News

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 19, 2018

Recently in August, Germany moved forward with a proposal directed against VAT avoidance relating to supplies of goods with a German nexus over online marketplaces. The bills expected to pass parliament in late fall and become effective as of January 1, 2019. Key elements entail: operators of online marketplaces shall be obliged to fulfil new documentation duties regarding providers of goods;  documentation requirements shall apply to any goods that touch Germany – if the shipment starts or ends in Germany;…

September 8, 2018

With concerns over challenges posed by China, the US government recently introduced new measures designed to enact control over the transfer and use of US goods and technologies both in the US and abroad. Applicable to emerging market M&A and joint ventures, these new measures manifest as two new laws – The Foreign Investment Risk Modernization Act (FIRRMA) and the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA). FIRRMA clarifies and expands the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

July 5, 2018

The EU has introduced new cross-border transaction reporting requirements. Recently in May, the EU quietly adopted Council Directive 2018/822/EU on the reporting of “potentially aggressive” cross-border tax-planning arrangements. Reporting requirements will kick-in on August 31st, 2020, after the Council Directive is implemented by EU Member States. What is important is that the Council Directive is simply an instruction to Member States to create new national laws according to the principles of the directive; the directive itself is not itself a…

July 2, 2018

The US has put the WTO Appellate Body into crisis mode. Since the advent of the Trump administration, the US has consistently blocked appointments and reappointments to the WTO Appellate Body. As a result, the appellate body has now shrunk to four from its original seven members. In October this year, it is expected that this will go down to three members. WTO rules specify that three members must server on a case, selected by rotation. This will be meaningless in…

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 6, 2018

On May 24th, the EC published proposals related to the promotion of the use of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) growth markets. The proposals are designed to give more flexibility for SME growth market operators as to whether they wish to impose obligations related to the production of semi-annual reports on SME debt-only issuers. The MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) created the SME growth market trading venue (a subset of MTFs) to… facilitate access to capital for SMEs and the…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

May 25, 2018

Bulgaria is set to introduce certain changes to the application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Bulgaria’s government has announced that it will legislate additional protocols to that exisitng under GDPR. Areas to be effected include employment, the role of GDPR or data protection officers (DPOs) and data protection impact assessments. Regarding DPOs, Bulgaria-based businesses would be required to designate a DPO if they process the personal data of more than 1…0,000 individuals. In addition, specific corporate rules…

May 21, 2018

Cyprus has brought its domestic law inline with EU directive on mandatory automatic exchange of tax information. Cyprus has recently introduced Law 33(I)/2018 in furtherance of EU Directive 2016/881/EU. The changes concern EU wide administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The definition of ‘automatic exchange’ has been changed; and there are new provisions requiring ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises resident in Cyprus for tax purposes to file country-by-country reports within 12 months of the end of each fiscal…

May 18, 2018

US banks have begun applying the US Treasury’s new customer due diligence regime, requiring them to verify the identities of new business customers’ beneficial owners, and report them to law enforcement agencies. The rules were finalised two years ago, under the Obama administration, after almost two years of consultation. But implementation was deferred until now, to give the banks time to implement the new system. A beneficial owner is defined as anyone who owns 25 per cent or more of…

May 17, 2018

As the oil and gas industry strengthens with eyes on rising commodity prices, costs and emerging technologies, there are certain trends developing for 2018 that the industry should also keep in mind. Will 2018 be the year for the digital revolution takeoff, transforming talk into lucrative plans to help drive growth? Will natural gas make strides toward becoming the dominant fuel of the future, replacing oil? How will U.S. shale perform with still struggling oilfield service …companies and equipment manufacturers…

May 16, 2018

Greece has abolished and replaced its “National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A.” with a new public entity entitled the “Hellenic Cadastre” (“Elliniko Ktimatologio”). The new agency shall be based in Athens and is supervised by the Minister of Environment and Energy. In addition, seventeen (17) cadastral offices shall be established, one in each region (except for the Attica region where three (3) offices shall be established and Central Macedonia region where two (2) offices… shall be established) and other sixty…

September 9, 2017

When it comes to M&A in Cyprus, there are a number of major laws one should be aware of, as follows: 1. Companies Law Cap. 113 (a) Sections 198-201 of Companies Law regulate mergers, divisions, partial divisions, transfers of assets and exchange of shares in two or more companies intending to merge together. (b) Sections 201A – H of Companies Law as amended by Law 70(I) of 2003 regulate mergers of public companies in line with European practices. (c) Sections…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

