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On 10 November 2022, following a 3-1 vote, the Federal Trade Commission issued a policy statement expanding its interpretation of the scope of unfair methods of competition under section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act. Section 5 of the FTC Act prohibits “unfair methods of competition,” which covers conduct that violates antitrust laws or section 5 itself.

On 28 October 2022, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security issued a first round of FAQs regarding the advanced computing and semiconductor manufacturing Interim Final Rule, published on 13 October 2022 (87 Fed. Reg. 62,186) and amending the Export Administration Regulations. The FAQs clarify that that the new restrictions on exports and reexports to China also apply to Hong Kong.

Directors of Australian companies face significant personal monetary – and potential criminal and adverse professional – consequences if they allow the company to trade whilst insolvent.
Australian insolvent trading laws are harsher, and more frequently utilized to prosecute directors personally, than in many other jurisdictions including in the US and the UK.

In a draft compromise text obtained by Politico, the European Council has dropped a key provision seeking to harmonize telemedicine from the draft European Health Data Space. The (now-removed) Article 8 was aimed at encouraging the cross-border provision of telemedicine services across the EU. However, the reality is that there are vast national differences between Member States on telemedicine-related laws. It is going to require a far more concerted legislative effort to harmonize this area of law across the EU.

On Monday 31 October 2022 the European Commission published the updated Combined Nomenclature (CN) for 2023. The declaration of goods upon import, export, or when subject to intra-Community trade statistics between EU Member States is based on the CN. This sets the customs duty rate that is applicable as well as determines how the products are handled for statistical purposes. Thus, the CN is an essential working instrument for industry and the customs departments of the EU Member States.

After the introduction of the UK Modern Slavery Act, the French Duty of Vigilance Law, Germany also followed by adopting the Act on Corporate Due Diligence Obligations in Supply Chains (Lieferkettensorgfaltspflichtengesetz or “LkSG”). The LkSG lays down extensive obligations for companies with regard to their own business area, but also their direct and indirect suppliers. Many of the necessary measures require preparation. Therefore, companies should finalize their preparation in the coming weeks as the LkSG enters into force in 2023.

Effective 28 October 2022, Canada implemented additional sanctions against Iran due to its “ongoing gross and systematic human rights violations and continued actions to destabilize regional peace and security.” An additional four individuals and two entities have been listed under Schedule 1 of the Special Economic Measures (Iran) Regulations.

As an unfortunate consequence of the deterioration of the US-China relationship, more and more Chinese companies are divesting and exiting their US-based operations. In order to execute a smooth exit from US operations, Chinese companies should retain a good US financial adviser. Careful consideration should also be given to how the asset is packaged, preparing stand-alone audited financial statements, and optimizing the business for post-closing operations. Chinese companies should be prepared to use US law and engage in longer negotiations as a result. CFIUS-related requirements and risks should be understood during the early stages of the deal.