eOasis is Rajah & Tann Asia’s legal publications portal, where you can view updates on the latest key legal and regulatory developments in Asia, prepared from a practitioner's viewpoint.

What's New on eOASIS

Indonesia Expands Its Anti-Tax-Avoidance Measures: A Development to be Aware of in Tax Planning and Compliance

As readers may be aware, the Indonesian legislation has equipped the tax authority with several specific measures to combat tax avoidance practices, such as controlled-foreign corporation (CFC), transfer pricing, thin capitalisation, and indirect transfer of shares regulations. Nonetheless, these measures are insufficient in some circumstances to combat the ever-evolving creative tax avoidance schemes.

Now, the President has further empowered the tax authority by issuing new measures to combat tax avoidance practices under Government Regulation No. 55 of 2022 on Rules Adjustments in Income Tax ("Regulation"), which became effective on 20 December 2022. These measures include formalising the “substance-over-form” principle into a written provision.

27 Jan 2023 | Indonesia
Rajah & Tann Asia's Annual Regional Trade Report 2022
2022 has been an interesting year as the world emerged from the pandemic. Hard core restrictions from the pandemic are all but gone and face-to-face meetings are starting to become the norm again. We are not quite at the fervour that we were at pre-pandemic, although the chorus would agree that 2021 remains an exceptional year.

Going into 2023, the prognosis is that it is going to be a challenging year with headwinds. Yet, this may not be the case for trade law related matters, where there have been interesting developments in 2022, and continued supply chain disruptions which are seeing a changing global trade play.

In this Annual Report, we highlight key developments across Southeast Asia, such as regulatory activity relating to anti-dumping and safeguard measures, developments relating to export/import, free trade agreements, as well as sanctions, as they have occurred in 2022. Businesses are reminded to stay updated on legislative and enforcement developments on trade-related matters, which involves not only legal compliance but also understanding practically how to work with regulators. It is important for your internal trade processes to be continually monitored and updated, and for your employees to be continually trained and skilled. If you would like us to come in and do a training or dialogue with you, we would be happy to do so. We look forward to more opportunities to work and engage with you this year.

As we get into the 2023, we wish you the Very Best for the Year, and look forward to working with you. Our team stands ready to assist in any case or query or just to have a chat.
26 Jan 2023 | Singapore
Rajah & Tann Asia's Annual Regional Trade Report 2022

2022 has been an interesting year as the world emerged from the pandemic. Hard core restrictions from the pandemic are all but gone and face-to-face meetings are starting to become the norm again. We are not quite at the fervour that we were at pre-pandemic, although the chorus would agree that 2021 remains an exceptional year.

Going into 2023, the prognosis is that it is going to be a challenging year with headwinds. Yet, this may not be the case for trade law related matters, where there have been interesting developments in 2022, and continued supply chain disruptions which are seeing a changing global trade play.

In this Annual Report, we highlight key developments across Southeast Asia, such as regulatory activity relating to anti-dumping and safeguard measures, developments relating to export/import, free trade agreements, as well as sanctions, as they have occurred in 2022. Businesses are reminded to stay updated on legislative and enforcement developments on trade-related matters, which involves not only legal compliance but also understanding practically how to work with regulators. It is important for your internal trade processes to be continually monitored and updated, and for your employees to be continually trained and skilled. If you would like us to come in and do a training or dialogue with you, we would be happy to do so. We look forward to more opportunities to work and engage with you this year.

As we get into the 2023, we wish you the Very Best for the Year, and look forward to working with you. Our team stands ready to assist in any case or query or just to have a chat.

26 Jan 2023 | Malaysia
Rajah & Tann Asia's Annual Regional Trade Report 2022

2022 has been an interesting year as the world emerged from the pandemic. Hard core restrictions from the pandemic are all but gone and face-to-face meetings are starting to become the norm again. We are not quite at the fervour that we were at pre-pandemic, although the chorus would agree that 2021 remains an exceptional year.

