Legal Updates for April 2022

New Prakas on Unfair Contract Clause for Consumer Protection and Fair Competition

In furtherance of ensuring consumer protection and the promotion of fair competition under the Law on Consumer Protection, the Ministry of Commerce issued Prakas No. 0067 P.N.A.KBB.PRK on Unfair Contract Clause ("Prakas") on 1 March 2022. It will be implemented within six months after the date of its issuance. 

The Prakas sets out the requirements for standard form contracts and the penalties for non-compliance with these requirements. The Prakas applies to all types of standard form contracts for the provision of goods and/or services to the consumer in Cambodia, which is defined under the Law on Consumer Protection as a person who acquires goods or services for personal, domestic or household use, and not for re-sell or for commercial purposes. 

In this Update, we briefly highlight some key aspects covered under the Prakas.

COVID-19 and the Journey to Recovery - Exploring the Legal and Practical Issues in the Transport of Vaccines

In recent times, the COVID-19 pandemic has been the unifying and defining experience of the international community. The global journey appears now to be entering smoother waters, with countries headed more confidently towards stabilisation and recovery. One of the key components of the recovery plans being adopted by most countries is a concerted drive to provide vaccinations for their citizens and residents. As such, it should be expected that vaccines will continue to be in high demand across the globe.

The distribution of vaccines remains a profound challenge in the continued fight against COVID-19. How are they being transported? What are the transport requirements of specific vaccines? What are the relevant regulatory and contractual issues that may arise in the transport of vaccines? These are the questions that are of particular relevance to members of the shipping and transport industry, against the backdrop of still fraught supply chains, globally. The transport of vaccines is further complicated by the fact that most vaccines must be stored at very low temperatures, require deft handling, and have limited shelf-life. This not only requires transporters and handlers to be well-versed in cold-chain logistics, it also calls for close cooperation and coordination between those involved at the different stages of the distribution journey.

In this article, we take a look at these issues, particularly from the perspective of the Southeast Asian region from which we have invited invaluable input from the Rajah & Tann Asia network member law practices. The article explores the following: 

  1. Transportation requirements for selected vaccines;
  2. Practical issues in the various stages of the transport of vaccines;
  3. International guidelines or standards governing the transport of vaccines; and
  4. Contractual issues which may arise in the transportation process.
Expedited Procedure, Emergency Arbitrators: New National Commercial Arbitration Centre Rules 2021

The National Commercial Arbitration Centre of Cambodia ("NCAC") adopted its first arbitration rules on 11 July 2014 ("2014 Rules"). Since then, there has been a significant jump in cases referred to NCAC, showing the growing trust that the business community has in Cambodia's arbitration services.

In July 2020, NCAC announced a commitment to reform the 2014 Rules to better serve the needs of the business community and all users of NCAC's services. As a result, NCAC has adopted its new arbitration rules ("2021 Rules") in its 7th Annual Assembly Meeting on 28 March 2021. The 2021 Rules became effective from 28 June 2021.

In this article, we highlight major amendments and new features in the 2021 Rules, specifically:

  1. Introduction of an expedited procedure;
  2. Provision for an emergency arbitrator; and
  3. Other amendments.

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