This article discusses an insightful judgment of the Geneva first-instance court. The court confirmed that consignors must inspect the goods to be transported and inform carriers of any associated risks even without being asked. Consignors must not assume transport as a single load or a direct transport route unless otherwise agreed. The clarification that consignors are experts on the goods while carriers are experts on transport matters is welcome.
When it comes to clearing a path in a forest to construct and operate an overhead electrical power line, electricity grid operators face various legal issues. In its recent decision on the 380kV Salzburg line, the Supreme Administrative Court considered whether the permitting requirements of the Forestry Act stipulated for grubbing ups must also be applied to path clearances in an EIA permitting procedure by reason of EU law.
Ordinance 404 recently came into force, establishing Phase II of the Patent Prosecution Highway (PPH) Programme in Brazil. Phase II was published by the Brazilian Patent and Trademark Office in the last week of 2020 and modifies the limits and requirements for requesting participation in the PPH Programme. With this new phase of the PPH Programme, the previous Resolution 252 (establishing Phase I) has been revoked.
With an amendment to the Electricity Industry and Organisation Act passed by Parliament, the network reserve will become part of Austria's congestion management system. The aim of the network reserve is to achieve network stability and security of supply in an efficient and cost-effective manner. Procurement is carried out within the framework of a transparent, non-discriminatory and market-oriented tendering procedure.
Slovakia recently terminated its bilateral agreements on the encouragement and reciprocal protection of investments with 16 EU member states. This article examines what protection is left for foreign investments in Slovakia from, and for Slovak investors' investments in, other EU countries.
Individuals who are not US citizens and are not domiciled in the United States for transfer tax purposes (non-resident aliens) are subject to US gift tax only on gifts of real property and tangible personal property located in the United States. On death, a significantly broader list of property is subject to US estate tax. Advisers to families with international investments should familiarise themselves with the basic US situs rules and options for owning US-situs assets that may shelter them from gift and estate tax.
Dashcams have become increasingly popular in recent years and a built-in dashcam is now the most sought-after feature among car buyers. Buyers' primary motivation is self-explanatory: recorded footage can be used as evidence in case of an accident. However, whether dashcams are incompatible with privacy and data protection law and thus illegal on Austrian roads is a tricky question.
Almost all airlines worldwide are having to deal with severe financial problems due to the consequences of fighting COVID-19 and the grounding of fleets for several months. Even Lufthansa considered filing for insolvency during negotiations with the German government about state aid. This article addresses German insolvency law in general and some special features regarding airline insolvencies.
The Supreme Court recently determined the admissibility of conducting an arbitral hearing by means of a videoconference in the context of challenge proceedings. The court held that even where one party opposes, ordering a remote hearing in arbitration is admissible and does not constitute a reason to challenge the arbitral tribunal. This decision must be regarded as a precedential landmark decision as it appears to be the first decision of any supreme court worldwide to tackle this issue.
Seven years after its accession to the European Union, Croatia has entered the last stage of preparation to adopt the euro. The European Central Bank recently announced a list of eight Croatian banks which will be under its direct supervision following the country's admission to the exchange rate mechanism (ERM II) and the banking union. Since Croatia entered both the banking union and ERM II simultaneously, adopting the euro may be possible in 2023.
The eagerly awaited draft Renewable Energy Expansion Act (EAG) was recently published for evaluation. To help achieve the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement 2015, the draft creates new framework conditions for the expansion of renewable energy in Austria. In view of the high level of funding, the EAG leaves no doubt that the expansion of renewable energies is one of Austria's main objectives for the next 10 years. However, a look at other countries clearly shows that funding alone will not be enough.
In July 2020 a new foreign direct investment (FDI) screening act, the Investment Control Act (ICA), entered into force. The ICA, which largely transposes the requirements of the EU Foreign Investment Screening Regulation, is in line with the general EU trend of tightening or enacting FDI screening instruments, which has been fuelled by concerns of buy-outs of critical European infrastructure by foreign investors due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The river cruise industry is without doubt one of the sectors that has been hit hardest by COVID-19 measures. Charterers and tour operators have been confronted with the fact that cruises which they have sold to their customers and want to continue to sell cannot be carried out as intended and the question arises as to whether they will still have to pay the contractual charter rate despite the current situation. This article provides an overview of the legal situation under Swiss law.
The Hungarian Intellectual Property Office (HIPO) recently issued ex officio a provisional refusal to register the international device mark SPIRIT in Hungary, holding that it was misleading because the word 'spirit' means alcohol, whereas the goods in Class 32 include mineral water, beer and soft drinks, which are not hard liquors. The Metropolitan Tribunal subsequently confirmed the HIPO's conclusion.
The Supreme Court recently considered whether a final arbitral award on the reimbursement of costs violated Austrian public policy. The claimant had ultimately succeeded in the arbitration conducted under the rules of the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce. Nevertheless, the cost decision ordered it to reimburse the respondent's costs. The Supreme Court dismissed the claimant's request to set aside the cost decision.
A significant part of Austria's COVID-19 subsidy programme was structured as government guarantees for bridging loans to be granted by banks to provide the economy with liquidity. Now, less than three months after the start of the programme, small and medium-sized enterprises regard this approach as disastrous, with many complaining that the granting of loans has been slow and cumbersome, despite the state guarantee, if a loan has been granted at all.
Section 3 of the Administrative COVID-19 Accompanying Law adapts the requirements for official acts and public communication with authorities to reflect the restricted freedom of movement and contact. This article examines how the revised version of Section 3 affects environmental law procedures (eg, water, environmental impact assessment, waste, construction and conservation).
EU Regulation 2017/460 established a network code on harmonised transmission tariff structures (TAR NC). On 31 January 2019 E-Control – Austria's national regulatory authority – published its consultation document on the implementation of the TAR NC in Austria. This article discusses the subsequent developments.
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused employers to use various methods to support employees and maintain business performance. Old and new legal remedies provide for continued payment of salaries (and in some cases also corresponding grants to employers) if performance of work is impossible. This article outlines the routes that employers and employees can take where normal working is impossible, such as sick leave and care leave to look after sick children.
Austria pioneered short-time work schemes. Introduced in 1949 and overhauled in 2008 and 2009 during the financial crisis, the Austrian short-time work scheme has recently been further adapted to the particular needs of the COVID-19 crisis. This article examines who is eligible for the short-time work scheme and what subsidies are available.