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Law that institutes emergency legal regime during the COVID-19 pandemic enters into force

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Law No. 14,010/2020, published on June 12, 2020, establishes transitory and emergency rules for the regulation of private law legal relations due to the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19). The new law contains important provisions on prescription and decay periods, and also deals with the holding of meetings by legal entities in the period. Forecasts other than business activities are also focused on the rules, such as the arrest of alimony debtors and condominium meetings.

The aforementioned law arises from Bill No. 1,179/2020, presented on March 30, 2020 by Senator Antônio Anastasia (PSD-MG), which covered several aspects concerning relations between individuals. The project went through both houses, having been the subject of several amendments that reduced the themes covered by the regulations.

The consolidated text was submitted to the Presidency of the Republic, after vetoes to the provisions that dealt with matters such as restrictions on the holding of presential meetings until October this year, predictions regarding the termination, resolution and review of contracts during the pandemic period, the suspension to the concession of injunctions in eviction actions in urban properties, the granting of exceptional powers to condominium managers, in addition to vetoing the provisions on the guidelines of the national urban mobility policy, which reduced the percentage of retention held by transportation companies operating through mobile apps.

Having entered into force on the date of its publication, the main points with a direct impact on business relations are listed below:

  1. Suspension and impediment of statutory periods between June 12, 2020 and October 31, 2020.
  2. Suspension of the right of regret provided for in the Consumer Protection Code for medicines, perishable products or products for immediate consumption.
  3. Possibility of business companies, associations and cooperatives to hold assemblies by electronic means, regardless of the provision expressed in their constitutive acts.
  4. Provisional suspension of applications of items XV and XVII of §3 of art. 36 of Law No. 12,529/2011, which consider the sale of goods or the provision of services unreasonably below the cost price or the partial or total interruption of the company’s activities without just cause proven to be violations of the economic order.
  5. Exemption from prior control by CADE (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) in concentration acts resulting from an associative contract, consortium or joint venture during the pandemic period.
  6. Alteration of the initial term of the General Personal Data Protection Law, effective from May 2021.

In addition to the changes promoted by Law No. 14,010/2020, it is worth remembering that Provisional Measure No. 931, of March 30, 2020, is in effect, which exceptionally eases certain obligations of cooperatives, corporations and limited liability companies in relation to the holding of Ordinary General Meetings, extending the deadline for it to happen and providing for the possibility of it being held by electronic means. In addition, it contains provisions on the deadlines for registering corporate acts with commercial boards, until their operation returns to normal.

Said MP is also included in the set of measures of the Ministry of Economy that aim to minimize the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic (Covid-19) on economic activities.

Check the full text of Law No. 14,010/20 here.