July 14, 2016

An important amendment to the Assessment and Collection of Taxes Law (N.4/1978) in Cyprus is currently under consideration by the Council of Ministers regarding automatic exchange of information. More specifically, the proposed amendment aims at regulating the conditions under which the Cypriot Tax Commissioner may disclose information on any person with a view to complying with agreements for automatic exchange of information between Cyprus and other countries (both EU and non-EU countries). While the notion of automatic exchange of information…

July 14, 2016

Complete bank secrecy is fast becoming a matter of the past.  The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) portal provides a comprehensive overview of the work the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in the area of the automatic exchange of information, in particular with respect to the Common Reporting Standard. That is why your account provider (bank, building society, insurance or investment firm) may ask you to provide certain information about yourself…

June 24, 2016

On the 23rd of June, the UK voted to leave the European Union. Known as “Brexit”, the UK Government with now initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting the two year procedure leading to the UK’s eventual withdrawal from the EU and, ultimately, to the establishment of a new relationship with its former EU partners. Whatever your position, it is clear that Brexit will have a significant impact across a wide range of sectors – financial services, trade, employment,…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…

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October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 19, 2018

Recently in August, Germany moved forward with a proposal directed against VAT avoidance relating to supplies of goods with a German nexus over online marketplaces. The bills expected to pass parliament in late fall and become effective as of January 1, 2019. Key elements entail: operators of online marketplaces shall be obliged to fulfil new documentation duties regarding providers of goods;  documentation requirements shall apply to any goods that touch Germany – if the shipment starts or ends in Germany;…

September 8, 2018

With concerns over challenges posed by China, the US government recently introduced new measures designed to enact control over the transfer and use of US goods and technologies both in the US and abroad. Applicable to emerging market M&A and joint ventures, these new measures manifest as two new laws – The Foreign Investment Risk Modernization Act (FIRRMA) and the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA). FIRRMA clarifies and expands the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

July 5, 2018

The EU has introduced new cross-border transaction reporting requirements. Recently in May, the EU quietly adopted Council Directive 2018/822/EU on the reporting of “potentially aggressive” cross-border tax-planning arrangements. Reporting requirements will kick-in on August 31st, 2020, after the Council Directive is implemented by EU Member States. What is important is that the Council Directive is simply an instruction to Member States to create new national laws according to the principles of the directive; the directive itself is not itself a…

July 2, 2018

The US has put the WTO Appellate Body into crisis mode. Since the advent of the Trump administration, the US has consistently blocked appointments and reappointments to the WTO Appellate Body. As a result, the appellate body has now shrunk to four from its original seven members. In October this year, it is expected that this will go down to three members. WTO rules specify that three members must server on a case, selected by rotation. This will be meaningless in…

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 6, 2018

On May 24th, the EC published proposals related to the promotion of the use of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) growth markets. The proposals are designed to give more flexibility for SME growth market operators as to whether they wish to impose obligations related to the production of semi-annual reports on SME debt-only issuers. The MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) created the SME growth market trading venue (a subset of MTFs) to… facilitate access to capital for SMEs and the…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

May 25, 2018

Bulgaria is set to introduce certain changes to the application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Bulgaria’s government has announced that it will legislate additional protocols to that exisitng under GDPR. Areas to be effected include employment, the role of GDPR or data protection officers (DPOs) and data protection impact assessments. Regarding DPOs, Bulgaria-based businesses would be required to designate a DPO if they process the personal data of more than 1…0,000 individuals. In addition, specific corporate rules…

May 21, 2018

Cyprus has brought its domestic law inline with EU directive on mandatory automatic exchange of tax information. Cyprus has recently introduced Law 33(I)/2018 in furtherance of EU Directive 2016/881/EU. The changes concern EU wide administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The definition of ‘automatic exchange’ has been changed; and there are new provisions requiring ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises resident in Cyprus for tax purposes to file country-by-country reports within 12 months of the end of each fiscal…

May 18, 2018

US banks have begun applying the US Treasury’s new customer due diligence regime, requiring them to verify the identities of new business customers’ beneficial owners, and report them to law enforcement agencies. The rules were finalised two years ago, under the Obama administration, after almost two years of consultation. But implementation was deferred until now, to give the banks time to implement the new system. A beneficial owner is defined as anyone who owns 25 per cent or more of…

