International Interesting: Syria, Russia, UK Bribery, Qatar, Australia, More

Seven international updates caught our eye today. For your reference: 

Russia Accedes to OECD Anti-Bribery Convention (Dinsmore & Shohl)

“The law defines foreign government official to include any appointed or elected official who has a position in any legislative, executive, administrative, or judicial branch of a foreign country or an individual who serves any public function for a foreign country or a public agency or a public enterprise. As a result, it appears to encompass employees of government-owned enterprises, as the US Government has interpreted the US FCPA.” Read the full update»

EU expands sanctions against Syria – adds 12 natural persons and 2 petroleum companies to the asset freeze list (White & Case LLP)

“Four members of President Al-Assad’s family (including his wife, mother, and sister), two current Ministers, five Ministers of State, one business partner of two other listed persons and co-owner of a currency exchange company, and two state-owned petroleum companies (Syrian Petroleum Company and Mahrukat Company) have been added to the EU’s asset freeze list.” Read the full update»

ICGN Political Contributions Best Practice Guidelines Echo UK Bribery Act Principles (McDermott Will & Emery)

“Global attitudes towards political donations are not uniform.  A recent study indicates that almost 60 per cent of U.S. companies listed in Standard and Poor’s 500 index provide funding for political purposes.  In the United Kingdom, political donations by companies are not common practice, but can be made lawfully if shareholders approve the aggregate sum for any political expenditure in accordance with the UK Companies Act 2006.  In contrast, in France there is a total prohibition on political donations by companies.  The fact that corporate political donations are not permitted in all jurisdictions indicates that this is an area for debate and which is seen to be open to abuse.” Read the full update»

Proposed Regulations Provide FATCA Compliance Guidance for Foreign Financial Institutions, Other Foreign Entities and U.S. Withholding Agents (McDermott Will & Emery)

“The U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service recently issued proposed regulations under Sections 1471–1474 of the Internal Revenue Code. The proposed regulations provide updated guidance on information reporting requirements for foreign financial institutions and non-financial foreign entities and the related withholding regime under FATCA. The proposed regulations effectively delay reporting and withholding in large part by providing for expanded categories of ‘grandfathered obligations.’ The proposed regulations also delay compliance procedures for foreign passthru payments until 2017 at the earliest and request comments on a number of items.” Read the full update»

Qatar Law Q&A: Engineering Activities in Qatar (Patton Boggs LLP)

“In view of the significant infrastructure works that are proposed to be undertaken in the State of Qatar in the lead up to the FIFA World Cup in 2022, engineering firms from around the world are establishing operations in the State and otherwise looking to secure contracts for work. Set forth below are some key questions and answers regarding the conduct of engineering activities in Qatar and the legislative scheme under which they are regulated.” Read the full update»

Australia Expands Warranty Protection for Consumers (Dinsmore & Shohl LLP)

“Exporting to Australia just got a little trickier for consumer product and service providers. The Australian Consumer Law was recently amended to expand the warranty protections afforded to consumers. These changes not only have an effect on the obligations you owe to a consumer, they will also require changes to your packaging.” Read the full update»

Is Your Company’s Website Revealing International Trade Law Violations? (David Schwartz)

“Your company’s website may be revealing international trade law violations that could result in significant civil and/or criminal penalties. Companies using their websites to conduct e-commerce or cross-border transactions involving the import or export of goods, technology or services, and/or to provide ‘controlled’ information over the Internet or an intra-company network are particularly vulnerable to a wide range of possible violations.” Read the full update»

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