Legal Updates

Legal Updates for Apr - 2016

Recent Legal Developments in Vietnam

This Update provides the key features of Decree No. 11/2016/ND-CP, a piece of legislation that regulates some provisions of the Labor Code on foreign workers in Vietnam

29 Apr 2016 | Vietnam

Government Moves to Regulate App-based Transportation Service Providers

As a response to large-scale protests by taxi drivers last month, the Government has issued Minister of Transportation Regulation No. PM 32 of 2016 on Unscheduled Public Transportation Services. The new regulation, which was issued on 1 April 2016 and comes into force on 1 October 2016, addresses, among other things, the different types of unscheduled public transportation service (penyelenggaraan angkutan orang dengan kendaraan bermotor umum tidak dalam trayek), the rights and obligations of public transportation companies and, very specifically, the role of app-based transportation service providers in providing transportation services.

26 Apr 2016 | Indonesia

Intellectual Property Update: Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia
This Intellectual Property Update compiles a selection of recent published cases relating to intellectual property in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
26 Apr 2016 | Singapore

The Choice of Court Agreements Act - Enhancing International Dispute Resolution in Singapore
On 14 April 2016, the Singapore Parliament passed the Choice of Court Agreements Act ("CCAA"), which gives effect to the Hague Convention on Choice of Court Agreements (the "Hague Convention") and enhances cross-boundary dispute resolution by providing a framework for the mutual recognition and enforcement of foreign judgments of states which are parties to the Hague Convention. This Update takes a look at the key elements of the CCAA, as well as its potential impact on dispute resolution in Singapore.
25 Apr 2016 | Singapore

Land Ministry Clarifies Rules on Property Ownership by Non-Indonesians

The Minister of Agrarian and Spatial Planning Affairs has issued a regulation (the “New Regulation”)i  to further clarify the rules governing the ownership of real property by non-Indonesians, as set out in Government Regulation No. 103 of 2015 (“Reg. 103/2015”). The New Regulation, which was issued on 21 March 2016, reiterates the restrictions contained in Reg. 103/2015, and in addition, sets minimum price thresholds that must be satisfied before a non-Indonesian may purchase a property. On a somewhat more positive note, it stresses that Hak Pakai  (Right to Use)  property may be pledged as collateral.

22 Apr 2016 | Indonesia

Standalone Cybersecurity Bill to be Tabled Next Year
A standalone Cybersecurity Bill ("Bill") will be tabled in Parliament next year to keep pace with the evolving cyber security landscape in Singapore and beyond. This was revealed by Dr Yaacob Ibrahim, Minister for Communications and Information, at the Committee of Supply Debate on 11 April 2016. The new Bill will ensure that the operators of Singapore's critical information infrastructure ("CII") take proactive steps to secure such CIIs and report incidents of cyber security breaches. It will also empower the Cyber Security Agency to manage cyber incidents and raise the standards of cyber security providers.

This Update provides an overview of the potential scope, and the intended change and effect of the new Bill on organisations. It also offers general pointers on what organisations should do at this time, even before the Ministry of Communications and Information conducts public consultation for this new Bill.
22 Apr 2016 | Singapore

PDPC Issues Report on Enforcement Actions Taken Against Errant Companies and New Advisory Guidelines on Enforcement
On 21 April 2016, the Personal Data Protection Commission ("Commission") released details of the various enforcement actions it has taken against errant organisations that have infringed the Personal Data Protection Act since the data protection provisions of the Act came into force on 2 July 2014. The Commission has also issued a new set of Advisory Guidelines on Enforcement of the Data Protection Provisions, providing greater clarity on the Commission's approach to enforcement actions.

We set out in this Update a brief overview of the key points in the Commission's report, and highlight what information can be found in the new advisory guidelines.
22 Apr 2016 | Singapore

Government Reduces Authorized Capital Requirement for MSMEs

As part of the overall effort to encourage more micro, small and medium enterprises (“MSME”) to incorporate, the government, by virtue of Government Regulation No. 7 of 2016 (the “Regulation”), has relaxed the authorised capital requirement for such enterprises in a situation where the net assets of one or all of the founders of an enterprise satisfy the criteria for classification as an MSME. 

21 Apr 2016 | Indonesia

The Trans-Pacific Partnership and Intellectual Property: Potential Changes in Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam
On 4 February 2016, the Trans-Pacific Partnership ("TPP") was signed between 12 countries, of which Rajah & Tann Asia is present in 3 (Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam). Chapter 18 of the TPP sets out various provisions relating to intellectual property which signatories are expected to implement into their legislation, if these provisions are not already part of each signatory's law. In this article, we hope to give a snapshot of the level of compliance of the current laws of Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam with the intellectual property provisions of the TPP, and provide some examples of areas where changes may be forthcoming in future.
18 Apr 2016 | Singapore

2016: A Manpower-lean and Productive Economy, with a Strong Singaporean Core
During the Committee of Supply debate on 8 April 2016, the Ministry of Manpower highlighted that labour policies will be focused along three main thrusts: (a) A manpower-lean and productive economy, (b) a strong Singaporean Core in the workforce, and (c) a competitive Singapore workforce at a global level. This Update will provide a brief summary of these policy thrusts and other key announcements in Singapore's employment landscape.
15 Apr 2016 | Singapore

Public Consultation on the Draft Mediation Bill
The Ministry of Law launched on 17 March 2016 a public consultation on the draft Mediation Bill ("Bill"). The introduction of the Bill gives effect to one of the recommendations made by the International Commercial Mediation Working Group to strengthen the overall framework for mediation in Singapore. The public consultation closes on 28 April 2016.