May 17, 2018

As the oil and gas industry strengthens with eyes on rising commodity prices, costs and emerging technologies, there are certain trends developing for 2018 that the industry should also keep in mind. Will 2018 be the year for the digital revolution takeoff, transforming talk into lucrative plans to help drive growth? Will natural gas make strides toward becoming the dominant fuel of the future, replacing oil? How will U.S. shale perform with still struggling oilfield service …companies and equipment manufacturers…

May 16, 2018

Greece has abolished and replaced its “National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A.” with a new public entity entitled the “Hellenic Cadastre” (“Elliniko Ktimatologio”). The new agency shall be based in Athens and is supervised by the Minister of Environment and Energy. In addition, seventeen (17) cadastral offices shall be established, one in each region (except for the Attica region where three (3) offices shall be established and Central Macedonia region where two (2) offices… shall be established) and other sixty…

September 9, 2017

When it comes to M&A in Cyprus, there are a number of major laws one should be aware of, as follows: 1. Companies Law Cap. 113 (a) Sections 198-201 of Companies Law regulate mergers, divisions, partial divisions, transfers of assets and exchange of shares in two or more companies intending to merge together. (b) Sections 201A – H of Companies Law as amended by Law 70(I) of 2003 regulate mergers of public companies in line with European practices. (c) Sections…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

July 14, 2016

An important amendment to the Assessment and Collection of Taxes Law (N.4/1978) in Cyprus is currently under consideration by the Council of Ministers regarding automatic exchange of information. More specifically, the proposed amendment aims at regulating the conditions under which the Cypriot Tax Commissioner may disclose information on any person with a view to complying with agreements for automatic exchange of information between Cyprus and other countries (both EU and non-EU countries). While the notion of automatic exchange of information…

July 14, 2016

Complete bank secrecy is fast becoming a matter of the past.  The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) portal provides a comprehensive overview of the work the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in the area of the automatic exchange of information, in particular with respect to the Common Reporting Standard. That is why your account provider (bank, building society, insurance or investment firm) may ask you to provide certain information about yourself…

June 24, 2016

On the 23rd of June, the UK voted to leave the European Union. Known as “Brexit”, the UK Government with now initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting the two year procedure leading to the UK’s eventual withdrawal from the EU and, ultimately, to the establishment of a new relationship with its former EU partners. Whatever your position, it is clear that Brexit will have a significant impact across a wide range of sectors – financial services, trade, employment,…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 19, 2018

Recently in August, Germany moved forward with a proposal directed against VAT avoidance relating to supplies of goods with a German nexus over online marketplaces. The bills expected to pass parliament in late fall and become effective as of January 1, 2019. Key elements entail: operators of online marketplaces shall be obliged to fulfil new documentation duties regarding providers of goods;  documentation requirements shall apply to any goods that touch Germany – if the shipment starts or ends in Germany;…

September 8, 2018

With concerns over challenges posed by China, the US government recently introduced new measures designed to enact control over the transfer and use of US goods and technologies both in the US and abroad. Applicable to emerging market M&A and joint ventures, these new measures manifest as two new laws – The Foreign Investment Risk Modernization Act (FIRRMA) and the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA). FIRRMA clarifies and expands the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

July 5, 2018

The EU has introduced new cross-border transaction reporting requirements. Recently in May, the EU quietly adopted Council Directive 2018/822/EU on the reporting of “potentially aggressive” cross-border tax-planning arrangements. Reporting requirements will kick-in on August 31st, 2020, after the Council Directive is implemented by EU Member States. What is important is that the Council Directive is simply an instruction to Member States to create new national laws according to the principles of the directive; the directive itself is not itself a…

July 2, 2018

The US has put the WTO Appellate Body into crisis mode. Since the advent of the Trump administration, the US has consistently blocked appointments and reappointments to the WTO Appellate Body. As a result, the appellate body has now shrunk to four from its original seven members. In October this year, it is expected that this will go down to three members. WTO rules specify that three members must server on a case, selected by rotation. This will be meaningless in…

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 6, 2018

On May 24th, the EC published proposals related to the promotion of the use of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) growth markets. The proposals are designed to give more flexibility for SME growth market operators as to whether they wish to impose obligations related to the production of semi-annual reports on SME debt-only issuers. The MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) created the SME growth market trading venue (a subset of MTFs) to… facilitate access to capital for SMEs and the…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

