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South African merger filing fees and intermediate merger thresholds to increase from 1 October
ENSafrica, September 2017

On 15 September 2017, the South African Minister of Economic Development, Ebrahim Patel, published Government Notices no. 1003 and 1005, which announced increases to the intermediate merger thresholds and merger filing fees. These increases will be effective from 1 October 2017...

New Uganda Insurance Act to overhaul industry
ENSafrica, September 2017

The Insurance Act, 2017 (the “Act”) has recently been enacted to reform the law governing insurance in Uganda. The purpose of the Act is to bring Uganda’s insurance law in line with the Insurance Core Principles (“ICPs”) developed by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the Financial Action Task Force recommendations on combating money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism...

Draft South African protection of personal information regulations have arrived
ENSafrica, September 2017

The long-awaited draft South African Regulations Relating to the Protection of Personal Information, 2017 (the “draft Regulations”) were published today, 8 September 2017. Direct marketers have been speculating for years about the manner and form that the regulations will take under section 69(2) of the Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (“POPI”)...

Grey market goods – a crime?
ENSafrica, September 2017

The terms “exhaustion of rights”, “parallel imports” and “grey market goods” come up a lot in the world of trade marks. They generally arise in relation to the fact that a company that has authorised the manufacture and sale of goods under its trade mark can’t use trade mark law to stop the sale of those goods by parties with whom it may have no relationship. This issue tends to come up in the context of international trade...

Kim Kardashian West’s trade mark woes and the love-hate relationship between celebrities and IP
ENSafrica, September 2017

The worlds of celebrity and IP intersect with surprising frequency. On the one hand, celebrities such as sportsmen and entertainers can use IP to make themselves even wealthier. On the other hand, celebrities, especially those in fields such as music and film, need to be very aware of the IP rights of others. It’s probably also true to say that the fame and wealth that celebrities enjoy can make them targets for some pretty dodgy IP claims...

Mozambique: beware of trade mark registration cancellations due to overdue declarations
ENSafrica, September 2017

Owners of trade marks in Mozambique should take heed of recent developments in IP rights in the country. While the code governing IP rights in Mozambique does not specifically provide for the cancellation of a trade mark based on non-use, it does require that the proprietor of a registered trade mark file a declaration of intent to use the mark every five years from the date of registation or renewal...

An online store called Glamazon
ENSafrica, September 2017

There’s an interesting trade mark case brewing in Australia, one that has some useful trade mark lessons.Online retail giant Amazon is opposing a trade mark application filed in 2015 by an Australian clothing retailer, Live Clothing, to register the trade mark Glamazon for retail services, including those relating to clothing. On the face of it, this case looks like an absolute “slam-dunk” for Amazon. This case is, however, far from clear...

Trade mark owners: making “tits” of themselves
ENSafrica, September 2017

If we keep writing about it, it’s because it keeps happening. I refer here to trade mark infringement claims that make the news for all the wrong reasons – claims that attract shock and ridicule and evoke support for the person who’s supposed to be the “bad guy”. Interestingly, one of the common terms used by trade mark owners who make these claims is “tarnishment”...

Compliance with the Protection of Personal Information Act: are you ready?
ENSafrica, August 2017

The Protection of Personal Information Act, 2013 (or “POPI” as it has colloquially become known) promotes the protection of personal information by requiring that public and private bodies comply with certain standards when collecting, processing, storing and sharing personal information. While POPI has yet to come into effect, there have been some developments moving it closer to implementation...

New maritime policy approved to develop the maritime transport sector
ENSafrica, August 2017

On 12 June 2017, the South African Minister of Transport gave notice that Cabinet had approved the Comprehensive Maritime Transport Policy, 2017 (“CMTP”). The CMTP makes certain policy statements in order to develop South Africa’s maritime industry. Below, we summarise certain policy statements that relate to the more commercial aspects of shipping, in the order in which they are dealt with in the CMTP...

New regulations allow for bancassurance in Uganda
ENSafrica, August 2017

The Insurance (Bancassurance) Regulations, 2017 were recently gazetted, giving effect to bancassurance under the Insurance Act, 2017 (which is yet to commence) and the Financial Institutions Act, 2004.The introduction of Bancassurance in UgandaBancassurance refers to an arrangement where an insurance company uses a bank’s sales channels to sell insurance products...

South Africans working abroad – proposed removal of tax exemption
ENSafrica, August 2017

On 19 July 2017, the South African National Treasury released the 2017 Draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill (“draft TLAB”) for public comment. One of the proposals contained in the draft TLAB is the deletion of the exemption for foreign employment income contained in section 10(1)(o)(ii) of the Income Tax Act, 1962 with effect from 1 March 2019...

