Conducting almost all types of industrial, commercial and other activities entails the risk of environmental damage. Therefore, the legislation of Kazakhstan imposes strict requirements on those who carry out the various activities which have the potential to cause certain environmental damage.
Compliance with environmental requirements is monitored by state control and supervision by the competent authorities, which often results in large claims, the imposition of fines and other sanctions applied to companies. In this case, companies find it necessary to protect their interests against the public authorities that sometimes violate the rights of legal entities.
GRATA Law Firm offers the following services for the protection and representation of your interests in the resolution of environmental disputes and cases concerning administrative violations:
1) analysis of certain disputes and associated risks; producing recommendations regarding the feasibility of applying to the courts or other public authorities for the protection of interests of the company;
2) verifying the legality of administrative fines and environmental assessment of damage (including studying the company’s documents and, if necessary, on-site activity);
3) protecting and representing legal entities in courts and before other public authorities.
Based on our experience, our lawyers have made an overview of the trends established in the resolution of environmental disputes in practice. Please follow the link to read this information, and we hope it will be useful for you.
We were asked to assist in protecting the legitimate interests of many large trading companies, oil and gas companies, as well as large exporters of non-ferrous metals in environmental disputes.
In the recent past, we have successfully completed the following projects:
- advising a large oil company regarding an appeal against a Decree in an administrative offence case connected with sewage disposal;
- successful protected the interests of a large uranium-mining company in the Economical Court in connection with an appeal against the suspension of operations for violations of industrial safety legislation;
- successfully protecting the interests of a large oil company in the first, appellate, and cassational courts and the Ministry of Environmental Protection of RK. Our lawyers achieved a dismissal of a claim for damages and cancelation of all fines imposed for environmental violations;
- successfully protecting the interests of an oil company in the Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan. As a result of our participation fines imposed for environmental violations were annulled;
- successfully representing the interests of a company in the chemical sector in the Supreme Court of the Republic of Kazakhstan with regard to settling a dispute over ownership of production wastes;
- successfully representing a large mining and processing enterprise in the first, appellate and supervisory courts in connection with a claim of a territorial environmental administration for compensation for damages caused by pollution of land and water resources;
- representing the interests of a number of large foreign oil companies during audits performed by environmental prosecution bodies, territorial environmental administration and an authorised body for subsoil use. Our participation in the audits helped prevent several unreasonable claims against the company;
- successfully protecting the interests of an oil company in connection with a claim of the regional prosecutor’s office against excessive disposal of production wastes;
- successfully protecting the interests of a uranium-mining company in court and in the prosecution bodies in connection with an appeal against a fine for excessive emissions. As a result the amount of the fine was reduced tenfold;
- representing in court a major oil company appealing against fines for polluting land, waste storage, and the breach of requirements for environmental monitoring of production. Our lawyers achieved the cancelation of all fines;
- representing in court a metallurgical company in the settlement of a dispute over payment rates for disposal of production waste;
- protecting the interests of an oil company during land inspections regarding administrative violations. As a result of our participation the fines were significantly reduced;
- advising an oil company regarding the legality of fines imposed for not possessing environmental permits and for exceeding the maximum allowable discharge levels;
- protecting the interests of uranium mining companies in court in connection with claims against them for compensation for damages caused by waste disposal;
- protecting the interests of a landfill owner in the court of cassation in connection with the unjustified accrual of fees for waste disposal;
- successfully protected the interests of an oil company with regard to environmental emissions of hydrogen sulfide and sulfur dioxide as a result of associated gas flaring in courts of first instance, appeal and cassation, and the administrative court;
- advising a mining company in connection with the claim for compensation for damages caused by accidental pollution of water bodies;
- advising an agricultural organisation in connection with the requirements of the tax authority to charge additional fees for waste disposal in the environment;
- drafting a complaint to the Tax Committee with respect to the notice of the tax audit results, under which the waste recycling company was additionally charged amounts of emissions fee;
- successfully protected the interests of an oil company with regard to an accidental oil spill into a water body in courts of first instance, appeal and cassation, and the administrative court.
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Uzbek government continues its strive to transform country's legislation and make Uzbekistan more open to foreign investment and international trade. With the addition modern-thinking specialists to the management in the state authorities, alongside with radical legislative improvements in legislation, directed to full-scale liberalisation, increasing trade turnover and development of local industry, attracting foreign investors, full transfer to market economy and overcoming such obstacles as corruption, restrictions for payment on current international transactions, tariff and non-tariff barriers, the prospects of Uzbekistan are becoming increasingly more attractive for global businesses.
During the Month of January 2018 GRATA International (Russian Federation) generated the most usage from Mondaq users for the category of commercial law.
Yana Dianova, Director of the Corporate and Commercial Law Department (GRATA International, Moscow) and Timur Berekmoinov, a patent attorney (GRATA International, Almaty) took part in the international conference 'Intellectual Property in the New Technological Order'.
In keeping with GRATA’s practice of informing clients of important legal developments that might influence their business, we would like to draw your attention to some important upcoming legislative developments regarding the foreign exchange regulation and foreign exchange control.
Samat Daumov, Managing Partner, GRATA International, shares the firm’s experience in building a regional network of a consulting firm or the largest network of lawyers and litigation attorneys in Kazakhstan.
