Panama Covid-19 update – Well, the UK goes back into month-long lockdown; while here things would almost seem quite normal here – except for the face masks, social distancing, compulsory temperature-taking and hand cleansers etc…
Meanwhile, another 731 positive tests, with 7,446 tests carried out. 12 more fatalities and 20,346 active cases.
31 OCTOBER 2020
UN RIGHTS EXPERT TO ASSESS IMPACT OF UNILATERAL SANCTIONS ON QATAR
On 31 October, MENA-FN reported that the UN Special Rapporteur on unilateral coercive measures and human rights, Alena Douhan, plans to visit Qatar to assess the impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights. She says she is to examine whether and to what extent the adoption, maintenance or implementation of sanctions hinders the full realisation of the human rights of individuals. Alena Douhan was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights by the Human Rights Council in March 2020. The Special Rapporteur will present her final report to the UN Human Rights Council in September 2021.
US SANCTIONS ON NORD STREAM 2 PIPELINE
On 30 October, the Society of Corporate Compliance and Ethics published an article concerned with US State Department guidance about the new sanction regulations targeting a Russian natural gas pipeline, Nord Stream 2, that the US claims harms its national interests and those of the EU.
GLASGOW: FORMER TORY PARTY BRANCH SECRETARY CHARGED WITH MONEY LAUNDERING MORE THAN £200,000
On 31 October, the Glasgow Evening Times reported that Malcolm Macaskill, 61, allegedly sent cash deposits said to be from criminal property to the Rutherglen and Cambuslang Conservative Association and The Glasgow Conservative Forum before sending out numerous cheques to a snack shop’s bank account, while he was treasurer and deputy chairman of the associations between September 2005 and December 2013.
EUROPEAN CONFERENCE OF MINISTERS OF TRANSPORT (ECMT) PERMITS
The British International Freight Association says that the present situation regarding trading with the EU after the end of the Brexit Transition period on the 31 December is complex – and in the road environment the 2 main issues are cabotage and market access. BIFA says that it is still not clear in what circumstances the permit would be required.
See latest UK guidance at –
CHECK IF YOU ARE ESTABLISHED IN THE UK OR EU FOR CUSTOMS PURPOSES
BIFA refers one to UK guidance from 12 June, saying that a person or business needs to be established in the UK or EU to meet a number of customs rules. This includes being able to get a wide range of customs authorisations and simplifications.
THE ECONOMIC COSTS OF EX ANTE REGULATIONS
The European Centre for International Political Economy published a report explaining that ex ante regulations broadly aim to identify problems beforehand and shape stakeholder behaviour and responses through regulatory intervention. Ex ante regulations standardise certain practices and policies that solve sector-specific problems by specific predetermined outcomes. In short: Ex ante regimes tell business precisely how to behave, or “what to do” whereas the norm is ex post where regulators tell them “what not to do” by describing the situations the society wants to avoid. It says that the norm remains that regulatory action takes place once a market failure or distortion arises – which is ex post. Until a certain undesirable effect is actually established, consumers and producers are allowed to act accordingly to what they believe maximises their welfare in accordance with well-known and pre-defined set of rules. A study highlights the economic impacts of shifting from ex post to ex ante in the online services sector as stipulated by the proposals for the Digital Services Act. It estimates a loss of about €85 billion in GDP and €101 billion in lost consumer welfare, due to a reduction in productivity, after accounting for other control variables.
BLOCKCHAIN FOR TRADE: THE NEXT GOLD STANDARD OR THE FOOL’S GOLD?
The European Centre for International Political Economy has published an article saying that the estimated benefits from the adoption of blockchain technology are considerable. However, it says, to deliver on its trade promises, blockchain technology must bring in the regulatory agencies and be combined with other emerging technologies and backed by due diligence practices in line with existing international standards.
BREXIT: NORTHERN IRELAND’S TRIPLE TREATY TRADE AMBIGUITY
On 29 September, the Centre for Cross Border Studies in Ireland which considers the global trading position of Northern Ireland with reference to thr3ee international legal texts, the WTO (Marrakesh Agreement 1994), Good Friday Agreement/Treaty of Belfast 1998, and Northern Ireland Protocol of the UK-EU Withdrawal Agreement of 2020. The article argues that each of these contains both core principles and ambiguities of relevance to Northern Ireland’s future trading position, which need to be navigated carefully and flexibly in determining future arrangements. Ensuring that Northern Ireland does not remain the problem child of Brexit will be challenging.
DATA PROTECTION REGISTRATION IN GUERNSEY FROM JANUARY 2021
On 26 October, Ogier published an article saying that the Office of the Data Protection Authority in Guernsey (ODPA) will introduce a new registration and levy regime from January 2021. The new regime requires all entities, including local organisations, businesses and sole-traders established in Guernsey who process personal data to register with the ODPA.