May 25, 2018

Bulgaria is set to introduce certain changes to the application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Bulgaria’s government has announced that it will legislate additional protocols to that exisitng under GDPR. Areas to be effected include employment, the role of GDPR or data protection officers (DPOs) and data protection impact assessments. Regarding DPOs, Bulgaria-based businesses would be required to designate a DPO if they process the personal data of more than 1…0,000 individuals. In addition, specific corporate rules…

May 21, 2018

Cyprus has brought its domestic law inline with EU directive on mandatory automatic exchange of tax information. Cyprus has recently introduced Law 33(I)/2018 in furtherance of EU Directive 2016/881/EU. The changes concern EU wide administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The definition of ‘automatic exchange’ has been changed; and there are new provisions requiring ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises resident in Cyprus for tax purposes to file country-by-country reports within 12 months of the end of each fiscal…

May 18, 2018

US banks have begun applying the US Treasury’s new customer due diligence regime, requiring them to verify the identities of new business customers’ beneficial owners, and report them to law enforcement agencies. The rules were finalised two years ago, under the Obama administration, after almost two years of consultation. But implementation was deferred until now, to give the banks time to implement the new system. A beneficial owner is defined as anyone who owns 25 per cent or more of…

May 17, 2018

As the oil and gas industry strengthens with eyes on rising commodity prices, costs and emerging technologies, there are certain trends developing for 2018 that the industry should also keep in mind. Will 2018 be the year for the digital revolution takeoff, transforming talk into lucrative plans to help drive growth? Will natural gas make strides toward becoming the dominant fuel of the future, replacing oil? How will U.S. shale perform with still struggling oilfield service …companies and equipment manufacturers…

May 16, 2018

Greece has abolished and replaced its “National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A.” with a new public entity entitled the “Hellenic Cadastre” (“Elliniko Ktimatologio”). The new agency shall be based in Athens and is supervised by the Minister of Environment and Energy. In addition, seventeen (17) cadastral offices shall be established, one in each region (except for the Attica region where three (3) offices shall be established and Central Macedonia region where two (2) offices… shall be established) and other sixty…

September 9, 2017

When it comes to M&A in Cyprus, there are a number of major laws one should be aware of, as follows: 1. Companies Law Cap. 113 (a) Sections 198-201 of Companies Law regulate mergers, divisions, partial divisions, transfers of assets and exchange of shares in two or more companies intending to merge together. (b) Sections 201A – H of Companies Law as amended by Law 70(I) of 2003 regulate mergers of public companies in line with European practices. (c) Sections…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

July 14, 2016

An important amendment to the Assessment and Collection of Taxes Law (N.4/1978) in Cyprus is currently under consideration by the Council of Ministers regarding automatic exchange of information. More specifically, the proposed amendment aims at regulating the conditions under which the Cypriot Tax Commissioner may disclose information on any person with a view to complying with agreements for automatic exchange of information between Cyprus and other countries (both EU and non-EU countries). While the notion of automatic exchange of information…

July 14, 2016

Complete bank secrecy is fast becoming a matter of the past.  The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) portal provides a comprehensive overview of the work the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in the area of the automatic exchange of information, in particular with respect to the Common Reporting Standard. That is why your account provider (bank, building society, insurance or investment firm) may ask you to provide certain information about yourself…

June 24, 2016

On the 23rd of June, the UK voted to leave the European Union. Known as “Brexit”, the UK Government with now initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting the two year procedure leading to the UK’s eventual withdrawal from the EU and, ultimately, to the establishment of a new relationship with its former EU partners. Whatever your position, it is clear that Brexit will have a significant impact across a wide range of sectors – financial services, trade, employment,…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…

October 10, 2018

On October 4, 2018, ESMA (the European Securities and Markets Authority) updated its view on the applicability Directive 2011/61/EU on alternative investment fund managers (AIFMs). The update provides guidance with respect to the cross-border management of alternative investment funds (AIFs), which have an umbrella structure with multiple compartments, or sub-funds, via the EU passport regime. Henceforth, AIFMs that wish to engage in cross-border management of AIFs must notify their respective national competent authority regarding the general umbrella fund as well as the names and…

