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Corporate Compliance

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Following the developments to the Labuan tax regime through the introduction of economic substance requirements in 2019, the Labuan Companies (Amendment) Act 2022 recently came into effect on 10 June 2022 to amend the Labuan Companies Act 1990. These further developments to the Labuan corporate and regulatory regime clearly highlight Malaysia’s commitment towards adhering to international legal standards of corporate governance and transparency.

In one of its latest decisions, the Superintendence of Industry and Commerce recognized that the implementation of compliance programs in competition matters might be considered a mitigation factor in the graduation of an eventual sanction. Recently, the SIC has pronounced the importance of these programs, imposing them as behavioral remedies in merger control procedures, as well as in decisions regarding anti-competitive practices. Specifically, in Resolution 22645 of 2022, the SIC imposed remedies to the transaction between two companies, imposing as a behavioral obligation within the companies the implementation of an Antitrust compliance program.

On 13 June 2022, the Amendment of the Telecommunications Business Act was enacted. The Amendment includes new regulations for the use of personally identifiable information and other information related to individuals, including cookies. Telecommunication service providers subject to the Amendment will be required to take measures based on the relevant ministerial orders to be enacted by the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications in the near future.

In June 2022, the Personal Information Protection Commission, which is the regulatory authority for the protection of personal information in Japan, published its 2021 annual report. While the report does not supplement the law in any way, it does provide businesses with useful insights on the PPC’s thinking and position with respect to various types of processing of personal information under Japanese law.

On 25 July 2022, Australia’s eSafety Commissioner published Regulatory Guidance on the “Basic Online Safety Expectations”, which are provided for by Part 4 of the Online Safety Act 2021 (Cth) and the Online Safety (Basic Online Safety Expectations) Determination 2022. This comes a day after eSafety became entitled to issue notices seeking information from a wide range of online service providers regarding their compliance with the expectations.

In July 2022, the Singapore Personal Data Protection Commission published a guide to help organisations comply with the Personal Data Protection Act when deploying blockchain applications that process personal data. As such, this Guide provides a broad set of principles and considerations for organisations to design their blockchain applications to be PDPA-compliant, thus ensuring more accountable management of customers’ personal data.

The EU Whistleblower Directive has been in force since 16 December 2019, and was to be implemented in national law by 17 December 2021. On 27 July 2022, the German Federal Cabinet approved a government draft of the Whistleblower Protection Act, so that — with considerable delay — the further legislative process has been initiated.

To keep up with the momentum of digitalized lending and address the multitude of aspects (including financial inclusion and consumer protection) impacted by this ever-growing practice, the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (Otoritas Jasa Keuangan or OJK) has finally issued the long-anticipated regulation that revamped OJK Regulation No. 77/POJK.01/2016 on Information Technology-Based Lending Services (POJK 77). On 4 July 2022, OJK enacted OJK Regulation No. 10/POJK.05/2022 on Information Technology Based Collective Funding Services, updating the requirements for peer-to-peer lending operators and revoked POJK 77.

What’s changed?
On 15 July 2022, the Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare published the Draft from Official Mexican Standard called PROY-NOM-037-STPS-2022 regarding health and safety standards for telework, understood as the:
“way of subordinate labor organization consisting of the performance of paid activities at different places from original workplace for which the physical presence of teleworker is not necessary required in it, using information and communication technologies contact and control between the teleworker and the employer.”
The standard will be applied throughout the Mexican Republic to employers and work centers with employees who telework for more than 40% of their weekly working hours.

The Kenyan Government, in its latest Finance Act 2022, has enacted some key changes in the area of direct tax. This article, written by Francis Mayebe, Candidate Attorney in Johannesburg, and Virusha Subban, Partner and Head of the Johannesburg Tax Practice, highlights an important update on the country-by-country reporting threshold for multinational companies.