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The Ministry of Environmental Protection recently published the Memorandum for the Climate Law 2021. The memorandum’s main purpose is to create an organizational framework for Israel's handling of the global climate crisis. It follows the developing trend among countries worldwide that have enacted similar climate legislation. According to the memorandum, handling the crisis shall occur on two primary levels. The first is prevention and minimization of greenhouse gas emissions in order for Israel to meet its international obligations under the Paris Agreement. The second is advancing national preparedness for the impacts and harms of the climate crisis.
Categories: Environmental Law
The Bank of Israel published its latest annual review at the end of May¹The review includes an announcement by Supervisor of Banks Yair Avidan that he is promoting the formulation of updated comprehensive regulations on environmental risk management, considering the considerable importance he attributes to the subject of the environment. Already at the end of 2020, the Supervisor of Banks sent a letter to banking corporations and credit card companies advising them of the initiation of a process of regulating and supervising banks’ environmental risk management². These clear statements may have significant implications on many business entities, adding practical substance to the growing discourse about corporations’ environmental impact and their adoption of an ESG policies.
On June 1, 2021, the regulations that guided the conduct of workplaces during the coronavirus crisis expired. Accordingly, from this day forward, there is no longer a requirement to operate in accordance with the green tag or purple tag directives in the workplace. At this stage, holding gatherings, professional trainings, and group meals at the workplace is permitted, even without observing social distancing.
In light of global capital market investors’ growing interest in the topic of responsible investments, the Israel Securities Authority recently published a proposed outline for corporate responsibility and ESG risk disclosures.
This past year has been nothing short of a rollercoaster ride for employers in Israel, in terms of both their business activities and their role as employers. Now, when we can perhaps see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel in the form of Israel’s vaccination campaign, quite a few questions arise.
When competing entities join forces to submit a tender offer, it reduces the overall number of entities competing for a tender. Reducing the number of competing entities may increase the market power of those participating entities against the tender holder and enable them to make less attractive offers.
The Israel Securities Authority recently established guidelines on when a cryptographic currency (token) is considered a security. The ISA determined that Kirobo tokens meet the definition of a security. This is primarily because the The Israel Securities believes investors would intend to purchase the tokens for financial purposes. In addition, these investors would anticipate their holdings to go up in value.
On December 30, 2020, the Israel Competition Authority (ICA) notified SOS, a company in the field of fueling services, it was imposing a financial sanction of NIS 6.3 million on the company. In addition, it imposed a financial sanction of NIS 350,000 on an executive officer in the company. Following a complaint an SOS competitor filed with the ICA, the ICA concluded SOS had entered into exclusivity agreements with its clients. The company also implemented a policy whereby it would not provide fueling services to a client if the client simultaneously engaged with a competing fuel service provider.
Categories: Competition Law and Antitrust
Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority published its guidelines and emphases for protecting the privacy of individuals when conducting COVID-19 epidemiological investigations in workplaces.
Israel's Ministry of Environmental Protection imposed a financial sanction of NIS 634,000 on Bazan Group's Gadiv Petrochemical Industries for not complying with a deadline to stop harmful emissions. The ministry stated that due to the severity of the violation, both a financial sanction and administrative enforcement measures would be imposed.
A recent amendment to the Consumer Protection Law seeks to place restrictions on telemarketing. As part of the amendment, the Consumer Protection and Fair Trade Authority will establish a database of consumers who don't want to receive telemarketing calls from various businesses. Businesses will not be able to contact a consumer whose telephone number is registered in this database, except in specific circumstances.
While the activity of most financial intermediaries in Israel is regulated and supervised, broker-dealers have so far operated in an unsupervised manner and without dedicated regulation. In light of this, the Israel Securities Authority has published a legislative memorandum aimed at regulating the field of broker-dealers in Israel.
Israel’s Privacy Protection Authority has published its recommendation that every organization appoint a privacy protection supervisor. This supervisor’s task is to implement the privacy protection laws that apply to the organization. The PPA noted that although Israeli law does not impose such a duty, it is a best practice recommended for organizations that collect and analyze personal data.
The Israel Securities Authority will soon require public companies to disclose details about independent committees tasked with overseeing transactions with controlling shareholders. The staff position was put together due to the increased need for supervision and oversight of decision-making processes in transactions between public companies and their controlling shareholders.
The European Parliament recently adopted a new regulation on crowdfunding platform activity. This regulation will apply across the board to all European Union countries. According to the new regulation's provisions, it is possible to raise up to only EUR 5 million on a crowdfunding platform. Additionally, the regulation stipulates rules to protect people investing through a crowdfunding platform, reporting duties for the entities raising funds, and more.
In early October, the Data Protection Authority in Hamburg, Germany announced that the clothing retailer HM committed severe violations of its employees' privacy. Because of these European General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) violations, the retailer would pay a fine of approximately 35 million euros.
A July decision by the Court of Justice of the European Union has established that in light of the fact the United States does not respect the privacy of its citizens in accordance with EU standards, the Privacy Shield mechanism allowing for personal data transfers between Europe and the US can no longer be relied upon. At the same time, in Israel, the Ministry of Justice has published a memorandum that constitutes the first step in adjusting existing law to the digital age.
Although Israel is a world leader in the fintech field, companies operating in this area face many regulatory challenges. A newly published legal memorandum aims to enable the creation of a “sandbox”, with inspiration from various programs already implemented in Japan, Australia, and Singapore. The goal is to establish a unique experimental environment, a “regulatory sandbox,” where regulatory relief is granted to companies who choose to participate in the program.
As part of a broad change led by the Ministry of Finance to increase competition in the banking and financial services market, a memorandum for the Provision of Financial Information Services Law was recently published for public comments.