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Mar 2020 - ESAPA Client eNewsletter

Mar 2020 - ESAPA Client eNewsletter
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As issues develop with the Coronavirus outbreak, the range of legal considerations facing businesses expands and is, in many respects, unprecedented. We have developed our online hub of legal briefings to clients to cover concerns for different sectors, jurisdictions and specialist areas. We will continue to add content which will help our respective clients and generally update the hub over the coming days and weeks.

The hub can be accessed by clicking on this link:

Please do take a look at the Hub and share with your clients any of the briefings. Should you require immediate support on managing your response to the Coronavirus, please email me or your Eversheds Sutherland key contacts.

Stephen Kitts
Managing Partner, Asia


Contributed by Thomson Geer 

By Jacquie Seemann, Partner; Bridget Nunn, Special Counsel; Lauren Townsend, Special Counsel 

Modern award review - new annualised wage requirements

The Fair Work Commission’s review of modern awards has resulted in amendments to 23 awards that will impact on many employers. The new annualised wage clauses took effect on 1 March 2020, and potentially impose significant obligations on employers.

Read full article here​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​.



Contributed by DFDL

By Guillaume Massin, Partner & Cambodia Managing Director; Clint O’Connell​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, Partner, Head of Cambodia Tax Practice, DFDL Cambodia

Everything But Arms (EBA) update

On 12 February 2020, the European Commission adopted a delegated regulation to partially withdraw trade preferences for some products imported from the Kingdom of Cambodia (“Cambodia”). If implemented, the delegated regulation will impact the duty free exemption currently enjoyed by Cambodia on certain exports.

Read full article here.

By Guillaume Massin, Partner & Cambodia Managing Director; Chris Robinson, Partner, Cambodia Deputy Managing Director, Head of the Cambodia Corporate and Commercial Practice; Clint O’Connell​​​​​​​​​​​​​​, Partner, Head of the Cambodia Tax Practice

Relief provided for businesses affected by COVID-19 and EBA

In response to the impact of COVID-19 and the partial withdrawal of EBA benefits – see our update here – the Cambodian government have issued a number of regulations which are intended to provide some relief to affected businesses in Cambodia.

Read full article here.



Contributed by Khaitan & Co

By Anshul Prakash, Partner, Employment Labour and Benefits; Prachi Vijay, Associate, Employment Labour and Benefits; Deeksha Malik, Associate, Employment Labour and Benefits

Coronavirus and Workplace Management – plan, manage, but do not fret

With the number of confirmed cases increasing globally each passing day, there is an urgent need to track the spread of the virus and take necessary precautions. In this regard, employers constitute an important stakeholder, and there is a pressing need to monitor, prevent and manage all suspected and confirmed cases in the workplace, both cautiously and sensitively.

Read full article here.

Contributed by King Stubb & Kasiva

By Sindhuja Kashyap, Senior Associate

Changes brought in the pharmaceutical industry: Three hits and no miss by the health ministry

In the month of February 2020, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare brought in significant amendments in the regulations governing the medical sector that comprises the inclusion of the medical devices in the definition of drugs, mandating registration of medical devices and regulating the marketing of drugs in the country.

Read full article here

By Akshay Ramesh, Associate; Gokul L, Associate

Unclaimed deposits in the Indian Banking Sector and the role of RBI

We all are well aware that the Reserve Bank of India, since its establishment in 1935, has repeatedly proven that it is the only potent body that has held the Indian financial market’s stability at its clenches. It is an obvious known fact that the responsibility of safeguarding the bank deposits of the Indian citizens lies upon the shoulders of the RBI.

Read full article here.



Contributed by SSEK

By Michael S. Carl, Foreign Legal Advisor

Indonesia foreign investment – key developments

The major developments in the foreign investment sector that are currently happening in Indonesia are as follows:

In an effort to improve Indonesia’s ease of doing business ranking, the Indonesian president, Joko Widodo, has ordered the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) to handle all forms of licensing previously handled by technical ministries and has targeted the revocation of 40 ministerial regulations which are seen as potentially inhibiting investment. The Indonesian Government has reported that a presidential instruction will be issued that will serve as the legal basis for the BKPM to assume the authority over the issuance of such licenses.

Read full article here.

Indonesian Constitutional Court Ruling changes Fiduciary Security Execution

On 6 January 2020, the Indonesian Constitutional Court issued Decision No. 18/PUU-XVII/2019, declaring that Articles 15(2) and 15(3) of Law No. 42 of 1999 on Fiduciary Security (the “Fiduciary Security Law”) are partially unconstitutional. The court was ruling on a lawsuit arguing that it was a violation of constitutional rights for a fiduciary security certificate to have the same power as an executorial court decision.

Read full article here.



Contributed by The Tokyo-Marunouchi Law Offices  

By Kengo Ishikawa, Partner

Japan business notes – termination of a poorly-performing employee

Eventually, any foreign company that succeeds in Japan will have to deal with the onerous problem of terminating a poorly-performing employee. Often foreign managers in Japan imagine that the termination process will resemble the process in their home countries, but just as often they are surprised to learn that they are quite mistaken. This is because it is much more difficult in Japan to terminate an employee for poor performance than it is in many other countries.

