Bahrain’s Public Utilities and Environment Committee has approved a draft law to implement the International Convention for the Protection of New Plant Varieties. It will protect new plant varieties in the Kingdom, regulate the rights and duties of plant breeders and support investment in scientific research and agriculture to develop new plant varieties of high economic and productive value. The explanatory memorandum to the draft law states the justifications for the law is to protect new plant varieties, regulate the conditions for protecting plant varieties, specify the duration of protection and the exceptions. It also states the controls of compulsory licenses, and the precautionary measures to protect Plant breeder rights. In addition, it specifies criminal penalties for violating their rights or violating the law.
Bahrain’s Real Estate Regulatory Authority together with the Information and e-Government Authority has launched a licensing services system. The system includes a number of services which can be used through the national Bahrain.bh portal. It includes a group of important electronic services for real estate professionals, including brokers and sales agents. It also includes facilities to issue licenses and pay fees, enquiring about the status of applications, renewing expired licenses, displaying all licenses approved by the institution and presenting the documents required for issuing or renewal.
Bahrain’s Cabinet has approved a draft decision, which if further approved, would exempt the Bahrain Defence Force and Internal Security Forces imports from import VAT and customs tax fees. It follows a review of a memorandum submitted by the Interior Minister. The Cabinet also approved the Kingdom’s accession to the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent Base Erosion and Profit Shifting. The Convention enables Governments to modify existing bilateral tax treaties in an efficient way to eliminate double taxation.
Bahrain’s King Hamad has approved a Law amending the Kingdom’s Commercial Companies Law. Bahrain Decree-Law No. 28/2020 will amend Bahrain Decree-Law No. 21/2001. The Prime Minister and the relevant ministers will be responsible for implementing the Law. It has been published in the Official Gazette and will come into force the day after it is issued.
Bahrain’s King issued has issued a Decree restructuring the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry. Under Bahrain Decree No. 60/2020, Bahrain Decree No. 55/2019 restructuring the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry will be repealed. The Industry, Commerce and Tourism Minister will be responsible for implementing this Decree. It will be published in the Official Gazette and will come into force on its issued date.
Bahrain’s Cabinet has approved a flexible work permit Decision.
It follows recommendations from the Coordinating Committee led by Bahrain’s Crown Prince, Deputy Supreme Commander and First Deputy Prime Minister.
The Decision specifies the procedures for developing a permit policy for a foreign employer to practice some professional activities.
The aim is to develop this system and activate it in order to develop the labour market systems and its monitoring in the country. It is also aimed at enhancing job opportunities for citizens to make the country the first choice for employment, protect workers’ rights and prevent them from being exploited.
The procedures for developing the policy include intensifying inspection campaigns on foreign employers to ensure they do not work in professional activities which a foreign employer may not engage in without obtaining a permit. Inspection campaigns on informal workers will also be intensified to ensure the relevant measures are complied with.
Workers who do not comply with the regulatory procedures will not be able to apply for the flexible work permit and the registration of industrial motor vehicles used in construction and transport buses owned by holders of a flexible work permit will be terminated.
A committee consisting of representatives from the Labour and Social Development Ministry, the Finance and National Economy Ministry, the Industry, Commerce and Tourism Ministry, the Works, Municipalities Affairs and Urban Planning Ministry, the Electricity and Water Affairs Ministry, the Labour Market Regulatory Authority, BCCI and the Education and Training Quality Authority will be established. They will propose regulatory standards for 20 identified professions and any other professions the committee considers relevant to include. They will also share recommendations with the Supreme Council for the Development of Education and Training within two months.
Bahrain’s Cabinet has proposed amendments to the Kingdom’s Reorganisation and Bankruptcy Law. The proposed amendments are contained in a draft law which has been submitted to the Council of Representatives to consider. If approved, it will amend Bahrain Law No. 22/2018.
Bahrain’s MP Ahmed Alsalloum who is the chairman of the financial and economic affairs committee has revealed his intention to propose an amendment to the electronic trade law. The aim of the proposal is to protect local traders against the international electronic trade. The MP has stated Bahrain needs to settle rules and regulations to create a balance between international electronic trade and local traditional trade.
Following directives from Bahrain’s Government Executive Committee, the President of the Sustainable Energy Authority has announced the first Renewable Energy Certificate has been issued. The aim is to enhance the use of renewable energy in the Kingdom and it has been issued as part of the phased implementation of the renewable energy certification programme. The programme will use Blockchain solutions to ensure transparency and enable the tracking and verification of every certificate issued to each system registered in the programme to prevent electronic breaches. It will allow producers to directly record the productivity of the renewable energy systems they own on the platform so the Authority can verify the amount of energy produced and approve it through a Renewable Energy Certificate. The Certificate will be issued electronically for every 1 megawatt hour produced and approved by the Authority. Producers of renewable energy will also be able to offer renewable energy certificates for sale to those looking to invest in renewable energy and benefit from certificates to overcome the challenges preventing them from producing renewable energy themselves. It will enable investors and financing institutions to evaluate investment opportunities, finance sustainable energy projects and verify energy output produced through reliable and approved programmes and tools.
Bahrain’s King has issued Bahrain Decree-Law No. 25/2020 amending Bahrain Law No. 22/2018 on reorganisation and bankruptcy. Under the amendments, Article 19 of Bahrain Law No. 22/2018 has been amended to read ‘The debtor and the creditor and every other party that has interest in the case has the right to participate in the bankruptcy procedures and in obtaining, from the court of the bankruptcy trustee, the information related to the debtor’s business and his financial affairs and the taken procedures and the measures and that is all pursuant to the provisions of the law’. Article 30(b) of Bahrain Law No. 22/2018, Article 33(a) of Bahrain Law No. 22/2018 and Article 33(b) of Bahrain Law No. 22/2018 have also been amended. The Prime Minister and relevant Ministers will be responsible for enforcing the Decree-Law which will come into force on the day after its publication in the Official Gazette.