Central & South America

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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Court of Appeals denounces company for unfair competition in sponsored announcements

The São Paulo Court of Justice (TJ-SP) upheld the judgment of a lower court judge who ordered a company to pay $ 15,000 for diverting its competitor’s clientele through the purchase of sponsored links from Google.

The First Instance Judge had emphasized that the expressions used to identify the products and services marketed by the plaintiff would not be in common use, which would make them unique and distinctive in their market segment. Thus, the company, by associating the author’s expressions with his e-mail address, would be unduly benefiting from the author’s reputation and reputation to attract attention to his products and services, which would constitute a practice of unfair competition.

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You and your Rights – Sexual Harassment in the Commonwealth of the Bahamas

We have seen a great debate unfold in the United States over the last few months as to the rights of working women on the job. The movement is not gender specific nor is it limited to the dominant campaign which has been led by American women. The movement was started by Alyssa Milano, the “Charmed “actress. She fashioned the hash tag metoo and since, it has become a social media sensation. The purpose of the hash tag was to inform the public how pervasive the problem  of sexual harassment is .Today it is a platform for working men and women  to tell their stories of sexual violation and harassment in the workplace. Started by an actress, the # Metoo movement raises very important issues as to workplace safety and the rights of working women and men to work in a “sexual harassment free “environment. It has been characterized as a campaign which was started to expose the alleged sexual abuses of Hollywood powerful media mogul Harvey Weinstein. It has now morphed into a “heat seeking missile” exposing serial sexual abuse in the workplace. Since the Weinstein story broke the United States has witnessed an explosion of similar complaints across America. What about the Bahamas..?

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CSRF: Refunds on car rentals subject to social security contributions

The Superior Chamber of Tax Appeals analyzed a case involving the leasing of vehicles, by employees of a certain company in the logistics sector, with subsequent reimbursement, under the perspective of social contributions. The 2nd Ordinary Panel of the 4th Chamber of the 2nd Judgment Section had annulled the Notice of Infringement, on the understanding that the lease was necessary for the rendering of the services, but the National Treasury filed a special appeal, which was deemed appropriate.

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Superior Chamber of Tax Appeals has been ruling on stock options favorably to the treasury

To date, only two decisions have been formalized by the Superior Chamber of Tax Appeals on the incidence of social security contributions and withholding income tax on gains earned by individuals as a result of Stock Options programs. The most recently published decision was issued in a generic way, so that an inattentive reading could lead to the conclusion that CARF’s understanding is that any payments made to employees under the heading of Stock Options would be characterized as compensation. In fact, the determination of the nature of the Plan depends on the form of its structure and conditions.

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