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Honduras: President Signs ALBA Agreement

(Sept. 11, 2008) On August 26, 2008, in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, President José Manuel Zelaya Rosales signed an agreement making Honduras a member of the international cooperation organization ALBA, whose acronym in English stands for the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas or the Bolivarian Alternative for the People of Our America. Currently the member states of […]

Malta: Government Accused of Concealing Tuna Exports

(Sept. 2, 2008) It was reported on August 17, 2008, that the Maltese government has been accused of concealing its true export figures of bluefin tuna, amounting to an alleged discrepancy in value of over €100 million (approximately US$147 million) above the amount the country might normally gain from such exports. International conservation groups deem […]

China: Anti-Monopoly Law Took Effect, Merger Filing Thresholds Published

(Aug. 27, 2008) On August 1, 2008, the Chinese Anti-Monopoly Law (AML) entered into force. The law, dubbed “the constitution for the market economy,” was promulgated by the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress on August 30, 2007, after 14 years of debate. (AML, 6 STANDING COMM. NAT'L PEOPLE'S CONG. GAZ. 517-523 (P.R.C.) (2007), […]

Bhutan: Consumer Protection

(May 2, 2008) It was reported on April 14, 2008, that Bhutan's Department of Trade (DOT) has drafted a consumer protection bill. Efforts to develop consumer awareness date back to 1999, when consumer education research officials from India had first conducted a workshop in Bhutan on consumer protection. According to DOT Director Sonam P Wangdi, […]

Israel: Consumer Protection

(May 2, 2008) On April 2, 2008, the Knesset (Israel's Parliament) passed an amendment to the Consumer Protection Law, 5741-1981. The amendment prevents an automatic extension of contractual relations between consumers and providers. It requires full awareness of the contractual time period and the expressed consent on the part of the consumer for its extension. […]

Taiwan: Consumer Insolvency Proceedings Law Takes Effect

(May 2, 2008) On April 11, 2008, the Statute on Consumer Insolvency Proceedings took effect in Taiwan; the law was promulgated on July 11, 2007. Its four chapters, in 159 articles, cover general provisions, rebirth, liquidation, and supplementary provisions. The aim of the measures is to protect debtors who are unable to pay off their […]

China; New Zealand: Free Trade Agreement

(May 2, 2008) On April 7, 2008, New Zealand and China signed a free trade agreement (FTA). The FTA covers: • staggered removal of tariffs on 96% of New Zealand exports; • rules to determine products that qualify for tariff cuts, to counter unfair trade or unexpected surges in imported products; • provisions to facilitate […]

Germany: Reform of Law on Insurance Contracts

(Apr. 2, 2008) A major reform of the German laws governing insurance contracts was enacted on November 23, 2007 (Gesetz zur Reform des Versicherungsvertragsrechts, BUNDESGESETZBLATT I at 2631). It aims primarily at increasing consumer rights and providing more transparency of the contractual terms. The reform affects virtually all branches of contractual insurance except for health […]

Japan: Executives Responsible for Damage Caused by Concealing Use of Unauthorized Food Additive

(Apr. 2, 2008) Shareholders of a Japanese company recently sued the company's former president and directors, alleging that they caused damage to the company by concealing the use of an unauthorized food additive for pork buns and continuing to sell the inventory of buns containing the additive. The company was blackmailed by a person who […]

Estonia: Sale of Alcohol at Night Prohibited

(Apr. 2, 2008) On February 26, 2008, the Parliament of Estonia approved amendments to the nation's Alcohol Act that introduce time restrictions on the sale of alcoholic beverages. According to the new law, alcohol can be purchased only between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. New restrictions are also introduced in regard to minors. The previous […]