Read full article here.


Contributed by DFDL

By Jack Sheehan, Partner, Head of Regional Tax Practice; Senesakoune Sihanouvong​​​​​, Partner

New tax rates effective from 17 February 2020

In June 2019 the National Assembly adopted the three new tax laws: the Law on Tax Administration, the Law on Income Tax, and the Law on Excise Tax. The laws have been promulgated by the President of Lao PDR and were posted on the Official Gazette on 3 February 2020 and will come into effect on 17 February 2020.

Read full article here


Contributed by DFDL

By William Greenlee, Partner & Managing Director, DFDL Myanmar & Singapore; Nishant Choudhary, Partner, Deputy Managing Director and Head of Banking & Finance Practice, DFDL Myanmar; Rohan Bishayee, Legal Adviser, DFDL Myanmar

Central Bank of Myanmar updates offshore loans criteria

The Central Bank of Myanmar (“CBM”) has made changes to the offshore loan criteria published on its website. For the first time, there has been a clear demarcation outlining the varying requirements between Myanmar Investment Commission (“MIC”) approved companies and non-MIC approved companies.

Read full article here.


Contributed by Pradhan & Associates

Safeguards, Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Act 2076 (2019)

This client briefing provides a general overview of the Safeguard, Anti-Dumping and Countervailing Act 2076 (2019) (“SACA”). SACA, which came into force on Poush 27, 2076 (January 12, 2020), aims to protect domestic industries from material injury or threat of serious material injury caused by unanticipated and unusual surge in import of foreign goods or import of goods at a price lower than normal value or import of subsidized goods into Nepal.

Read full article here.

New Zealand

Contributed by Quigg Partners

By David Quigg, Partner

New Zealand M&A update

In the latest edition of the M&A update, we highlighted the update of the Overseas Investment Office, different ammendments and disclosures conducted by the Takeovers Panel and a compelling Overseas Case of Interest.  

Read full article here.



Contributed by Eversheds Harry Elias

By Claudia Teo, Partner & Head, Corporate and Financial Services; Derick Ting, Partner; Tan Tien Wei, Senior Associate; Valerie Boh, Senior Associate; Terence Teoh, Associate

Commencement of Payment Services Act

The Payment Services Act (“PS Act”) and its subsidiary regulations commenced on 28 January 2020 and aims to regulate all payment services and payment service providers in Singapore. Some payment services that are deemed to be of lower risk are deliberately carved out from the PS Act1 and exempt from regulation.

In this client update, we set out the key actions and dates resulting from the PS Act for your business or potential business.

Read full article here.



Contributed by Formosa International

Introduction to the regulatory sandbox

The regulatory sandbox is an approach that permits enterprises (especially startup companies) to test the feasibility of innovative financial products, services, or technologies pursuant to a specific testing plan agreed to and monitored by the competent authority.

Read full article here.

Six fiscal and tax laws to be amended in 2020

On 20 January 2020, the Ministry of Finance (MOF) held a press conference to announce that six laws would be amended this year. The laws scheduled for amendments are the Tax Collection Act, the Land Tax Act, the Customs Import Tariff Act, the Securities Transaction Tax Act, the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures, and the Stamp Tax Act.

Read full article here.



Contributed by DFDL

By Jack Sheehan, Partner, Head of Regional Tax Practice; Jonathan Blaine, Thailand Tax Director, Head of Regional Compliance & Investigations

Tax update: 2020 New Year – new rules

The New Year brings new opportunities and new challenges. In Thailand it also brings into effect new rules for both property taxes and transfer pricing documentation and disclosure requirements. This alert provides a brief discussion of both.

Read full article here.



Contributed by Asia Counsel

By Christian Schaefer, Managing Partner; Minh Duong, Partner

Asia Counsel insights

On 24 November 2019, the new Law on Securities (“Securities Law 2019”) was passed by the National Assembly. The Securities Law 2019 will take effect on 1 January 2021 and supersede the Law on Securities No. 70/2006/QH11 as amended by Law No. 62/2010/QH12.

We will take a brief look at some of the key changes to be brought in by the Securities Law 2019 in this insight.

Read full article here.

Contributed by Vision & Associates Legal

By Luu Tien Ngoc, Partner, Business Development; Le Tuan Anh, Partner, Legal Practice

Notable contents of the new Labour Code

On 20 November 2019, the National Assembly adopted the Labour Code No.45/2019/QH14 (“LC 2019”), which will take effect on 1 January 2021 and accordingly, the current Labour Code 2012 (“LC 2012”) shall be replaced after 9 years in force. The release of the LC 2019 is inevitable due to not only the legal operation and the response to a rapidly evolving labour market, but also the considerable impact of the international commitments to which Vietnam is a member, typically the Free Trade Agreement between Vietnam and the EU (EVFTA), the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), Vietnam’s commitments with the International Labour Organization (ILO).

Read full article here.