September 19, 2018

Recently in August, Germany moved forward with a proposal directed against VAT avoidance relating to supplies of goods with a German nexus over online marketplaces. The bills expected to pass parliament in late fall and become effective as of January 1, 2019. Key elements entail: operators of online marketplaces shall be obliged to fulfil new documentation duties regarding providers of goods;  documentation requirements shall apply to any goods that touch Germany – if the shipment starts or ends in Germany;…

September 8, 2018

With concerns over challenges posed by China, the US government recently introduced new measures designed to enact control over the transfer and use of US goods and technologies both in the US and abroad. Applicable to emerging market M&A and joint ventures, these new measures manifest as two new laws – The Foreign Investment Risk Modernization Act (FIRRMA) and the Export Control Reform Act (ECRA). FIRRMA clarifies and expands the authority of the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United…

August 15, 2018

In the wake of GDPR, Poland has adopted a number of measures related to employee monitoring. Enshrined in the Polish Labor Code, there are a number of issues one should be aware of now when carrying on business in Poland. Video monitoring An employer can now utilise video monitoring only when it is considered necessary for furthering employee safety, property protection, production supervision and ensuring the confidentiality of information. Utilization is allowed in places of work; whereas monitoring is forbidden…

August 13, 2018

Bulgaria has recently adopted new appeal procedures related to public procurement. Designed to speed-up appeals and to bring an end to bad faith actions, the new rules are designed to place Bulgaria in line with more general European norms. Public procurement makes up approx. 9% of Bulgaria’s annual GDP; thus, the new measures are designed to protect and enhance this very important aspect of Bulgaria’s economy. Prior to the adopte…d measures, Bulgaria has found it difficult to implement large infrastructure…

August 10, 2018

This past July, Croatia’s parliament adopted a new Capital Markets Act in order to align Croatian legislation with the EU acquis. The at meets the EU’s cornerstone financial markets regulation – the Directive on Markets in Financial Instruments repealing Directive 2004/39/EC and the Regulation on Markets in Financial Instruments; commonly referred to as MiFID II and MiFIR. MiFID II and MiFIR are designed to ensure fair, safe and more efficient markets, and to better facilitate greater transparency for all market participants. More precisely,…

July 24, 2018

Russia has slowly moved forward in terms of its response to a recent push by the US to levy sanctions in April 2018 against certin Russian state-controlled entities and individuals, and the companies they control. Last month, legislation was passed in Russia providing the Russian government with the authority to impose certain restrictive measures against certain foreign persons and goods and services in accordance with a decision of th…e Russian president. This new law does not in itself impose restrictions….

July 5, 2018

The EU has introduced new cross-border transaction reporting requirements. Recently in May, the EU quietly adopted Council Directive 2018/822/EU on the reporting of “potentially aggressive” cross-border tax-planning arrangements. Reporting requirements will kick-in on August 31st, 2020, after the Council Directive is implemented by EU Member States. What is important is that the Council Directive is simply an instruction to Member States to create new national laws according to the principles of the directive; the directive itself is not itself a…

July 2, 2018

The US has put the WTO Appellate Body into crisis mode. Since the advent of the Trump administration, the US has consistently blocked appointments and reappointments to the WTO Appellate Body. As a result, the appellate body has now shrunk to four from its original seven members. In October this year, it is expected that this will go down to three members. WTO rules specify that three members must server on a case, selected by rotation. This will be meaningless in…

June 27, 2018

The Hungarian government has recently proposed legislative changes designed to enable regulatory screening of foreign acquisitions of certain Hungarian companies. Designed to protect strategic businesses, the proposed changes would include oversight of certain services (such as finance and telecoms) and critical infrastructure and technologies subject to potential interest by non-European bidders. Legislative motivation is on national security and public policy grounds. Proposed oversight would be applicable for acquistions in excess of 25% of Hungarian companies (10% if the target is…

June 22, 2018

Quite recently, a Romanian government emergency ordinance regarding certain amendments to Romania’s public procurement regime (“GEO 45/2018”) has been approved and gazetted. Essentially, GEO 45/2018 amended and supplemented four laws and two government emergency ordinances as follows: Law no. 98/2016 on public procurement; Law no. 99/2016 on sectoral procurement; Law no. 100/2016 on concessions of works and concessions of services; Law no. 101/2016 on remedies and appeals; Government Emergency Ordinance no. 13/2015 regarding the establishment, organization and functioning of the…

