Monday, September 8, 2014

Dodd Frank Legislation in the US and its Impact on Swap Clearing Requirements in Oman

The Dodd Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (the “Dodd Frank Act” or the “Act”) became law on July 21, 2010. Whilst the Dodd Frank Act has established a comprehensive reform of the United States (“US”) financial regulatory system, and has made changes to most of the financial industry, the focus of this article is based on the Act’s effect on swaps. In particular, this article addresses the requirement that certain swaps need to be cleared through clearing houses (“clearing requirements”).


Friday, August 29, 2014

Spotlight on Amendments to Commercial Agencies Law of Oman

In July, Oman’s Commercial Agencies Law (“CAL”) was amended by virtue of a new law, Royal Decree 34/14.

It is one of the most significant changes in Omani law in recent times.


Introducing Florian A. Maier-Leonhardt

We are pleased to announce that Florian A. Maier-Leonhardt is joining the Muscat office in September as a counsel in the Corporate and Commercial team. Florian is a German attorney-at-law, admitted to the Munich Bar Association. He has lived and worked as a corporate and commercial lawyer in the UAE and the Sultanate of Oman since 2006. Prior to joining Curtis, Florian was working with an international law firm in Abu Dhabi and a local law firm in Muscat.


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Legal Updates

Royal Decree 34 of 2014: Amending some provisions of the Commercial Agencies Law

The Commercial Agencies Law promulgated by Royal Decree 26 of 1977 (as amended) deals with the relationship between a manufacturer or supplier (the “Principal”) with no legal existence in Oman and a company or merchant in Oman (the “Agent”) who enter into an agreement. The agreement would permit the Agent to sell, promote or distribute the goods, products or services of the Principal. The latest set of amendments to the Commercial Agencies Law is Royal Decree 34 of 2014 (the “RD”) effective from July 21, 2014.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New US Trade Case Against Oman

On May 29, 2014, one of the largest producers of steel nails requested that the US Department of Commerce (“Commerce”) and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) impose antidumping and countervailing duties (“CVD”) on imports of steel nails from seven countries, including Oman. This trade case comes two years after Commerce imposed antidumping duties on imports of steel nails from the United Arab Emirates and five years after such duties were imposed on steel nail imports from China. US manufacturer Mid-Continent Steel and Wire Inc. (“Mid-Continent”) filed a CVD and antidumping petition (the “Petition”) alleging that unfairly traded imports from the seven countries are materially injuring the US industry. The ITC on July 11, 2014 rendered an affirmative preliminary injury determination in relation to this trade case. Accordingly, such an affirmative determination means that this trade case will now pass to Commerce for an investigation as to whether or not the Omani Government has bestowed countervailing subsidies to Omani exporters.


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Basel III Principles and Their Application to Banks in Oman

The Central Bank of Oman (“CBO”) has introduced the latest set of global regulatory standards known as Basel III to Omani banks. Basel III is a global, voluntary regulatory set of standards governing bank capital adequacy, stress testing and market liquidity risk. This third installment of the Basel Accord was developed in response to the deficiencies in financial regulation revealed in the aftermath of the global financial crisis in the late 2000s.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Essentials of Intellectual Property and Copyright Laws in Oman

Oman has in recent years made a concerted effort to provide comprehensive laws for the protection of intellectual property. This is demonstrated by the Industrial Property Law promulgated by Royal Decree 67 of 2008 (as amended by Royal Decree 131 of 2008) (the “IPL”). The IPL repealed Royal Decree 38 of 2000 and includes measures to protect owners of trademarks, patents and topography as well as measures to protect against unlawful competition. In addition, the Law for the Protection of Copyright and Neighbouring Rights (the “Copyright Law”) promulgated by Royal Decree 65 of 2008 was established to protect creative works of literature, arts and science and repealed Royal Decree 37 of 2000. This article provides a brief overview of the essential elements of both the IPL, specifically concerning trademarks, and the Copyright Law, as well as the penalties for non-compliance.


Friday, July 18, 2014

Legal Updates

Oman Ratification of the Arab Anti-Corruption Convention

The Sultanate of Oman recently ratified the Arab Convention against Corruption (the “Anti-Corruption Convention”) which was signed in Cairo on 21 December 2010, and consequently issued Royal Decree 28 of 2014 as the endorsement of the Anti-Corruption Convention. The ratification is in furtherance of the Sultanate’s decision to develop mechanisms to fight corruption together with GCC member States. The Royal Decree shall be effective from 21 May 2014.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Expatriate Visa Restrictions

Recently, Oman newspapers have reported that visa restrictions affecting expatriates would be implemented. In mid-June, the Ministry of Manpower (the “MOM”) and the Royal Oman Police (the “ROP”), clarified the position on visa restrictions on expatriates.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Executive Regulations of Al Mazyounah Free Zone

Al Mazyounah Free Zone (the “Free Zone”) was established pursuant to the Royal Decree 103 of 2005 promulgating the establishment of the zone (the “Free Zone Law”). The Free Zone is located in Oman’s Dhofar region. It focuses on the processing, storage and shipment of products from Dhofari agricultural land, along with the automobile and industrial vehicle trade.