Israel: Extending Validity of Regulatory Approvals in Light of the Coronavirus Crisis
On March 25, 2020, emergency regulations were adopted in Israel that include, among other things, an extension of the validity of regulatory approvals that expire in the near future.
The purpose of the extension is to ensure the continued functioning of business entities, which without the extension, would have remained without a valid license, exposing these businesses to the sanctions prescribed by law.
The regulations extend the validity of licenses and/or permits that expired or are expected to expire in the period from March 10, 2020, to May 10, 2020, for a period of two months, provided no decision is rendered rendered to suspend or revoke the validity. The regulations also set a fee exemption for this extension. This provision applies to business licenses.
At the same time, deadlines for submitting arguments regarding monetary sanctions and administrative warnings, as well as commitment and pledges notes, were extended by three months.
We note that the regulations excluded from the extension a series of regulatory approvals concerning the current situation, certain permits relating to work safety, permits regarding hazardous materials, permits in the field of labor law, and more., all as listed in the addendum to the extension regulation.
For any business that holds regulatory permits for its activity that need to be renewed in the near future, it is advisable to consider whether the permits held by it are included in the extended permit list or if action is required during this period as well.
We also note that the government has issued for public comments a memorandum to regulations extending additional deadlines, including the scheduled dates for certain administrative decisions, as well as the deadline for actions with the public authorities, for a period of 90 days. As these regulations come to fruition, this will also affect a large proportion of pending proceedings before the authorities, who are also required to reduce manpower during this time.
Update on Approved Electronic Signature Issuance
The use of approved electronic signatures is increasing among business, especially during this period of remote work.
Generally, issuing a certified electronic signature requires a face-to-face identification of the certificate applicant. In view of the constraints created by the Corona epidemic and in order to enable the issuance of and the renewal of certified electronic signatures the Registrar of the Certifying Entities, regulating the entities certified to issue certified electronic signatures, promulgated two temporary order regarding the identification of applicants for a new certified electronic signature and for renewal of such.
Thus, the certifying bodies were instructed to install various physical separation measures to ensure the safety and health of the applicant and the issuing body and in relation to the renewal of the electronic certificate, the issuer must allow renewal by electronic means – a site through which the applicant can register to renew a certificate. The Temporary Order set a series of security requirements for the renewal website. The orders are valid for 90 days and will be extended if necessary.
Therefore, anyone who needs to renew a certificate or issue a new one can also do so during this period.