The Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) on 10 September 2015 has taken a decision against the Republic of Latvia concluding that the nationality requirement for access to the profession of notary in Latvia is inconsistent with European Union Law.
Likewise the CJEU has reached a decision in cases on the nationality requirement for notaries in other European Union (EU) Member States. In all cases judgments have been the same. Until now judgments have been made with regard to 8 EU Member States: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Austria, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and Greece.
CJEU based its decision on the fact that none of the actions performed by notaries can be classified as direct and specific exercises of official authority. Latvia has maintained its position that a notary in the exercise of their duties takes part in the exercise of state authority. The case was reviewed on the merits and a fine for the non-conformity of former Latvian legal norms with EU Law has not been imposed.
Judgment of the Administrative Regional Court on the Decision of the Competition Council to Impose a Penalty on the National Gas Supplier
On 1 October 2013 the Latvian Competition Council issued a decision regarding the violation of the Competition Law by the JSC “Latvijas Gaze”. The case concerned the application of unfair practices to consumers of natural gas who wished to conclude new natural gas supply agreements, but who were denied the opportunity until they had paid the former user’s debts, if any. JSC “Latvijas Gaze” was ordered to stop the use of such unfair practices, and was also fined for said practices EUR 1.6 million.
JSC “Latvijas Gaze” appealed the decision of the Competition Council. On 2 September 2015 the Administrative District Court concluded that the objections raised by JSC “Latvijas Gaze” in its appeal against the Competition Council are not valid. The Court also decided that the fact that “Latvijas Gaze” is a participant in a regulated market does not justify the abuse of a dominant position by applying unfair trade practices to the consumers of natural gas.
Credit Institutions Will Have to Inform the State Revenue Service Regarding Suspicious Transactions Related to Taxes
On 15 September 152015 the Cabinet of Ministers approved amendments to draft laws which create an obligation for credit institutions and payment service providers to inform the Latvian State Revenue Service (VID) of suspicious transactions related to taxes.
Amendments have been introduced with the aim to reduce the number of offences directly attributable to tax evasion. With the entry into force of said amendments information regarding offences available to The Office for Prevention of Laundering of Proceeds Derived from Criminal Activity (Noziedzīgi iegūtu līdzekļu legalizācijas novēršanas dienests) henceforth will also be available to the State Revenue Service (VID). The changes made imply a preventive action which should help to achieve better results in the fight against crimes attributable to suspicious transactions regarding taxes. The amendments are scheduled to enter into force on 1 January 2016.
New Employees Join Spigulis & Kukainis Team
We are pleased to announce that in July of 2015 Attorney at Law Ms. Anna Pauconoka and Junior Associate Ms. Anete Kleinberga joined the “Spigulis & Kukainis” team!
Rigas Farmaceitiska Fabrika Shares Removed from the Baltic Secondary List
We inform you that on 3 September 2015 stock exchange NASDAQ OMX Riga delisted 507 000 JSC “Rigas farmaceitiska fabrika” bearer shares setting the date of 4 September 2015 as the last trading day for said shares.
Company shareholders decided to delist shares based on the issuer’s, JSC“Rigas farmaceitiska fabrika”, request after the office had successfully ensured the execution of a mandatory takeover bid of JSC “Rigas farmaceitiska fabrika” shares by providing the legal services to execute said takeover process.
As a result of the mandatory and final takeover bid SIA “CAPITAL HOLDING” now owns 2 093 000, or 100%, of the company’s shares which entitles JSC “Rigas farmaceitiska fabrika” to leave the regulated market.