Act on registration of beneficial owners: a few new obligations, many new sanctions

At the beginning of February 2021, Act No. 37/2021 Coll., on Registration of Beneficial Owners was published in the Collection of Laws which transposes – albeit with a considerable delay after the deadline which was more than one year ago – requirements of the EU law arising from the fifth generation of the AML Directive. With effect from 1 June, the new act will replace the existing legislation which has been so far contained in Act No. 304/2013 Coll. (Act on Public Registers) and Act No. 253/2008 Coll. (Anti-Money Laundering Act). This article aims to draw attention to some of the principal news that should be noted by Czech corporate entities and trust funds. Especially since the new act imposes considerable sanctions for the failure to meet the obligations. We will focus on the entities most affected by the law, i.e. limited liability companies and joint stock companies. 

24. 2. 2021

Easier online identification, new obliged entities and higher sanctions. What changes does the amendment to the AML Act bring?

Digital technologies are growing in popularity, but they come hand in hand with new forms of crime, including crime in the area of money laundering. Fighting against this illegal practice is becoming more and more demanding, which is reflected in the increasing number of relevant legal regulations on both the Czech and European level. At the beginning of 2021, an amendment of the AML Act came into force, which regulates for example new obligations, technological possibilities with regard to the online customer on-boarding, changes certain conditions for customer due diligence and brings substantially higher sanctions for violations of the AML Act. What exactly do these changes mean and what else does the amendment to the AML Act bring? We talked about these matters with the representatives of the Financial Analytical Office during our panel discussion. 

24. 2. 2021

Victory Loves Preparation: The best investment is prevention, says a Partner at Deloitte Legal Bulgaria

The society-wide crisis brought about by the coronavirus pandemic in 2020 is reflected, among other things, in companies’ planning. Entrepreneurs try to keep their companies running and to provide them with the best possible legal protection for the future. To allow for the unexpected is currently rather challenging, so the best way is to invest in prevention. It is ultimately a less expensive and simpler approach than subsequent remedies of potential problems. This advice is given to businesses by Reneta Petkova, Partner at Deloitte Legal Bulgaria. We discussed this further with her in the interview. 

11. 2. 2021

Correctly Set Compliance Programme Makes It Possible to Get Exculpated from Criminal Liability

The legal concept of exculpation of a legal entity from criminal liability in criminal proceedings, provided that the legal entity has a functional and correctly set compliance programme, was adopted into the Czech legal system on the basis of inspiration from abroad and has undergone numerous changes over its existence. In contrast to countries such as Spain, France or Italy, the Czech legislation regarding the “possibility to be exculpated from criminal liability using the compliance programme” is very brief. How does the third revised edition of the methodology of the Prosecutor General’s Office and some of the recent court rulings look at this issue? 

28. 1. 2021

Introducing circular economy or greater biodiversity. What are the challenges of environmental law in 2021?

There is no doubt that we live in a complicated world and it may often feel overwhelming to try to understand the massive amount of new information about environment destruction, technology, social changes and legislative regulations. What changes does the amendment to the Czech Water Act bring? What is the role of cities and regions in the transition to circular economy? What are the risks that accompany the decline in biodiversity? Read about the most topical issues in the world of environmental law. 

25. 1. 2021

Biodiversity decline increases the risk of a new pandemic

Biodiversity mirrors human activity and its impacts on nature. However, the reflection is not a flattering one. According to the 2020 Living Planet Index, the population of certain animals has declined by 68% on average since 1970. Not even the European network of protected habitats and species can prevent this decline – its latest report shows that the situation of protected species is not improving. The new Global Biodiversity Outlook 5 confirms this fact, calling for comprehensive and integrated solutions. After all, biodiversity protection is in the interest of all humankind. Although the COVID-19 pandemic has temporarily improved certain areas of environment protection in Europe, especially air quality, biodiversity loss will have major negative consequences in the long run as encroachment into natural habitats increases the risk of transmission of hitherto undiscovered diseases to humans. 

25. 1. 2021

Energy trends are positive but the current provisions may be insufficient for reaching EU goals

In the last quarter of 2020, several reports, announcements and studies were published, which not only evaluate the development of various different branches of the energy sector but also present their vision for the upcoming years. EU, as well as the Czech Republic, share a positive perspective of the sector’s future and are trying to start several initiatives, such as the Modernisation Fund – a new grant project, which has just been launched in the Czech Republic. The significant topics also include the progress in the competitiveness of clean energy, strategies to launch the Renovation Wave for Europe or trends in the fulfilment of climate and energy targets. 

25. 1. 2021

The future belongs to sustainability: How will new EU legislation strengthen the position of consumers?

In 2021, we can expect a number of legislative news from the EU, which will follow the efforts to implement the European Green Deal and the transformation of the EU economy. When making their decisions, consumers should have verified data on the environmental impact of products, their durability and reparability. The future therefore belongs to products that last longer, are easier to repair and can be recycled and reused after the end of their lifetime. In the future, the EU’s efforts will also focus on the reduction of methane emissions as well as the use of safer chemicals that are more environmentally friendly for both humans and the environment. The beginnings can already be seen in the database of substances of concern. 

25. 1. 2021

EU has tightened the rules of plastic waste transport and wants to work on recycling

The New Year brings with it brand new waste laws. For example, an amendment to the Public Procurement Act introducing mandatory responsible public procurement has been included in the legislation. Among other things, public authorities will have to factor in circular economy elements. New requirements have also come from the EU that have significantly tightened the rules on plastic waste transport. The EU will have to work on plastic waste recycling and return to circulation, as apparent from the analysis published by the Circular Plastics Alliance. Circular economy and its principles are also a central topic of the new OECD study, emphasising that cities and regions could play an important role in the transition to circular economy. 

25. 1. 2021