Central & South America

20 new multinational companies established their regional headquarters in Panama in 2017

The Minister of Commerce and Industries, Augusto Arosemena Moreno, announced that the establishment of headquarters of multinational companies (SEM – as per its Spanish acronym) continued with extremely good results, closing 2017 with 20 new multinational companies with regional headquarters in Panama, for a total of 146 companies adding an investment of US$1,000 million dollars and 6,000 jobs.

Arosemena highlighted that the United States continues to be the country with the largest number of companies with regional headquarters in Panama, among which he mentioned large companies such as Boeing, McKinsey & Company Inc. and VISA – that were registered this past year.  High profile companies were also registered, such as Panalpina World Transport, Hankook Tire Co., and Shanghai Gorgeous Investment Development Co., among others.

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Privatization of electric power generation concessionaires: creation of new 30-year concession possible

On January 26, 2018, Federal Decree 9.271 / 2018 was published, which regulates the granting of concessions in the electric sector associated with the privatization of the concession holder of a public electric power generation concession.

In summary, the Federal Government tries to stimulate the market to participate in the privatization auctions of the electric power generation public service concessionaires, by predicting that the winning companies of the auction will have the possibility of granting a new concession contract by the up to 30 years from the date of its execution.

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New ANP resolution for pipelines of less than 15KM

Resolution No. 716 of 01/17/2018 was issued, which regulates the use by third parties of oil pipelines, their derivatives and biofuels, existing or to be built, whose length is less than 15 km and which do not originate in the area of ​​production of oil and natural gas, for an adequate remuneration to the owner of the facilities.

The new Resolution maintains objective rules regarding the allocation of transport capacity of the pipelines and creates new regulatory mechanisms, such as (a) rules of free access to existing biofuel pipelines for oil and its derivatives; (b) increased transparency; (c) rules of interconnection between hauliers; (d) the possibility of a conveyor being a loader in an interconnected plant, as is already permitted in long pipelines.

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New extension for registration of rural properties in the rural environmental registry – CAR

Through Federal Decree 9.257 / 2017, the Federal Government decided to extend until May 31, 2018, the deadline for application for registration in the Rural Environmental Registry of all rural properties.

The adhesion to the CAR is one of the obligations established in the Forestry Code, effective since 2013, for all rural properties.

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Federal government extends deadline for drafting municipal sanitation plans for the third time

The Government has again extended the deadline for municipalities to prepare their Basic Sanitation Plans, which will now end on December 31, 2019.

By means of a decree published on December 29 last (Decree 9,254 / 2017), the Government amended Decree 7,217 / 2007, which originally provided for the preparation of Municipal Plans until December 2014 (later changed to 2015 and 2017). With the new wording, municipalities that do not have their Plans completed by the stipulated date will not have access to the federal budget resources or to financings managed by the Federal Administration, when destined to public services of basic sanitation.

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The World Trade Organization: Do we or don’t we; The Legal Issues!?

On January 18 2018 an historical admission was made and reliably reported upon in a leading Bahamian daily. It was an historic admission with legal implications with little equal. Neil Hartnell, Tribune Business Editor, quoted the Lead negotiator for the Bahamas’ WTO (World Trade organization) negotiating team as asserting that the Government’s ability to protect Bahamian companies from foreign competition was “long gone.’ It was a stark admission having regard for and its source and its constitutional, legal, social and political implications. The Lead negotiator, by way of a detailed interview, further admonished businesses to think bigger for survival. Businesses were put on notice to take a more” global look at how you do business”. Look beyond this nations borders they were told and “sell to the world “.

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China’s technical trade commission will visit Panama in March to address FTA

A technical delegation from China will visit Panama to meet with representatives of the Government to examine the commercial markets of both countries, with the purpose of entering into a feasibility arrangement, prior to the negotiations of a Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Deputy Minister of Foreign Trade, Néstor González, commented during a press conference. that a few weeks ago a similar meeting was held in Beijing with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce to advance the feasibility study.

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Sunshine Act Mineiro

Conforme disposto na Lei 22.440/2016 e no Decreto 47.334, devem ser declaradas ao Governo do Estado de Minas Gerais, anualmente, quaisquer relações que configurem potenciais conflitos de interesses, mantidas no ano anterior entre profissionais de saúde e matrizes e subsidiárias de empresas que atuem nos diversos segmentos da indústrias de medicamentos, órteses, próteses, equipamentos e implantes.

O formulário digital que deve ser usado para o envio das informações foi disponibilizado no sítio eletrônico da Secretaria de Estado de Saúde no dia 23/01 e as empresas terão até o dia 28/02 para enviar as declarações relativas ao ano de 2017.

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Court of Justice of Rio Grande Do Sul condemns furniture store using unlicensed software

The 5th Civil Chamber of the Rio Grande do Sul Court of Justice (TJ-RS) condemned a furniture store to pay, as compensation, 10 times the market value for each software used without the respective license.

The lawsuit was filed by several technology companies after they allegedly identified which computer programs they were using were being used by the unlicensed store.

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Verbal agreement of use of image cannot have presumed term

The São Paulo Court of Justice condemned a toy maker to pay $ 20,000 in damages for material and moral damages for misusing a young girl’s image of her baby in one of her child’s toy containers.

According to the Rapporteur of the case, even if there was a verbal license for use of image signed between the parties, it could not be assumed that such a contract would have been renewed to the point that it could last for 14 years.

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