South African draft tax amendment targets share buybacks
ENSafrica, August 2017

The first draft Taxation Laws Amendment Bill, 2017 (the “2017 TLAB”) was released on 19 July 2017 for public comment (due by 18 August 2017).Among other things, it is proposed that the current section 22B of the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”) and paragraph 43A of the Eight Schedule to the Act, be substituted with a new section 22B and paragraph 43A...

Retrospective country-by-country reporting and transfer pricing documentation requirements
ENSafrica, August 2017

South Africans who think that their tax burden is going to decrease because country-by-country (“CbC”) reporting does not apply to their company should think again!In addition to the recently released draft notice requiring the submission of CbC reports, master file and local file returns, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) has recently issued the External Business Requirements Specification (“BRS”) document, setting out CbC and Financial Data

Closing window for tax and exchange control relief
ENSafrica, August 2017

The window period for South African residents to regularise their unauthorised foreign assets under the Special Voluntary Disclosure Programme (“SVDP”) closes on 31 August 2017. The current SVDP is the latest in a series of such opportunities offered by the Financial Surveillance Department of the South African Reserve Bank (“SARB”), beginning with the 2003 exchange control amnesty...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, August 2017

BOTSWANA: Amending protocol to treaty with France signedOn 27 July 2017, Botswana and France signed an amending protocol to the Botswana/France Income Tax Treaty, 1999 in Gaborone. CAMEROON: VAT refund procedure available onlineThe Cameroonian Minister of Finance issued a communiqué on 14 June 2017, announcing that the value-added tax (“VAT”) refund procedure has been simplified and is available online as from 3 July 2017 for enterprises registered with the Large Tax Unit...

Mauritius Supreme Court delivers ground-breaking judgment in unfair competition case
ENSafrica, August 2017

The Mauritius Supreme Court, in a decision handed down on 9 August 2017 on the case of Emtel Ltd v The Information and Communication Technologies Authority & Ors, awarded over MUR524-million in damages under article 1382 of the Mauritius Civil Code as a result of the joint “fautes” of the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (the “Authority”), Mauritius Telecom Ltd (“MT”) and Cellplus Mobile Communications Ltd (“Cellplus”)...

Landmark Ugandan Supreme Court ruling on jurisdiction in tax disputes
ENSafrica, August 2017

The Supreme Court has ruled in a landmark case that the Tax Appeals Tribunal (“TAT”) has original jurisdiction to hear tax disputes, and the High Court only has appellate jurisdiction. Until now, the long-established position was that the High Court and the TAT had concurrent jurisdiction and a litigant had discretion to lodge an application with the TAT or file the dispute in the High Court. In Uganda Revenue Authority v Rabbo Enterprises (U) Ltd and Mt...

ICASA intends to regulate data expiry and roll-over
ENSafrica, August 2017

Today, 7 August 2017, the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (“ICASA”) published a notice stating its intention to amend the End-user and Subscriber Service Charter Regulations.Of particular interest is the insertion of Regulation 8B, which introduces “out-of-bundle billing practices” and the “expiry of data practices”. The regulations intend to govern the validity period and roll-over of data...

Rent must now be charged in Uganda shillings
ENSafrica, August 2017

Section 5 of the Income Tax Act (Cap. 340) (the “ITA”) has been amended to, among others, include a requirement that all rental agreements be executed and effected in Uganda shillings.Below, we summarise this new legal requirement.What is the meaning of the new requirement?All rental agreements executed after the law comes into force must express the rent in Uganda shillings and must be payable in Uganda shillings.Is the law in force?Yes, the law took effect on 1 July 2017...

BMW: Still Shaping Trade Mark Law
ENSafrica, August 2017

It is safe to say that BMW protects its trade marks fiercely. As a result, the company has done more than its fair share to shape South African trade mark law. A recent UK trade mark decision involving BMW will therefore be of considerable interest to businesses in South Africa.In a number of cases involving BMW, South African courts have made it very clear that a trade mark registration is only infringed if a third party makes unauthorised “trade mark use” of that trade mark...

Havaianas: Not a Flop
ENSafrica, August 2017

A recent BBC article entitled “Havaianas: How a Brazilian flip-flop took over the world” doesn’t mention IP once, yet it contains some useful IP lessons...

IP, Religion, Culture and Politics
ENSafrica, August 2017

Colleagues and clients alike often comment on the varied, topical and evolving nature of my field of expertise, IP law, as evidenced from my articles over the years. IP is a field of law that’s forever growing, highly relevant, often fascinating and which deals with everyday tangible issues, brands and products that we encounter in the marketplace and media. Three recent news stories show just how much IP intersects with other worlds...

Monkey See, Monkey Do (Not Own Copyright)
ENSafrica, August 2017

Two unusual copyright stories are back in the news.The first is the one that involves a monkey, a selfie and a copyright dispute. British photographer David Slater visited Indonesia to photograph the endangered crested black macaque, seemingly with a view to highlighting the species’ plight. During the course of taking his photos, Slater left his camera on a tripod, apparently hoping that the macaques might take selfies. One took the bait and the image became a sensation...

