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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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’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,…