We are glad to announce that Aidar Sarymsakov and Akhmetzhan Abdullayev, Senior Partners, Saule Akhmetova and Almat Daumov, Partners have been identified as key legal experts in Mining field among 11 legal experts in Kazakhstan in Who's Who Legal: Mining 2018 issue.
On 31 January 2017, the Law Society is hosting a breakfast round table with experts from the region and experienced practitioners to discuss the current business climate, growing business areas, and new investment opportunities for law firms and their clients, in particular in relation to the AIFC.
On 29 November 2017 the deputies of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan approved in the first reading draft law "On Amendments and Additions to Certain Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan Regarding Regulation of Land Relations" (hereinafter referred to as the "Draft Law"), developed following the work of the Commission on Land Reform.
On 1 January 2018 new Tax Code came into force in Kazakhstan. This Tax Code is set to stimulate growth of small and medium-sized businesses and strengthen Kazakhstan’s financial sector. The principle of good faith was also introduced: all the ambiguities and inaccuracies of the Tax Code are interpreted in favour of entrepreneurs.
It has shown a particular interest in the Law of 28 December 2017 No. 128-VI on Introducing Amendments and Additions to some Legislative Acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Information and Communication ('the Law'), which, among other amendments, requires website operators to collect identification data of website users who post comments on such websites.
GRATA International commented on the following questions:
1- What is the background to the Law, and the Kazakh government's reason for introducing it?
2- Which types of companies will be affected by the provisions with regard to i) identifying website users ii) retaining user data? How is this likely to affect the operation of websites, and their users?
On 29 December 2017 the Republic of Kazakhstan has ratified the Convention on avoidance of double taxation with Ireland and the Protocol thereto (hereinafter – the ‘Convention’).
Команда юристов GRATA International в России подготовила обзор наиболее важных изменений в законодательстве Российской Федерации, вступающих в силу в 2018 году.
Belarus adopted the revolutionary legal framework for IT companies and blockchain enthusiasts. The President’s Decree on Digital Economy comes into force on March 28, 2018.
On December 23, 2017 Managing Partner of GRATA International’s Uzbekistan office Bakhodir Jabborov made a presentation at the Shanghai Bar Association
GRATA International contributed to LexisNexis Mergers & Acquisitions Law Guide 2018. Special Focus - One Belt One Road China Investment.
On November 23 the President of the Republic of Belarus has signed Decree No. 7 “On the Development of Entrepreneurship”. The document significantly simplifies business activities in Belarus. Below you can find main innovations for business introduced by the document.
On 15 December 2017, AmCham HR Committee's December Meeting took place in the office of Nobel Oil in Baku.
On 15 December 2017, the Caspian European Club and Caspian Energy Georgia with the support of the Embassy of the Republic of Azerbaijan in Georgia held the Azerbaijani-Georgian business forum and the third CEO of Lunch Tbilisi.
On 5 December 2017, the 23rd Azerbaijan International Telecommunications and Information Technologies Exhibition and Conference took Place in Baku Expo Centre. The exhibition marked the beginning of High Technologies Week. The organiser of the exhibition was the Caspian Event Organisers.
On 7-9 December 2017, Bolormaa Volodya, Partner, and Altanzaya Gunsen, Taxation Counsel of Absolute Advocates LLP, GRATA International's associate office in Mongolia, have attended International Taxation Conference 2017 in Mumbai, India.
GRATA International performed exceptionally well in this year’s rankings as its Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan offices were ranked by Chambers Asia-Pacific 2018, confirming GRATA International's dominant position in Central Asia.
During the Month of November 2017 GRATA International (Russian Federation) generated the most usage from Mondaq users for the category of commercial law.
On 30 November 2017 in Bishkek GRATA International organised a practical seminar: Roadmap to Profitable Small Hydro Power Plant Development, together with international engineering firm ILF Consulting Engineers.
On 28 November 2017 in Almaty GRATA International organised a practical seminar: Roadmap to Profitable Small Hydro Power Plant Development, together with international engineering firm ILF Consulting Engineers.
On 7 December 2017, the results of the national law firms rating – ‘Право.ru-300’ were announced.
On 6 December 2017 the drinks reception was held in Astana, Kazakhstan.
On 5 December 2017 the International Conference "PPP Projects in International Context" was held in Frankfurt-on-Main, Germany.
Yerzhan spoke on key questions of PPP projects implementation in Kazakhstan, particular issues of national legislation, basis PPP models in Kazakhstan, issues relating to regulation of PPP projects and key trends of development of PPP in the near future.
On November 28th, 2017 Nurlan Kyshtobaev, partner of GRATA International Bishkek office conducted a guest lecture on “concession agreements” and “how law firms operate”. The lecture was read to the students of International Business Law department of the American University of Central Asia (AUCA) within the course “Investment Law and Sustainable Development”. Earlier this year, GRATA International in Bishkek signed a MoU with AUCA on cooperation.
4th Downstream Caspian & Central Asia conference was held in Baku, Azerbaijan on November 28.
On 22 November 2017 Dubai Chamber Annual Networking Reception took place in Azerbaijan, Baku with the aim of highlighting achievements, discussing plans, and reward most active companies.
On November 16, 2017, American Chamber of Commerce in Azerbaijan (AmCham Azerbaijan) organized its monthly members’ luncheon.
AmCham Legal and Compliance Working Group hosted its regular meeting on November 1, 2017.
The opening ceremony of the Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway (BTK) was held on October 30, 2017 in Baku.
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