This Update highlights the key features of the draft Bill.
13 Apr 2016 | Singapore

Updates to Myanmar's Foreign Investment Regime

Changes to the list of restricted economic activities under the Myanmar Foreign Investment Law were recently announced by the Myanmar Investment Commission ("MIC"), in the form of MIC Notification No. 26/2016 dated 21 March 2016 ("Notification No.26/2016"). These changes are brought in more than 18 months after the release of the previous notification on foreign ownership restrictions, being Notification No. 49/2014 dated 14 August 2014 ("Notification No. 49/2014"). Notification No. 26/2016 retains the framework previously set out in Notification No. 49/2014, but now provides for further liberalisation and re-calibration of foreign investment policy towards certain business activities, as well as additional prohibitions and restrictions in respect of certain business activities.

08 Apr 2016 | Myanmar

Obtaining Discovery Against Banks
In the course of a commercial dispute, it is not uncommon for parties to seek information and documents relating to bank accounts. However, obtaining pre-action discovery against a bank may not be a simple matter, as applicants must fulfil the discovery requirements without breaching banking secrecy rules. The case of La Dolce Vita Fine Dining Co Ltd and another v Deutsche Bank AG and another [2016] SGHCR 3 presents an example of a successful application for pre-action discovery against two banks. The decision provides a look at the framework which must be satisfied before such discovery is allowed.
08 Apr 2016 | Singapore

Budget 2016 – Tax Updates
Budget 2016 was delivered on 24 March 2016. This budget laid the road map for Singapore’s next 50 years, towards SG100. The main aim of this year’s budget is to assist Small and Medium Enterprises. We are pleased to highlight the tax changes announced in Budget 2016.
07 Apr 2016 | Singapore

Competition Bites – ASEAN & Beyond
The first quarter of 2016 has been a busy one, particularly for the Competition Commission of Singapore ("CCS"). This Update brings to you short highlights of the decisions issued by the CCS in the first quarter of 2016, as well as other key competition-related legal and economic developments in ASEAN and key jurisdictions across the world. Written in a basic, easy to understand manner, this Update aims to assist businesses in understanding and recognising key competition issues in their business practices and / or dealings.
06 Apr 2016 | Singapore

30 June 2016 is the New Deadline for Re-registration Online

Due to the overload of the applications for online re-registration received from entities in Cambodia as at 31 March 2016, as well as the failure of some entities to re-register online within the prescribed period as required by the Ministry of Commerce ("MOC"), the MOC has extended the deadline in order to facilitate the process for both the MOC itself as well as the entities in Cambodia.

05 Apr 2016 | Cambodia

Extension of Payment Period of Patent Tax FY2016 for Enterprises which have not completed the Tax Update Requirement

In order to accommodate the entities that have not yet completed the tax update,  and those that are unable to pay or renew their Patent Tax Certificate within the imposed deadline, the General Department of Taxation has extended the deadline for payment of patent tax to 31 May 2016.

05 Apr 2016 | Cambodia

Credit-Card Issuers Now Required to Divulge Customer Data to Revenue Authorities

As part of the Government’s efforts to raise the tax ratio and boost tax revenues, the Minister of Finance has issued Regulation No. 39/PMK.03/2016 (on Tax Data and Information, and Procedures for Furnishing Tax Data and Information / "New Regulation"), which came into effect on 23 March 2016. The New Regulation amends Minister of Finance Regulation No. 16/PMK.03/2013 for the fifth time.

The New Regulation requires a total of 23 Indonesia-based credit-card issuers to report a wide range of information on customer transactions to the Directorate General of Taxes (as the Indonesian Revenue Service is known), including information on such things as transaction details, dates, values and locations. This marks the first time that credit-card issuers in Indonesia have been required to provide such information to the Directorate General of Taxes.

05 Apr 2016 | Indonesia

Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill 2016 Passed
The Mental Capacity (Amendment) Bill 2016 ("Bill"), read for the first time in Parliament on 29 February 2016, was passed on 14 March 2016. It seeks to amend the existing Mental Capacity Act ("MCA") to better protect individuals who have lost mental capacity. This Update provides the key amendments to the MCA as set out in the Bill.
04 Apr 2016 | Singapore

The Government’s Effort To Regulate Over-The-Top Services

In the much anticipated move following the Netflix and transport applications’ debacles, the Minister of Communications and Informatics on March 31, 2016 issued Circular Letter No. 3 of 2016 (“CL”) which aims to give a glimpse of how the Government is thinking about the topic prior to enacting the ‘regulation’.  Two considerations were cited as to why the CL was issued.  First, as an advance warning of the upcoming regulation (Note: no draft of the said regulation is attached to the CL).  Second, to provide ample time for the service providers to prepare, i.e. any adjustments to their business operations (Note: no deadline or indication in the CL of when the regulation will be issued).

01 Apr 2016 | Indonesia