June 11, 2018

The Serbian parliament has recently adopted a new law regarding the introduction of a central registry of ultimate beneficial owners (UBOs). In force as of June 8th, the UBO law stipulates that entities and their authorized persons conducting business in Serbia shall have 30 days henceforth to identify their UBOs. Applicability is broad in scope, as the UBO law applies to both Serbian entities but also foreign companies conducting business in the Republic. With respect to foreign entities, the UBO…

June 6, 2018

On May 24th, the EC published proposals related to the promotion of the use of small and medium sized enterprise (SME) growth markets. The proposals are designed to give more flexibility for SME growth market operators as to whether they wish to impose obligations related to the production of semi-annual reports on SME debt-only issuers. The MiFID II Directive (2014/65/EU) created the SME growth market trading venue (a subset of MTFs) to… facilitate access to capital for SMEs and the…

June 4, 2018

Poland has recently introduced another public registry related to debtors. Poland is in the process of introducing the Register of Public Law Dues, which is desiged to provide information related to any financial liabilities of an individual or corporate entity. With the legal foundation already in place, the registry is set to go live in the second half of 2018. The aim is to create a system whereby potential business partners, banks, etc. have comfort in terms of increased… security…

May 25, 2018

Bulgaria is set to introduce certain changes to the application of the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Bulgaria’s government has announced that it will legislate additional protocols to that exisitng under GDPR. Areas to be effected include employment, the role of GDPR or data protection officers (DPOs) and data protection impact assessments. Regarding DPOs, Bulgaria-based businesses would be required to designate a DPO if they process the personal data of more than 1…0,000 individuals. In addition, specific corporate rules…

May 21, 2018

Cyprus has brought its domestic law inline with EU directive on mandatory automatic exchange of tax information. Cyprus has recently introduced Law 33(I)/2018 in furtherance of EU Directive 2016/881/EU. The changes concern EU wide administrative cooperation in the field of taxation. The definition of ‘automatic exchange’ has been changed; and there are new provisions requiring ultimate parent entities of multinational enterprises resident in Cyprus for tax purposes to file country-by-country reports within 12 months of the end of each fiscal…

May 18, 2018

US banks have begun applying the US Treasury’s new customer due diligence regime, requiring them to verify the identities of new business customers’ beneficial owners, and report them to law enforcement agencies. The rules were finalised two years ago, under the Obama administration, after almost two years of consultation. But implementation was deferred until now, to give the banks time to implement the new system. A beneficial owner is defined as anyone who owns 25 per cent or more of…

May 17, 2018

As the oil and gas industry strengthens with eyes on rising commodity prices, costs and emerging technologies, there are certain trends developing for 2018 that the industry should also keep in mind. Will 2018 be the year for the digital revolution takeoff, transforming talk into lucrative plans to help drive growth? Will natural gas make strides toward becoming the dominant fuel of the future, replacing oil? How will U.S. shale perform with still struggling oilfield service …companies and equipment manufacturers…

May 16, 2018

Greece has abolished and replaced its “National Cadastre and Mapping Agency S.A.” with a new public entity entitled the “Hellenic Cadastre” (“Elliniko Ktimatologio”). The new agency shall be based in Athens and is supervised by the Minister of Environment and Energy. In addition, seventeen (17) cadastral offices shall be established, one in each region (except for the Attica region where three (3) offices shall be established and Central Macedonia region where two (2) offices… shall be established) and other sixty…

September 9, 2017

When it comes to M&A in Cyprus, there are a number of major laws one should be aware of, as follows: 1. Companies Law Cap. 113 (a) Sections 198-201 of Companies Law regulate mergers, divisions, partial divisions, transfers of assets and exchange of shares in two or more companies intending to merge together. (b) Sections 201A – H of Companies Law as amended by Law 70(I) of 2003 regulate mergers of public companies in line with European practices. (c) Sections…

September 9, 2017

Albania performs reasonably well overall with respect to the quality of its energy (electricity and natural gas) sector. A recent EBRD energy law reform assessment, for example, shows that the country’s regulatory independence remains strong although private sector participation and market framework are the key weaknesses. Within the electricity sector, Albania has a regulatory framework in place that is relatively compliant with EU requirements, with partial market opening. Major challenges remain the country’s singular dependence on, aside from imports, hydro…

