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Legal & Regulatory Updates

Keeping up with the ever-changing landscape of compliance regulations is one of the biggest challenges of our work. These updates will make that a little easier. Use the legal and regulatory feed to stay current on the latest news and regulations impacting the world of compliance.

U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security Updates Export Compliance Guidelines

02/17/2017

On February 8, 2017, the U.S. Bureau of Industry and Security (“BIS”) announced that it has updated the content of its Export Compliance Guidelines (“Guidelines”) and Audit Module (“Module”) and combined both documents into one “easy-to-use” booklet.  We understand that BIS’s primary purpose in updating the Guidelines and Module was to shorten and simplify them because, in BIS’s view, the prior versions of the documents were too long and contained too much unnecessary technical language.

Indonesian Supreme Court Regulation on Corporate Crimes Puts Corporations at Greater Risk of Prosecution

02/16/2017

The Supreme Court recently issued Supreme Court Regulation No. 13 of 2016 on Case Handling Procedures for Corporate Crimes (SC Regulation). The SC Regulation may change the direction of prosecution in criminal cases involving corporations. While corporations are subject to a number of criminal sanctions in numerous laws, such as the Forestry Law, Environmental Law, Anti-Money Laundering Law, and Anti-Corruption Law, there have been few criminal cases where a corporation was brought before a judge and sanctioned. After the issuance of the SC Regulation, the Corruption Eradication Commission (KPK) has stated that it intends to use the SC Regulation to chase corporations in corruption cases.

Another Travel Ban to Worry About: Employees Can Lose Their US Passports for Unpaid Federal Taxes

02/13/2017

But wait there’s more. While President Trump’s Executive Order temporarily banning certain foreign nationals from entry into the United States is dominating the headlines these days, employers now have something else to worry about. Under a 2015 law, Section 7345 of the Internal Revenue Code, the State Department has the right to revoke a US citizen’s passport for nonpayment of delinquent Federal taxes. The Internal Revenue Service  recently posted guidance on its website to provide an understanding of how the law may apply in practice. In general, if the IRS assesses a taxpayer for unpaid federal US taxes, and the taxpayer does not take steps to address the problem, the State Department may revoke, deny or limit that person’s passport. Just imagine the administrative headache and threat to the business if the employee is on assignment to a foreign country when the revocation occurs, or travels frequently to other countries on business, or is planning to take an overseas posting in the near future. Employers beware!

Updates to the Personal Data Protection Regime in Singapore

02/12/2017

The Personal Data Protection Commission (“PDPC”) has recently introduced and updated its advisory guidelines to help companies better protect personal data in compliance with the Personal Data Protection Act (“PDPA”). The new Guide to Preventing Accidental Disclosure When Processing and Sending Personal Data as well as updates to the (a) Guide to Securing Personal Data in Electronic Medium; (b) Guide to Disposal of Personal Data on Physical Medium; and (c) Guide on Building Websites for SMEs, were released on 20 January 2017.

Amendments to the Thai Labour Protection Act Regarding Child Labour Violations

02/09/2017

On 24 January 2017, the new amendments to the Labour Protection Act B.E. 2541 (the Act) were published in the Royal Gazette and will take effect on 23 February 2017. The key changes concern increased penalties for employers who fail to comply with requirements regarding employment and treatment of minors set forth under the Act. The purpose of the amendments is to tackle the increasing problem of child trafficking in Thailand by stiffening penalties under the Act.

Final Text of the EU Conflict Minerals Regulation

02/08/2017

On 24 January 2017, the European Parliament’s Committee on International Trade (INTA) approved the final compromise text of the EU’s long awaited Conflict Minerals Regulation. This paves the way for the text to be formally adopted by the EU institutions in the coming months, with the Parliament expected to vote on the legislation in early March 2017. The text mirrors the political understanding announced by the European Parliament and Council in June 2016, imposing a mandatory supply chain due diligence obligation, conducted according to the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains, on EU importers of tin, tungsten, tantalum and gold (3TG) and their ores from conflict- affected and high-risk areas.

EU’s highest Court confirms that automated messages can put recipients on the hook for a price-fixing cartel

02/07/2017

Eturas runs the e-commerce back-end of 30 travel agents in Lithuania. An administrator message to each member informed them that the e-commerce functionality allowing each travel agent to grant discounts would be capped at 3 per cent. That message appeared in part of the system relating to information messages.

Russia announces a further sanctions-related legislative initiative

02/06/2017

The Service on the Surveillance for Consumer Rights Protection and Human Well-Being of the Russian Federation has published today a draft law (the “Bill“) on the introduction of amendments into the Russian Code on Administrative Violations.