Going into 2023, the prognosis is that it is going to be a challenging year with headwinds. Yet, this may not be the case for trade law related matters, where there have been interesting developments in 2022, and continued supply chain disruptions which are seeing a changing global trade play.

In this Annual Report, we highlight key developments across Southeast Asia, such as regulatory activity relating to anti-dumping and safeguard measures, developments relating to export/import, free trade agreements, as well as sanctions, as they have occurred in 2022. Businesses are reminded to stay updated on legislative and enforcement developments on trade-related matters, which involves not only legal compliance but also understanding practically how to work with regulators. It is important for your internal trade processes to be continually monitored and updated, and for your employees to be continually trained and skilled. If you would like us to come in and do a training or dialogue with you, we would be happy to do so. We look forward to more opportunities to work and engage with you this year.

As we get into the 2023, we wish you the Very Best for the Year, and look forward to working with you. Our team stands ready to assist in any case or query or just to have a chat.

26 Jan 2023 | Thailand
Dissecting the Amendment to the Omnibus Law: Which Sectors are Affected and How?

Last November, the Constitutional Court declared Law No. 11 of 2020 on Job Creation or commonly known as the Omnibus Law as “conditionally unconstitutional” and gave the government two years to rectify the Law. While the Law will remain valid during this period, no implementing regulations can be issued.

On 30 December 2022, the government took a step to amend the Omnibus Law by issuing Government Regulation in Lieu of Law No. 2 of 2022 on Job Creation (“Government Regulation”) to revise the Omnibus Law. In principle, the Government Regulation, which became effective immediately upon issuance, amended several laws that the Omnibus Law previously amended. However, after careful assessment, the changes under the Government Regulation are not too drastic, and the content of the Government Regulation is mainly similar to the Omnibus Law. In the Government Regulation, four sectors of the Omnibus Law were amended, namely: employment, tax, water resources, and halal products.

25 Jan 2023 | Indonesia
New Trademarks Law Anticipated in Myanmar in March 2023

On 12 January 2023, the Department of Intellectual Property of Myanmar under the Ministry of Commerce issued a notice stating that the new Trade Mark Law (2019) is anticipated to come into force in March 2023. First passed in Myanmar on 30 January 2019, the new law sought to introduce a formal trademark examination process and a new electronic trademark system, among other changes. The Trade Mark Law (2019) has yet to fully come into force, having been in a 'soft opening period' for partial implementation since 1 October 2020. 

The announcement of the Trade Mark Law (2019) being set to come into force is a significant development in the implementation of the new trademark registration system. This Update highlights what parties should be aware of regarding the Trade Mark Law (2019) and the applicable procedures and requirements.

 

25 Jan 2023 | Myanmar
New Trademarks Law Anticipated in Myanmar in March 2023

On 12 January 2023, the Department of Intellectual Property of Myanmar under the Ministry of Commerce issued a notice stating that the new Trade Mark Law (2019) is anticipated to come into force in March 2023. First passed in Myanmar on 30 January 2019, the new law sought to introduce a formal trademark examination process and a new electronic trademark system, among other changes. The Trade Mark Law (2019) has yet to fully come into force, having been in a 'soft opening period' for partial implementation since 1 October 2020. 

The announcement of the Trade Mark Law (2019) being set to come into force is a significant development in the implementation of the new trademark registration system. This Update highlights what parties should be aware of regarding the Trade Mark Law (2019) and the applicable procedures and requirements.

 

25 Jan 2023 | Thailand
Judicial Approach in MCST Cases: To defer to, or differ from, a Management Corporation?
In Singapore, subsidiary proprietors ("SP") of strata titled developments are required to seek the management corporation's ("MCST") approval to effect improvements to their lot if it affects the appearance of the building, the overarching concern being that of uniformity. If the MCST declines such approval, the SP can bring an action to challenge the MCST's decision. Guiding principles have been established in earlier cases but the analysis of the deference accorded to a MCST's decision is a novel point.