August 20, 2017

The National Assembly of the Republic of Srpska (RS) adopted amendments to the Profit Tax Law on 28 December 2016. The main changes have become effective as of 1 January 2017 and will be briefly presented in this article. With the amendments, the Law clarifies the definition of “taxable person” and harmonizes the concept of residence with the Profit Tax Law of the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina (FBiH) and Brcko District in order to avoid double taxation. Namely, a…

June 15, 2017

A draft law that would amend the Tax Code of the Republic of Belarus has been posted on the website of the Belarusian Ministry of Finance (the “Draft Law”). This time the draft has been published long before the start of the calendar year in which the amendments are to take effect, giving taxpayers a chance to understand the changes and prepare for them. In addition to the traditional indexation of tax rates in Belarusian rubles, the draft law contains…

September 29, 2016

The purpose of the new amendment to the Hungarian Civil Code, effective as of 1 October 2016, is to make effective the independent mortgage, which was used under the former civil code, along with refining rules with respect to the security deposit. The independent mortgage is a security that does not require enforcement dependent on the loan or other security relationships between a creditor and debtor. It is inspired from the German Civil Code. Starting with 1 October 2016 the…

September 12, 2016

One of the most popular enquiries after Brexit is how expats and people who own property in Bulgaria will be affected. There are approximately 1.3 million UK citizens living in Europe many of which chose Bulgaria for their second home or just bought a holiday home in Bulgarian resorts on the Black Sea. Around 7000 UK citizens reside permanently in Bulgaria as of March 2016, according to UK embassy data. In Bulgaria, non-EU citizens are allowed to buy built property…

August 30, 2016

Serbia’s new Enforcement and Security Act (ESA) was adopted on 18 December 2015, and has become effective as of 1 July 2016. The most relevant new rules are: the provision of new mechanisms to ensure effective enforcement; new competence of the courts and the bailiffs; and the status/role of the bailiffs. Most importantly, ESA introduces the possibility to lodge an appeal against both the decisions of the court and the bailiff, except in cases where the law explicitly excludes the…

August 9, 2016

A limited liability company is the most common corporate form established by foreign investors in Czech Republic. The activity is governed by a Memorandum of Association, which is signed by all shareholders. It is essential to note that it is executed in a form of notorial deed of a Czech notary. The notary fee usually does not exceed CZK 5,000 (180 EUR) and is depending on the amount of the registered capital. This founding deed must contain basic information about…

July 25, 2016

Pursuant to a judgement dated 29 February 2016, the Bulgarian Supreme Court repealed Regulation no 196 of the Council of Ministers of 10 July 2014 with respect to the approval of the fee rates applicable to proceedings under Chapter Eleven of the Public Procurement Act before the Commission for the Protection of Competition and the Supreme Administrative Court (promulgated in The State Gazette, no 58 of 15 July 2014 and entered into force on 15 July 2014). The Commission for…

July 14, 2016

An important amendment to the Assessment and Collection of Taxes Law (N.4/1978) in Cyprus is currently under consideration by the Council of Ministers regarding automatic exchange of information. More specifically, the proposed amendment aims at regulating the conditions under which the Cypriot Tax Commissioner may disclose information on any person with a view to complying with agreements for automatic exchange of information between Cyprus and other countries (both EU and non-EU countries). While the notion of automatic exchange of information…

July 14, 2016

Complete bank secrecy is fast becoming a matter of the past.  The Automatic Exchange of Information (AEOI) portal provides a comprehensive overview of the work the OECD and the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes in the area of the automatic exchange of information, in particular with respect to the Common Reporting Standard. That is why your account provider (bank, building society, insurance or investment firm) may ask you to provide certain information about yourself…

June 24, 2016

On the 23rd of June, the UK voted to leave the European Union. Known as “Brexit”, the UK Government with now initiate Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty, starting the two year procedure leading to the UK’s eventual withdrawal from the EU and, ultimately, to the establishment of a new relationship with its former EU partners. Whatever your position, it is clear that Brexit will have a significant impact across a wide range of sectors – financial services, trade, employment,…

May 19, 2016

Slovenia has amended the Financial Operations, Insolvency Proceedings and Compulsory Dissolution Act, which follow on amendments in 2013, amending preventive restructuring, simplified compulsory settlement and personal bankruptcy proceedings. Amendments to Slovenia’s Insolvency Act, which were adopted by the National Assembly on 31 March 2016, will come into force on 26 April 2016. The main modifications introduced by the amendments are as follows: small companies may now rely on proceedings on preventive restructuring, in addition to medium-sized and large companies as was…