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European Union: European Court of Justice Rules on German Public Broadcasting Contribution

(Jan. 7, 2019) On December 13, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that a “contribution” required to be paid by all German households to public broadcasters is compatible with European Union (EU) law, in particular with the rules on preferential state aid. The request for a preliminary ruling was submitted by a judge […]

Israel Establishes Interagency Team for Coordinating Regulation of Virtual Assets

(Dec. 28, 2018) Israel’s central bank, the Bank of Israel, announced on December 18, 2018, the establishment of an interagency team for regulatory coordination in the area of virtual assets. In the view of the Israeli financial system’s regulators, cooperation is necessary because of Israeli industrial developments based on distributed ledger technology (DLT) uses and […]

European Union: New Rules Prohibit Unjustified Geo-Blocking

(Dec. 19, 2018) On December 3, 2018, new rules to prevent unjustified geo-blocking and other forms of discrimination based on nationality, place of residence, or place of establishment took effect in the European Union (EU). (Regulation (EU) 2018/302 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 February 2018 on Addressing Unjustified Geo-Blocking and […]

Israel: Tax Authority Notifies Cryptocurrency Owners of Tax Obligations

(Dec. 13, 2018) The Israel Tax Authority (ITA) has recently notified hundreds of Israelis it has identified as receiving income from cryptocurrency that they are required to report on their transactions in bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. The ITA does not consider cryptocurrency as currency but rather as assets subject to property tax at a rate […]

China: E-Commerce Law Passed

(Nov. 21, 2018) On August 31, 2018, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) of the People’s Republic of China (PRC or China) passed the PRC Electronic Commerce Law. The Law will take effect on January 1, 2019. (Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo Dianzi Shangwu Fa [PRC Electronic Commerce Law] (promulgated Aug. 31, 2018, effective […]

European Union: European Court of Justice Rules Sellers Must Inform Consumers of Fee-Incurring Preloaded and Preinstalled Services on SIM Cards

(Sept. 28, 2018) On September 13, 2018, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) held that selling SIM cards with preinstalled and preloaded fee-incurring services constitutes an aggressive unfair commercial practice. It stated that consumers must be informed in advance of such services so that they can make a free choice. The ECJ concluded that such […]

Israel: Knesset Passes Medical Tourism Legislation

(Sept. 25, 2018) On July 18, 2018, the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament) approved the Medical Tourism Law, 5778-2018 (SEFER HAHUKIM [SH] 5778 No. 2750 p. 963, Ministry of Justice website (in Hebrew; click on issue No. 2750). The Law regulates the medical tourism industry in Israel. Among other things, it introduces registration requirements for medical tourism […]

Japan: Law to Establish Casino Resorts Enacted

(Sept. 20, 2018) The Act on Development of Specified Complex Tourist Facilities Areas was enacted in Japan in July 2017. (Integrated Resort Development Act, Act No. 80 of 2018, KANPOU [OFFICIAL GAZETTE] Extra ed. No. 166 (July 27, 2018), at 18, National Printing Bureau website (in Japanese).) This Act corresponds to the Act on Promotion […]

Liechtenstein: Government Adopts Consultation Report on Draft Blockchain Act

(Sept. 20, 2018) On August 28, 2018, the government of Liechtenstein adopted a consultation report on a proposed Blockchain Act. The goal of the Blockchain Act is to take advantage of the potential of blockchain technology, create legal certainty for market participants, protect users of blockchain technology from potential abuse, and reduce potential reputation risks […]

Malta: Government Passes Three Laws to Encourage Blockchain Technology

(Aug. 31, 2018) On July 4, 2018, the Maltese government enacted three laws whose goal is to make Malta a haven for projects that rely on blockchain and other distributed ledger technology (DLT). The Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act (MDIA Act), Innovative Technology Arrangements and Services Act (ITAS Act), and Virtual Financial Assets Act (VFA […]