Anti-corruption enforcers close in on shipping and energy sectors

Anti-corruption enforcers close in on shipping and energy sectors

September 2017 proved to be a busy month for enforcement authorities, including the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) in its ongoing war against international bribery and corruption, serving as a reminder that those operating in the shipping and energy sectors must remain alive to the risks of being convicted of such crimes. Corporations should seek assistance in drafting appropriate compliance policies and procedures.

Delivering cargo without presentation of original Bills of Lading – Minimising Risk for Carriers

Delivering cargo without presentation of original Bills of Lading – Minimising Risk for Carriers

Original bills of lading (“OBL”) act as proof of title over cargo.
To minimise delays in delivering cargo, it has become common for traders to instruct carriers to deliver cargo without first being presented with OBLs.
In doing so, there is a risk that carriers will deliver cargo to a party not entitled to delivery.

Technology ahoy! Shipping and the cult of paper

Technology ahoy! Shipping and the cult of paper

Despite advances in technology, shipping remains a traditional industry. The shipping industry has a particular fondness for paper: shipping transactions are mostly conducted on paper, for example sales and purchase contracts goods/cargo specifications, invoices, charterparties, marine and cargo insurance, class inspections, bills of lading, letters of credit, certificates of origin, customs and excise declarations and port authorisations.

UAE introduces excise tax

UAE introduces excise tax

On 17 August 2017 the UAE adopted Federal Decree-Law No. 7 of 2017 on Excise Tax, which enters into force on 1 October 2017 (Excise Tax Law). A cabinet resolution is expected to be issued in the near future providing guidance in relation to certain provisions of the law.
The excise tax is imposed on goods considered harmful to human health and the environment. The tax is forecast to generate AED 7 billion (USD 1.9 billion) annually for the UAE federal budget.

New obligation in Singapore to keep company registers

New obligation in Singapore to keep company registers

Earlier this year, the Companies Act (Cap. 50) was amended in line with the Financial Action Task Force Guidelines to, inter alia, “make the ownership and control of business entities more transparent and thus reduce opportunities for the misuse of corporate entities for illicit purposes”. To this end, the Companies (Register of Controllers and Nominee Directors) Regulations 2017 were implemented.
This article covers in more detail.

Ballast Water Management Convention enters into force imminently: recent developments

Ballast Water Management Convention enters into force imminently: recent developments

With the Convention entering into force on 8 September 2017, the IMO’s Marine Environment Protection Committee (“MEPC”) has agreed a new implementation schedule for ballast water treatment system requirements for existing vessels to give shipowners up to two years of additional time to comply with the Convention’s requirements

New reporting requirements on payment practices for UK businesses

New reporting requirements on payment practices for UK businesses

Every year, thousands of businesses experience serious financial difficulties, even insolvency, simply because they are not paid on time. Late payment is recognised by the UK government as a key issue for small and medium-sized enterprises (“SMEs”) as it can adversely affect cash flow and jeopardise the ability to trade.
This note is relevant to any UK business if it meets the thresholds set out below.

Criminal Finances Act 2017 – Failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion

Criminal Finances Act 2017 – Failure to prevent facilitation of tax evasion

The Criminal Finances Act 2017 (the Act) received royal assent on 27 April 2017. Its target is the prevention of tax evasion, which is the deliberate and illegal circumvention of tax rules in order to escape a tax liability. Contrast this with tax avoidance, which is a legal method of minimising tax liability.

Here is our detailed breakdown of the new Act.

UAE introduces Value Added Tax in 2018

UAE introduces Value Added Tax in 2018

The introduction of the Value Added Tax (VAT) in the UAE follows the signing of the Unified GCC Agreement for VAT by the GCC countries on 27 November 2016 (“Agreement”), which was ratified by the UAE on 16 April 2017 by Federal Decree No. 31 of 2017. Each party to the Agreement is expected to issue its own VAT legislation implementing the agreed common principles. The KSA is the first country to publish a draft VAT law and call for public consultation.

China Update – Shenzhen promotes anti-bribery management system through Honesty Certificates

China Update – Shenzhen promotes anti-bribery management system through Honesty Certificates

China’s high profile campaign against corruption is now nearly four years old. During this time, the campaign introduced political and legislative reforms as well as much anticipated new legislation to assist in the crackdown on corrupt party members, officials and conglomerates. However, most of the directives were initiated in Beijing,…