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European Union: Commission Amends Authorization Mechanism for Exports of COVID-19 Vaccines

(Apr. 1, 2021) On March 26, 2021, the European Commission’s Implementing Regulation (EU) 2021/521, which amends the authorization mechanism for exports of COVID-19 vaccines adopted on January 30, 2021, entered into force. The regulation adds the principles of reciprocity and proportionality as new criteria to be considered when a European Union (EU) member state authorizes […]

International: WTO Considers Waiving Certain Intellectual Property Protections for the Prevention, Containment, and Treatment of COVID-19

(Mar. 24, 2021) At a meeting on March 10-11, 2021, the Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Council (TRIPS Council) of the World Trade Organization (WTO) continued its consideration of a waiver from the implementation, application, and enforcement of several sections of the TRIPS Agreement in relation to the prevention, containment, and treatment of COVID-19. […]

China: Single-Use Plastic Straw and Bag Ban Takes Effect

(Mar. 23, 2021) On January 1, 2021, a plastic ban took effect in China that prohibits restaurants throughout the country from providing single-use plastic straws and stores in the major cities from providing plastic shopping bags. These are among the restrictions on the production, sale, and use of single-use plastic products set out in a […]

Great Britain: New Regulations Aim to Prevent Plant Bacteria Xyella from Entering Country

(Mar. 9, 2021) Amidst a backdrop of outbreaks in continental Europe of Xyella fastidiosa (Xyella), a bacterium that causes plant diseases, Great Britain has introduced the Official Controls and Phytosanitary Conditions (Amendment) Regulations 2021 to strengthen biosecurity controls. Xyella causes diseases in commercially grown crops like citrus, olive, and grapevine, and in a number of […]

United Kingdom: Export of King George III Watch Temporarily Banned in Hopes Bridgerton Interest Will Help Raise Funds to Keep It in UK

(Feb. 26, 2021) On January 29, 2021, Minister for Digital and Culture Caroline Dinenage, upon the advice of the Reviewing Committee of the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA) of the Arts Council, placed a temporary bar on the issuance of an export order for a watch designed by Abraham-Louis […]

International: New ICSID Caseload Statistics Reveal Trends in Arbitral Appointments and Case Distribution

(Feb. 22, 2021) On January 28, 2021, the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) published its caseload statistics for the first six months of 2020 (FY2020). Some had predicted that disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic would have a significant impact on the number and type of investment disputes brought to ICSID […]

Oman: New Basic Law Issued Creating a Mechanism for Appointing a Crown Prince

(Feb. 4, 2021) On January 12, 2021, Haitham bin Tariq, the sultan of Oman, issued Royal Decree No. 6/2021 on the Basic Law of the State, which establishes a new mechanism for appointing a crown prince and abrogates Royal Decree No. 96/101 on the Basic Law of the State. Content of Royal Decree No. 6/2021 […]

Qatar: New Cabinet Resolution Regulating Real Estate Ownership by Foreign Nationals

(Jan. 5, 2021) On October 6, 2020, Qatar’s Ministry of Justice announced the establishment of the Office for Non-Qatari Real Estate Ownership. The main objective of this office is to provide foreign nationals who want to reside or invest in the state of Qatar with all the necessary requirements for the purchase and sale of […]

Australia: New Legislative Framework for Federal Assessments of Arrangements between State or Territory Governments and Foreign Governments Receives Assent

(Dec. 17, 2020) On December 10, 2020, Australia’s Foreign Relations (State and Territory Arrangements) Bill 2020 (Cth) (the act) received assent, having been passed by the Commonwealth (i.e., federal) Parliament on December 3, 2020. A bill containing consequential amendments to other legislation was also passed on December 8 and received assent on December 10. According […]

Algeria: National Bank Officially Launches Islamic Banking

(Nov. 23, 2020) On August 4, 2020, Algeria’s National Bank officially launched Islamic banking as the first state-owned bank to practice Islamic banking services in Algeria. The launching of Islamic banking on the level of state-owned banks is in accordance with the government’s efforts to establish a more effective and diversified national financial market. The […]