CBD ADVERTISING IN THE UK – THE BASICS
On 29 October, Field Fisher published an article saying that the UK CBD market is growing rapidly and is predicted to be worth more than $1 billion by 2025. The UK high street now offers consumers a wide range of CBD products in a myriad of shapes and sizes and for a variety of purposes including foods, medicines, and cosmetics. The article sets out a list of questions that we are routinely asked by US companies looking to sell CBD products into the UK, along with some brief thoughts.
US CUSTOMS DISCOVERS ‘GREEN’ COCAINE IN SHIPMENT FROM COLOMBIA
A news release from US Customs & Border Protection on 30 October reported that, on 21 October, CBP officers seized 5.5 kg of green cocaine. It explains that cocaine is produced from green coca plant leaves. Through a chemical process using gasoline, ammonia and other chemicals, the green colour is processed into the common white substance. CBP officers periodically encounter coca leaves in plant form while inspecting travellers’ baggage and in air-shipped parcels, but rarely encounter the green powdery substance. Both of these forms of coca retain cocaine alkaloids and are regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.
DISEASE OUTBREAKS – DIFFERENTIATING BETWEEN NATURAL AND LABORATORY SOURCES OF INFECTION
On 28 October, the Middlebury Institute published a guide saying that COVID-19 has exposed key gaps in the global community’s ability to assess infectious disease outbreaks of international concern, in particular the ability to differentiate between natural and laboratory sources of infection. It says that a deliberate biological attack may resemble an outbreak of natural or accidental origin, and a natural or accidental outbreak may be misattributed as an attack. The purpose of this Occasional Paper is to outline a readily adoptable, stepwise methodology to guide the investigation of corresponding outbreak origins, building upon traditional epidemiological principles.
BANK’S QUINCECARE DUTY AND DISHONEST ASSISTANCE
On 27 October, CMS Law published an article saying that the English High Court has recently handed down an important judgment in relation to the Quincecare duty and dishonest assistance. In the case, claimants alleged that a bank breached its Quincecare duty of care to take sufficient care that monies paid out from accounts were being properly paid out. They further claimed against the bank for dishonest assistance relating to breaches of fiduciary duty by the ultimate beneficial owner of the Ponzi scheme operator involved. The article explains that the Quincecare duty arises when bankers are asked to make payments in circumstances in which there are reasonable grounds to suspect a possible fraud. Banks then owe a duty of care to their customers to refrain from making payments.
SWITZERLAND: COURT DELIVERS FIRST JUDGMENT IN FIFA CORRUPTION CASE
On 31 October, Eurasia Review reported that former FIFA number 2 Jérôme Valcke has been given a suspended sentence and fine in a corruption case, while the president of French football team Paris Saint-Germain has been acquitted. Switzerland’s federal criminal court found Valcke guilty of forging documents linked to World Cup broadcasting deals in Italy and Greece, but he was acquitted of the more serious charges of accepting bribes and criminal mismanagement.
GUIDELINES ON THE CONCEPTS OF CONTROLLER AND PROCESSOR IN THE GDPR
On 29 October, an article from Baker McKenzie says that the European Data Protection Board has published draft guidelines on the concepts of controller and processor in the GDPR. They replace the previous guidelines on the concepts of controllers and processors which the EDPB’s predecessor, had published in 2010. In its comprehensive 45-page Guidelines, the EDPB not only provides guidance on the concepts of controllers, processors and joint controllers, but also long-anticipated guidance on data processing agreements pursuant to Article 28 GDPR. The article summarises the key aspects of the Guidelines.
ALBANIAN WOMAN JAILED AFTER USING HER CHARITY TO HIDE AN ATTEMPT TO SMUGGLE PEOPLE INTO THE UK
On 30 October, the BBC reported that Police said Pranvera Smith intimidated immigrants into paying £1,000 each. From a shop in Birmingham, the 47-year-old would charge refugees for “free” services including benefits and housing support. She was jailed for 5 years and 4 months at Birmingham Crown Court. Smith’s charity, Freedom to Stay, promoted itself as as helping newly-arrived Albanian asylum seekers find their feet by applying for benefits and care money as well as applications to stay. She is thought to have made at least £130,000 from those she exploited.
US SELLS SEIZED IRANIAN GASOLINE CARGOES FOR MORE THAN $40 MILLION
On 31 October, Hellenic Shipping News reported that 4 Iranian gasoline cargoes that were bound for Venezuela but seized by the US earlier this year have been sold in a forfeiture auction for more than $40 million.
KENYA: GOVERNMENT ISSUES NOTICE FOR COMPANIES TO PROVIDE DETAILS OF KEY SHAREHOLDERS BY JANUARY
On 31 October, The Standard reported that all companies in Kenya have until January next year to submit to the government names of their key owners or controlling entities. This is said to be a move to enforce the law and create transparency in shareholding of companies as the state cracks down on illicit cash flows such as money laundering and terrorism financing. The Business Registration Services (BRS) Director granted companies up to 31 January 2021 for preparation of beneficial ownership registers.
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