Africa Tax in Brief
ENSafrica, July 2017

GHANA: Customs duty on spare parts abolished On 14 June 2017, pursuant to the measures proposed in the 2017 Budget, Parliament passed the Customs Amendment Bill, 2017, which amends the Customs Act, 2015 by abolishing customs duties on the importation of vehicular (including motorcycles and bicycles) spare parts. GHANA: VAT Flat Rate Scheme practice note issued The Ghana Revenue Authority published Practice Note No...

BEPS Action 8 on Hard-to-Value Intangibles: Is This the Last Piece of the Puzzle Required by SARS to Issue its Updated Transfer Pricing Practice Note?
ENSafrica, July 2017

One of the main action items identified by South Africa’s National Treasury in its summary of the country’s position on the G20/Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) action plan on base erosion and profit shifting (“BEPS”), is the requirement for the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) to update the Transfer Pricing Practice Note in line with the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines to include new guidance on the ar

SARS issues a further ruling on venture capital companies
ENSafrica, July 2017

On 6 June 2017, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) issued binding private ruling 274 (“BPR 274”). BPR 274 deals with a venture capital company (“VCC”) investing in a company providing and expanding plants for the generation of solar electricity. This brings the number of binding private rulings that SARS has issued in respect of venture capital companies to four...

The Lawfulness of Retrospective Amendments in Tax Law
ENSafrica, July 2017

On 29 May 2017, Judge Fabricius delivered judgment in the Gauteng High Court in the case of Pienaar Brothers (Pty) Ltd vs Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service and the Minister of Finance, in a case dealing with the Taxation Laws Amendment Act, 2007 (the “Amending Act”) which inserted section 44(9A) into the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”)...

Expediting Compulsory Land Acquisition: The Constitution (Amendment) Bill, 2017
ENSafrica, July 2017

Article 26 of the Ugandan Constitution enshrines the right to property and the protection from deprivation of property, subject only to the prompt payment of fair and adequate compensation prior to taking possession of the property...

Temporary Employment Services: The Labour Appeal Court Decides
ENSafrica, July 2017

Trade union opposition to the use of temporary employment services (“TESs”) – commonly referred to as labour brokers – and concerns that TES employees were not being accorded rights granted to them in terms of South African labour legislation, led to the introduction of amendments to the Labour Relations Act, 1995 (“LRA”) that came into force in January 2015...

Wheelbarrow Pledge: Proposed Strate Rules Go Half Way
ENSafrica, July 2017

Recent proposed amendments to the rules of Strate, South Africa’s central securities depository (the “Strate Rules”) will effect a significant change to how uncertificated securities are pledged, but will not solve all of the problems that market participants hoped would be addressed...

When Without Prejudice Isn’t
ENSafrica, July 2017

The without prejudice rule has long been part of South African law. This rule provides that statements, including admissions of liability, made in an attempt to settle litigation between parties, are not admissible in subsequent litigation between them...

Copyright: Constantly Evolving
ENSafrica, July 2017

We’ve written a fair bit about copyright recently, and much of our focus has been on how the digital age has brought about a marked change in attitude towards copyright (often bordering on ignorance), and has made copyright infringement much easier. In this article, we look at two further examples that reflect this trend. We also look at proposed changes to South African copyright law.The first of our examples deals with sharing images...

Google: Testing the Rules?
ENSafrica, July 2017

A highly unusual thing about Google, which according to Brand Finance has now become the world’s most valuable brand (USD109.4-billion), is that it is seemingly able to defy the rule that if your trade mark becomes a verb, you’ve pretty much lost the trade mark because it’s become generic...

Proposed Comprehensive Amendments to the JSE Debt Listings Requirements Move Closer to Implementation
ENSafrica, July 2017

On 30 June 2017, after an initial round of public commentary undertaken by the JSE Limited (“JSE”) on the proposed amendments to the JSE Debt Listings Requirements (“DLRs”), the South African Registrar of Securities Services announced that “Part 2” of the 2016 amendments are available on the Financial Services Board’s website for further public comment. The deadline to review and comment on the proposals is 14 July 2017...

Registered Designs: A Welcome Reminder
ENSafrica, July 2017

A recent decision involving registered designs is a reminder of how useful design law can be, in the sense that it can be used to protect an almost limitless range of products. The decision in the UK case of Ahmet Erol v Sumaira Javaid (Design) (a decision of the Appointed Person, 18 May 2017) does not create any law, but it does illustrate two things. The first is how registered designs can often be very low-tech...

