On 9 March 2023, the Luxembourg Parliament adopted a law introducing a new legal framework into the Labor code to fight against moral harassment during employment. On 5 April 2023, the New Law was published in the Luxembourg official gazette and entered into force on 9 April 2023.
On 28 March 2023, the government presented Bill of Law 8186 (“Bill”), which provides a set of amendments to the General Tax Law (Abgabenordnung, AO) dated 22 May 1931 and introduces new procedural aspects applicable to taxpayers. The Bill also introduces new bilateral and multilateral advance pricing agreement procedures, together with the possibility to issue, withdraw or amend a tax assessment further to a mutual agreement procedure or an arbitration decision. Lastly, the Bill proposes a transfer pricing documentation requirement for transactions between associated enterprises, while further details regarding the scope, exact content and magnitude will be unveiled soon in a coming grand ducal decree.
On 24 March 2023, the Commission de Surveillance du Secteur Financier issued a press release requesting certain alternative investment fund managers, management companies of undertakings for collective investments in transferable securities and institutions for occupational retirement provision to participate in the data collection exercise relating to pre-contractual product disclosure information under Regulation (EU) 2019/2088 on sustainability-related disclosures in the financial services sector as amended and Regulation (EU) 2020/852 on the establishment of a framework to facilitate sustainable investment as amended.
On 22 March 2023, the European Commission tabled a proposal for a Directive on substantiation and communication of explicit environmental claims.
The proposal aims to harmonize the evaluation and monitoring of voluntary environmental claims – often referred to as “green claims” – towards EU consumers and control the proliferation of public and private environmental labels. Complementing the March 2022 proposal for a Directive on empowering consumers for the green transition as a lex specialis by providing more specific requirements on the substantiation, communication and verification of green claims, it contributes to the fight against “greenwashing”.
On 30 November 2022, a new law amending the Code of Consumption for the purpose of transposing Directive (EU) 2019/2161 was published in the Luxembourg Official Gazette. The New Law entered into force on 4 December 2022.
The Omnibus Directive amends several existing EU consumer protection legislation, including the Unfair Contract Terms Directive, Price Indications Directive, Unfair Commercial Practices Directive and Consumer Rights Directive and widens the customer rights framework to also cover digital goods, content, and services.
The Energy Charter Treaty (ECT) is an investment treaty that enables multilateral cooperation in the energy sector. Fifty-three states are currently contracting parties to the treaty, including countries in Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the European Union. On 18 November 2022, Luxembourg announced its intention to withdraw from the ECT, joining the wave of countries signaling their intention to pull out of the ECT.
European Union, online public access to the Luxembourg register of beneficial owners (RBO) was temporarily suspended.
On 16 December 2022, online access to the RBO was re-established for professionals subject to the amended law of 12 November 2004 on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (“Professionals”), such as professionals from the financial and insurance sectors, auditors, real estate agents and developers, persons carrying out a family office activity, notaries and lawyers.
On 1 February 2023, the Luxembourg Business Register announced that all entities registered with the Luxembourg trade and companies register that have made an RBO declaration will be receiving a confidential code allowing them to access their own RBO data and order an RBO extract even though they do not qualify as Professionals.
Following the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 22 November 2022, access to the Luxembourg register of beneficial owners website via the internet has been temporarily suspended. This judgment, taken on a preliminary ruling from the Luxembourg District Court in a dispute between the beneficial owners of an entity registered in Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Business Register, underlines that access without distinction of user quality, although imposed by the text of Directive (EU) 2018/843 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2018 amending Directive (EU) 2015/849 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing transposed into Luxembourg law, is contrary, in particular, to Articles 7 and 8 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.
The Tax and Legal Breakfasts: Employment seminar at the Baker McKenzie Luxembourg Office on Tuesday 29 November 2022 is designed to give our clients the keys to better apprehend and manage dismissal cases under Luxembourg law. During the seminar, we will cover the traditional questions of the types of dismissal and explain how to build up and manage a case. Furthermore, in a context where employers have difficulties in exercising their power of control over employees working remotely, where harassment claims constantly increase and where employers fear abusive whistleblowing procedures, we will also explain what measures could be implemented or course of action, such as dismissal, taken.
All sessions are complimentary to Baker McKenzie clients and affiliates.
The forthcoming visit to Luxembourg of the Financial Action Task Force, the global money laundering and terrorist financing watchdog, is certainly not unrelated to the recent adoption of the law creating a new procedure of out-of-court dissolution without liquidation for certain commercial companies. That law is the first part of the more ambitious reform aiming at preserving businesses and modernizing bankruptcy law, currently pending before the Luxembourg Parliament. Its objective is to remove, in a quick and cost-efficient way, dormant and empty shell companies without economic reality and in breach of applicable laws to prevent them from being used for criminal purposes.