and services. The Report provides an overview of the Consumer Protection Regulations in each country mentioned in this Report.

India - Can an Arbitrator Award Escalation Charges in the Absence of Any Clause for Escalation in the Contract?

In a commercial contract, a tender is procured upon estimation of prices of material and labor to be incurred in future. However, these prices are susceptible to change due to reasons beyond the control of either party. Such unforeseen change in prices, which may shake the very foundation of the bargain, which parties entered into, may lead to frustration of contract, which in turn leads to termination of contract. To avoid such a situation, an escalation clause is added into the contract, which takes into account any future changes in prices of labor and material.

But what if the contract does not provide for an escalation clause and the contract is extended beyond the completion period - because of no fault of contractor - resulting in losses for the contractor?

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, as amended, 15 U.S.C. §§ 78dd-1, et seq. - "FCPA"

The US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) of 1977 is the single most important legislation coming out of the United States aimed at preventing bribery. This Act makes it unlawful to offer payments to foreign government officials either to assist in obtaining or retaining business. It is also the first law to introduce corporate liability; or in other words responsibility for third parties and extra-territoriality for corruption offenses. 

Read the full article.

Process of Setting Up a Company

The ABL Young Lawyer’s Group has published its 8th Report on ‘Process of Setting Up a Company”. The Report provides a brief overview of the most important legal considerations for individuals or organisations wishing to establish business operations in each of the countries mentioned.

Read the full article.

The USA States Sentencing Guidelines - "USSG"

In the United States, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines is the manual most often used to punish people convicted of federal crimes.

Judges use the US States Sentencing Guidelines ("Guidelines" or "USSG") to figure out the length of a sentence. The basic idea behind these Guidelines is that similar crimes committed under similar circumstances should be punished comparably regardless of in which State it was committed.

These guidelines are not mandatory but federal judges that want to apply a sentence that deviates from them must explain their decision in writing.

European Union - Personal Data Protection Rights

Blaise Krähenbühl, Lawyer at the ABL member firm DGM Avocats in Geneva, has written an article on Personal Data Protection Rights within the Framework of International Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information. 

The introduction of international automatic exchange of financial account information (AEOI) represents a significant leap forward in combatting tax fraud and avoidance. Meanwhile, data protection legislation is developing rapidly to take into account the latest progress in information technology and more rights are being granted to data subjects. The aim of this article is to determine the extent to which data protection provisions may impact the AEOI and identify a minimum common standard of taxpayer rights from a data protection perspective.

The article was published by IBFD.