SCA Issues Important Judgment on Video Recordings During Van Breda Trial
ENSafrica, July 2017

  The trial of murder-accused Henri van Breda has attracted widespread media attention in recent months. Now, the Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) has delivered an important judgment linked to the case regarding the media’s right to broadcast aspects of court proceedings – not only in the Van Breda case, but in other cases too...

Tanzania Overhauls Legal and Regulatory Regime for the Extractive Industry
ENSafrica, July 2017

Tanzania has enacted three pieces of legislation that introduce sweeping changes to the legal and regulatory regime governing the natural resources extractive industry...

Trade Marks in the Far East
ENSafrica, July 2017

  An increasing number of African companies do business in the Far East, and many of them register their trade marks in the region’s major markets. So, it’s interesting to look at trade mark developments in the major markets from time-to-time. In this article, we look at some recent decisions in China, India and Japan. China China is probably the major market for most African companies and we have discussed Chinese trade mark issues in a number of our articles...

What Does the Administration of Uganda Telecom Limited Mean for Creditors and Other Stakeholders?
ENSafrica, July 2017

  The recent administration of heavily indebted Uganda Telecom Limited (“UTL”) aims to achieve the best outcome for creditors and shareholders. Below, we unpack the implications of the administration for UTL’s creditors and other stakeholders...

Africa tax in brief
ENSafrica, June 2017

  ANGOLA: Working group for negotiation of investment protection agreements and tax treaties created   The Ministry of Economics and Finances and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued Joint Order No.205/17 on 27 April 2017, creating a technical working group to coordinate the negotiation of investment protection and double tax agreements. The working group will be responsible for guiding negotiations and reporting to relevant ministers...

Concluding financial transactions with South African public entities: the legal considerations
ENSafrica, June 2017

  Following South Africa’s sovereign credit rating downgrade by ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s, Fitch and, on 9 June 2017, Moody’s, as well as developments in political circles around allegations of “state capture”, relations between private business and the country’s public entities have become a hot topic...

Employees' Tax Withholding Obligations in Respect of Share Incentive Arrangements
ENSafrica, June 2017

  In terms of paragraph 2(1) of the Fourth Schedule to the Income Tax Act, 1962 (the “Act”), every employer, who is a resident of South Africa, or representative employer in the case of any employer who is not a resident, (whether or not registered as an employer under paragraph 15) who pays or is liable to pay any amount by way of remuneration to any employee shall, unless the Commissioner for the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) has granted authority

Expectations of permanent employment
ENSafrica, June 2017

  The use of fixed-term employment contracts has been the subject of contention for many years. Opponents to their use have argued that because these contracts terminate automatically after the period of time for which they have been entered into, they can be used to avoid liability for unfair dismissal...

Final B-BBEE thresholds announced – casting the net wider
ENSafrica, June 2017

  On 9 November 2016, a notice was published by the South African Department of Trade and Industry (the “DTI”), in terms of which the DTI proposed that all major broad-based black economic empowerment (“B-BBEE”) ownership transactions, as per code 100 of the B-BBEE Codes of Good Practice, which equal or exceed ZAR100-million, calculated by either combining the annual turnover of both entities or their asset values (the “Proposed Threshold”), must

It’s time to sort through the “junk” in your debt documents
ENSafrica, June 2017

  Following downgrades by ratings agencies Standard & Poor’s (“S&P”) and Fitch in April 2017, Moody’s cut South Africa’s foreign and local-currency ratings to investment grade Baa3 with a negative outlook on Friday, 9 June 2017...

Ministers can be held liable for costs of legal proceedings
ENSafrica, June 2017

  The South African Constitutional Court has found that cabinet ministers can now be held personally liable for the costs of legal proceedings to which they are a party. This finding was made in the case of Black Sash Trust v Minister of Social Development and Others (Freedom Under Law NPC Intervening), in which judgment was delivered on 15 June 2017...

Refunds subject to set-off under the Tax Administration Act
ENSafrica, June 2017

  In order to create a more uniform system for the administration of taxes in South Africa, section 191 of the Tax Administration Act, 2011 (the “TAA”) has effectively replaced various refund and set-off provisions which appeared in respective tax acts. Section 191 of the TAA now provides that all tax debts that are due must be set-off against refunds, including the interest thereon, due by the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) to that taxpayer...

SARS publishes draft notice to submit country-by-country, master file and local file returns
ENSafrica, June 2017

  On 2 June 2017, the South African Revenue Service (“SARS”) published a draft public notice requiring the submission of country-by-country (“CbC”), master file and local file returns. This marks an important step towards the finalisation of South Africa’s transfer pricing documentation requirements...

The significance of South Africa signing multilateral convention to prevent BEPS in terms of pension funds
ENSafrica, June 2017

  On 7 June 2017, South Africa was one of more than 70 countries that signed the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (“MLI”). The MLI is the result of certain of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development’s action points aimed at preventing base erosion and profit shifting (“BEPS”)...

 

 

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