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Electronic collection of debts

Legal & Tax Update   15. 8. 2008 Link

From the beginning of July, creditors receive a more comfortable and perhaps faster possibility on how to collect their monetary receivables. Act No. 123/2008, Coll., introduces an electronic payment order into the Code of Civil Procedure.

Road tax and new system of reduced rates

Legal & Tax Update   15. 8. 2008 Link

Regulation of the road tax has been significantly changed. Act No. 16/1993, Coll., on the Road Tax, as amended, brings extension of the existing exemption from the tax for cars using further kinds of alternative fuels. It further introduces a newly drafted system of reduced rates.

New Provisions Applicable to Takeover Bids and Squeeze-Outs

Legal & Tax Update   15. 4. 2008 Link

Act No. 104/2008 Coll., concerning takeover bids and amending some other Acts (the Takeover Bid Act) took effect on 1 April 2008. The Act applies to bids aimed at issues of gaining control over listed companies, which were originally regulated by the Commercial Code. Following this conceptual step, the Commercial Code shall apply to public bids for purchase of shares in primarily unlisted companies but also to listed companies if there is no intention of gaining control over the target company.

The Constitutional Court Cancelled Part of the Labour Code

Legal & Tax Update   15. 4. 2008 Link

On 11 March 2008, the Constitutional Court issued a long awaited decision on constitutional complaints challenging the new Labour Code shortly after having been adopted. Award File No. Pl. ÚS 83/06 applies even to the concept of the Code.

Consumer Protection, Advertising, Competition

Legal & Tax Update   15. 4. 2008 Link

Act No. 36/2008 Coll. amended several laws applicable to consumer protection, advertising and competition, effective 12 February 2008, to increase protection of consumers against unfair business practice and, at the same time, improve competition culture; the amendment implements Directive 2005/29/EC concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market. The following legislation is primarily involved:

Amendment to the Code of Distraint Procedure

Legal & Tax Update   15. 4. 2008 Link

Amendment to Act No. 120/2001 Coll., on court-appointed distrainers and distraining activities (the Code of Distraint Procedure), as amended, effective from 1 January 2008, was published under Act No. 347/2007 Coll. The major goal of the amendment is to make supervision over distrainers more efficient and, as a result thereof, improve their activities; However, at the same time, the amendment again worsens the position of creditors in connection with the payment of distraint costs.

Technical Amendment to the Labour Code

Legal & Tax Update   15. 4. 2008 Link

The long awaited legislative, technical and corrective amendment to Act No. 262/2006 Coll., the Labour Code, as amended (hereinafter the “Labour Code”), was disclosed under Act No. 362/2007 Coll. effective 1 January 2008.

Act on Public Budget Stabilization and Labour Law Issues

Legal & Tax Update   15. 4. 2008 Link

Act No. 261/2007 Coll. on the Public Budget Stabilization (hereinafter the “APBS”), applies, among other things, to labour legislation. The changes took effect on 1 January 2008.

Structural Funds

Legal & Tax Update   1. 8. 2006 Link

The European Parliament has approved five orders regulating project financing from structural funds for 2007- 2013. EUR 308 billion has been allocated for the Solidarity Fund, European Social Fund, Regional Development European Fund and for the new European Association for Territorial Cooperation in the EU’s seven-year budget. The approved legislation defines targets and in particular the criteria for drawing on the funds and for their distribution in the extended EU. The means for drawing on the funds is opening in the amount of almost EUR 308 billion for 2007 through 2013, which is more than one third of the total financial framework. EUR 23.6 billion (i.e. more than CZK 773 billion) is allocated for the Czech Republic from the funds. For allocation of the funds from structural funds and the Solidarity Fund among operation programs in the Czech Republic in 2007-2013 and other details see http://www.strukturalni-fondy.cz/operacni-programy-2007-2013/.

Amendment to the Trade Licensing Act

Legal & Tax Update   1. 8. 2006 Link

On May 19, 2006, Act No. 214/2006, Coll. was announced in the Collection of Laws, which amends Act No. 455/1991, Coll., the Trade Licensing Act, as amended, and certain other acts; this act became effective on August 1, 2006.

The aim of the amendment is to simplify procedures during registration of an entrepreneur in the area of small trade business activities; such simplification is to be achieved by reduction of the number of acts and visits that the entrepreneur is obliged to perform in connection with commencement of its business activities. The act also concentrates certain acts that the entrepreneur had so far to perform separately into a single location.

The Trade Register is newly pronounced by the act as a public administration information system. The Trade Licensing Office of the Czech Republic is its administrator and the Trade Register is operated by municipal and regional trade licensing offices in the extent set forth by law.

