Brexit, Here We Come (or Go)

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The UK people have voted to leave the European Union. Although there is no constitutional duty to leave the Union as a result, politically this is likely going to happen. Change will not be immediate and happen over time.

Companies are well advised to react quickly to assess the impact Brexit might have on their business and current commercial decisions involving the UK if they have not already done so.

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EU-US Privacy Shield: Brace Yourself . . . or Maybe Not

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On February 29, 2016, the European Commission and United States released the terms of the much-anticipated renewed framework for the transfer, sharing, and processing of European individuals’ data to the United States. The framework replaces the “Safe Harbour” mechanism, which enabled U.S. to transfer data from the EU to the United States by self-certifying that their practices ensured an adequate level of protection for personal data under the EU Data Protection Directive. In October, the “Safe Harbour” framework was declared invalid by the European Court of Justice in the Schrems decision covered earlier in this blog.

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The Day of North Korea Sanctions: The UN Imposes the Toughest North Korea Sanctions Yet While OFAC and State Designate More North Korean Entities

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After weeks of negotiations and a Putin-backed delay, the UN Security Council unanimously adopted resolution 2270 on March 2, 2016, imposing new sanctions against North Korea. According to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, the resolution imposes the strongest set of UN sanctions in over two decades. This article provides a summary of the new UN North Korea sanctions followed by an overview of the most recent developments in North Korea sanctions under US law. Continue Reading

The Schrems Decision: How the End of Safe Harbor Affects Your FCPA Compliance Plan

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Like a needle to a balloon, the Schrems decision has drastically altered the data privacy landscape. Who is affected? Everyone – consumers, corporations, employees. But who needs to take action? Any company with offices in the European Union and the United States, any European company that outsources work to the United States (do you know where your cloud is?), and any company that sends information from the EU to the United States. Continue Reading

한∙미 경쟁당국, 경쟁분야 협력에 관한 업무협약 체결 (US and Korea Competition Authorities Signed MOU on Competition Cooperation)

미 법무부(Department of Justice)와 연방거래위원회 (Federal Trade Commission)는 한국 공정거래위원회와 9월 8일 워싱턴, D.C.에서 양국의 경쟁당국간 협력 및 교류를 증진하기 위한 업무협약(Memorandum of Understanding on Antitrust Cooperation)을 체결하였다. 동 업무협약은 건전하고 효과적인 양국의 경쟁법 집행이 시장의 효율적인 운영 및 각국 소비자들의  경제적 복지에 매우 중요하다는 점을 확인하고, 양국의 경쟁당국간 경쟁법 집행시의 협력 및 조율을 통해 각 경쟁당국 단독으로 움직일 때보다 각 경쟁당국이 염려하는 바를 보다 효과적으로 해결할  가능성이 있음을 인정하였다. 또한, 동 업무협약은 더 나아가 양국의 경쟁당국간 경쟁법 및 경쟁 정책에 대한 원활한 의사소통이 경쟁당국간의 관계 증진 및 강화에 기여할 수 있음을 확인하였다. Continue Reading

Government Contracting Abroad: Beware Compliance Risks

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On June 16, 2015, IAP Worldwide Services Inc., a private defense and government contracting company, agreed to pay $7.1 million to settle criminal charges of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) related to bribing Kuwaiti government officials to secure a Kuwaiti government contract.  On the same day, James Michael Rama, IAP’s Former Vice President of Special Projects and Programs also pleaded guilty to FCPA charges.  For U.S. government contractors, the opportunities to provide services and expertise to foreign governments are lucrative, but this enforcement action also highlights the risks associated with obtaining such contracts. Continue Reading

New Red Flag for Multinationals: Retail Price Maintenance on Chinese AML Regulator’s Radar

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Section 14 of the Anti-Monopoly Law of the PRC (“AML”) clearly regulates retail price maintenance (“RPM”), and RPM definitely is on the radar of the AML authorities for investigation and penalties.  Enforcement against Maotai Liquor in 2013 proved that enforcing compulsory retail prices may cross a redline with the authorities in China.  Recent enforcement and civil cases in 2013 and 2014 should also alert all multinational companies to double-check and improve their AML compliance system.  Continue Reading

Add Importers to Those Facing Expanding Whistleblower Claims Under the False Claims Act

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On February 12, 2015, the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced that three U.S.-based importers had agreed to pay more than $3 million to resolve a lawsuit brought by the United States under the False Claims Act (“FCA”).  The Government alleged that the importers had made false declarations to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (“CBP”) and conspired with other domestic companies to make false declarations to CBP in order to avoid paying “antidumping” and “countervailing” duties.  No Government contracts were involved.  These were “reverse” FCA claims based upon underpayment of duties for private sector import transactions. Continue Reading

U.S. FDA Issues Guidance for Mobile Medical Applications: What Will be Subject to FDA Oversight and Enforcement?

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On February 9, 2015, the United States’ Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued final guidelines[1] to outline its regulatory enforcement approach to mobile medical applications (or “apps”).  The FDA is taking a risk-based approach, focusing its oversight on apps that (1) meet the definition of medical devices under section 201(h) of the Federal Food Drug and Cosmetic Act, and (2) could pose a risk to a patient’s safety if the app did not function as intended.  The FDA will not exercise authority over apps that are not medical devices under section 201(h), nor will it enforce its rules and regulations against the numerous apps that meet the definition of medical devices but present only minimal risk to consumers or patients. Continue Reading

The New China-Korea Co-Production Treaty

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The Government of the People’s Republic of China (“China”) and the Government of the Republic of Korea (“Korea”) have entered into a co-production treaty that became effective September 1, 2014.  The treaty entitles films that are co-produced by one or more nationals of one country in cooperation with one or more nationals of the other country and made in accordance with the treaty to all the benefits which are or may be accorded to national films by each Party (that is, China or Korea) under its national laws.  A key benefit of national treatment in China for qualifying co-production films is that China’s import quota on foreign films is not applicable to such films.

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