Newsletters/Notary

COVID-19 Practical Legal Guide

With the aim of providing clear and concise responses, Bergstein has prepared a practical legal guide with most frequently asked questions about COVID-19. The guide discusses hot topics on employment law, contracts and taxations.

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Compliance: The Star Of The Moment

Everything that has to do with money laundering prevention has become an inseparable part of our professional practice. The Budget Bill --which is being discussed at the Parliament (the “Bill”)-- extends the powers of control of the Uruguayan Office for the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing (Secretaría Nacional para la Lucha contra el Lavado de Activos y el Financiamiento del Terrorismo) (the “Office”). Up to now, the powers of control of such Office were limited to a narrow number of individuals and entities: casinos, real estate brokers, free zones, notaries, auctioneers, antiques shops and companies managers. The Bill extends such powers of control to all individuals and entities directly or indirectly involved in the transaction or business investigated. The scope of such extension is almost unpredictable. The indirect involvement may be infinite. In sum: under the Bill, everybody may be investigated by the Office. ___________________ The above communication has been prepared just for information purposes. It cannot be construed as legal advice provided by Bergstein Abogados. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Soledad Cappetta (scappetta@bergsteinlaw.com) and/or Ana Claudia Marrero (amarrero@bergsteinlaw.com).

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Traffic Fines: Applied to the Vehicle or to the Driver?

It is common practice for municipal authorities (Intendencias) to impose traffic penalties upon the vehicle as opposed to the driver. This may have to do with the practice of including the amount of the fine along with the vehicle ownership tax (Patente de Rodados) bill. Whatever the reasons, the issue is not purely academic, but also practical. The existence of pending fines usually makes it difficult -and often prevents- the sale of the vehicle. This is because the potential buyer refuses to purchase the vehicle as long as its owner does not cancel all his/her traffic penalties. However, the approach taken by the municipal authorities lacks legal grounds. A traffic fine is not a lien on the vehicle. Therefore, the fine does not “follow” the vehicle when it is sold. Such a fine only obliges the offending driver. The buyer of the vehicle could never be held liable for the fine unless a legal provision expressly declares otherwise. Over the last years, that practice has been frequently challenged by court decisions, opinions of the Prosecution and compelling legal studies. It would be highly recommended to have such a practice revisited. ___________________ The above communication has been prepared just for information purposes. It cannot be construed as legal advice provided by Bergstein Abogados. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Soledad Cappetta (scappetta@bergsteinlaw.com) and/or Ana Claudia Marrero (amarrero@bergsteinlaw.com).

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Money-laundering -- More Controls

A few days ago, Uruguayan Central Bank established a wide list of activities that shall be subject to the special supervision of financial institutions. This list includes the following activities when performed by clients on a regular basis (and when such clients handle moneys of third parties): purchase, construction, promotion, investment, real estate management, financial transactions in general, incorporation or management of companies and legal vehicles in general. Such activities will be deemed of high risk when --considered individually-- exceed the amount of US$ 50,000, or when in any given calendar year the cumulative sum of such transactions exceeds the amount of US$ 600,000. In such cases the so-called “intensified due diligence procedures” shall apply (procedimientos de debida diligencia intensificados) which require from the financial institutions the permanent monitoring of their clients and the identification of their beneficial owners. Sale transactions of real estate will be considered activities of high risk, even when the clients of the financial institutions manage moneys of their own. Uruguayan Central Bank also established that financial institutions must identify the beneficial owner of all transactions exceeding the amount of US$ 10,000. ___________________ The above communication has been prepared just for information purposes. It cannot be construed as legal advice provided by Bergstein Abogados. Should you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Soledad Cappetta (scappetta@bergsteinlaw.com) and/or Ana Claudia Marrero (amarrero@bergsteinlaw.com).

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