In a recent decision, the MCST of a Development had issued a decision stopping an SP's unapproved renovation works. While the District Court found in favour of the MCST, Gregory Vijayendran SC and Tomoyuki Lewis Ban from Rajah & Tann Singapore's Dispute Resolution team, who were instructed Counsel, successfully appealed against the decision of the District Court and ordered the MCST to approve certain unapproved works. This Update elucidates (i) the considerations that the High Court in Prem N Shamdasani v Management Corporation Strata Title Plan No. 0920 [2022] SGHC 280 took into account in allowing the appeal; (ii) the High Court's clarification of the legal framework under the Building Maintenance and Strata Management Act as to a MCST's power to authorise a SP's request to effect improvements to their lot; and (iii) how and when the exercise of such authority may be challenged.
19 Jan 2023 | Singapore
Variations and Back-charges - Singapore Appellate Division of High Court takes Commercial Approach
Construction contracts often contain detailed procedures for the various aspects of the working arrangement between the parties, including the agreed mechanisms for making payment claims or for variation and rectification works, as well as details such as notification periods or approval processes. However, where parties do not comply with the agreed mechanisms, what is the effect upon the relevant contractual claims? When does it bar the claim entirely, and when will the claim be allowed to proceed? The Appellate Division of the Singapore High Court had the opportunity to consider this question in Vim Engineering Pte Ltd v Deluge Fire Protection (S.E.A) Pte Ltd [2023] SGHC(A) 2.

The Court allowed the Appellant sub-subcontractor's claim for variation works, overturning the decision of the High Court Judge. Conversely, the Court substantially reduced the Respondent subcontractor's claim for back-charges as it had not provided sufficient evidence.

The Appellant, previously represented by another firm, had engaged Rajah & Tann Singapore LLP for the appeal, and were successfully represented by Avinash Pradhan, Jasmine Thng and Nikolas Tong.
18 Jan 2023 | Singapore
NEA Seeks Comments on Proposed Amendments to Energy Conservation (Regulated Goods and Registered Suppliers) Regulations
The National Environment Agency of Singapore ("NEA") is proposing amendments to the energy efficiency requirements on regulated domestic goods under the Energy Conservation (Regulated Goods and Registered Suppliers) Regulations 2017 ("EC(RG&RS)R"). The proposed amendments aim to improve energy efficiency in the domestic sector and will help support Singapore’s raised national climate goals to "achieve net zero emissions by 2050" and "reduce emissions to around 60 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MtCO2e) in 2030 after peaking emissions earlier". NEA seeks comments on these proposed amendments which are set out in a consultation document released by NEA on 4 January 2023. The consultation exercise will close on 3 February 2023.

This Update highlights the key proposed amendments and the significance to affected suppliers of regulated goods under the EC(RG&RS)R.
18 Jan 2023 | Singapore
Bankruptcy Regime to be Administered by Private Trustees in Bankruptcy
As part of the reform of Singapore's bankruptcy and insolvency laws, the personal bankruptcy regime has been moving towards administration by Private Trustees in Bankruptcy ("PTIBs") instead of by the Official Assignee ("OA"). The Insolvency, Restructuring and Dissolution (Amendment) Bill ("Bill"), which was passed in Parliament on 9 January 2023, introduces amendments to mandate that all bankruptcy cases be administered by PTIBs, except those which the OA decides to administer for public interest reasons. To support the shift, the Bill also introduces amendments to improve operational flexibility in determining PTIBs' remuneration.

The Bill also contains miscellaneous amendments that seek to: (a) enhance protection of persons dealing with bankrupts in commercial transactions; and (b) extend the Simplified Insolvency Programme for a further two years to 28 January 2026.

This Update highlights the key features of the Bill and the main amendments which will be effected.
18 Jan 2023 | Singapore