Chemical Industry

Legal & Tax Update   20. 7. 2006 Link

Negotiations concerning the draft order titled REACH, which regulates in particular the registration of chemicals by their producers and the effectiveness of which is envisaged in 2007, is in the final phase. This is a very significant legal regulation concerning de facto all companies involved in the chemical industry. All documentation concerning these issues is available at http://ecb.jrc.it/REACH/.

Telecommunication

Legal & Tax Update   15. 7. 2006 Link

The European Union prepares a fundamental reform of the existing European telecommunication policy. For this purpose, the General Directorate of the European Commissions’ Information Company opens an expert public discussion. For details see http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/06/874. Potential standpoints can be sent until October 30, 2006.

Competition/Retail Banking

Legal & Tax Update   5. 7. 2006 Link

The General Directorate for the Economic Competition of the European Commission addressed the expert public and asked for a standpoint concerning issue connected with retail banking, specifically issues concerning current accounts and associated services. The base for an expert discussion should be the Commission’s Report concerning these issues issued in June 2006. Expert standpoints can be presented until October 9, 2006. For details on these issues see the European Commission’s web page http://ec.europa.eu/comm/competition/antitrust/others/sector_inquiries/financial_services/public_consultation_2.html.

Energy and Transport

Legal & Tax Update   1. 7. 2006 Link

The General Directorate for Energy Industry and Transportation of the European Commission published on its web page a fundamental document “Annual Report on Energy Industry and Transportation for 2004“. The full text of this publication can be obtained free of charge on the European Commission’s web page – see http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/figures/energy_review_2004/index_en.htm.

State Aid, Energy, Transport

Legal & Tax Update   1. 7. 2006 Link

In the European Union a public discussion has just ended on the proposal for a change of the existing order No. 69/2001 on application of Articles 87 and 88 SES (state support) for de minimis public support in the area of transportation and coal industry. Therefore, it is possible to expect that this proposal will be negotiation in a short time. Quite interesting is the fact that the Commission also made available full texts of standpoints of certain entities concerning this proposal, such as those of Scottish Coal, CoalPro, IG Bergbau Chemie Energie, Eurelectric, etc. The proposal is available at http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/energy_transport/state_aid/consultation/2006_04_15_en.htm.

Fundamental changes in the Czech labour law since January 1 2007 – a new Labour Code and a new Act on Safety and Health Protection at Work

Legal & Tax Update   1. 7. 2006 Link

The Labour Code (LC) cancels fifty-eight valid legal regulations with effect as of January 1, 2007 and is drafted as a labour-law code containing, save for certain exceptions, complete labour-law regulations. As up to now, the legal regulation of collective bargaining remains outside the Labour Code.

New Public Procurement Act

Legal & Tax Update   1. 7. 2006 Link

On July 1, the new Public Procurement Act No. 137/2006, Coll. (the "Act") became effective, which became to exist as a part of a legislative package creating a legal framework for public procurement and concessions (which are newly regulated in a separate Act No. 139/2006, Coll.). It can be stated that adoption of this act represents apparent improvement of the existing legislation, since it brings legal precision of the conditions for orders with simultaneous guaranteeing a more free attitude to the orderers procedures and starts from consistent respecting the proportionality principle in the sense of balancing the achievable degree of the formality of the applied rules (generally contributing to higher transparency) with a practically tolerable amount of administrative costs and time of the prescribed procedures. Read more here/p>

Act on unilaterally increasing apartment rent and other changes to legal regulation of apartment leases

Legal & Tax Update   1. 4. 2006 Link

On March 14, 2006, Act No. 107/2006, Coll., on Unilateral Increase of Apartment Rent and on Amendment to Act No. 40/1964, Coll., the Civil Code, as amended (called the “Four Years Act”) was announced in the Collection of Laws becoming effective March 31, 2006. The regulation of increasing the rent is valid until December 31, 2010.

Information on an amendment to Act on Collective Investment

Legal & Tax Update   18. 3. 2006 Link

On March&nsbp;17, 2006, the Senate of the Parliament of the Czech Republic approved an important amendment to Act No. 189/2004, Coll., on Collective Investment. Besides certain amendments of a technical nature, this amendment brings about three fundamental changes with significant importance for investment companies and funds, developers, real estate dealers and risk capital investors.

Important amendments to Commercial Code and Accounting Act

Legal & Tax Update   1. 3. 2006 Link

On March 8, 2006, two legal regulations became simultaneously valid and effective which significantly amend the Commercial Code and the Accounting Act and have considerable practical impact in the area of law for commercial companies.

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