Legal Updates for November 2021

New Guideline on Credit Terms for SMEs

A new guideline on the use of "fair" credit terms between business operators and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) will take effect on 16 December 2021. For trading, manufacturing and services businesses, the credit terms must not exceed 45 days unless a shorter term has already been agreed. For trading, manufacturing and services businesses only related to agricultural products or processed agricultural products using a non-complicated manufacturing process, the credit terms must not exceed 30 days unless a shorter term has already been agreed.

The guidelines also provide some room to fix credit terms different from the abovementioned terms if there is a reasonable basis on which to do so for business, marketing or economic reasons. In this Update, we explain the rationale behind the issuance of these guidelines and their intended scope.

Regional Guide on Fraud and Asset Tracing Litigation

The nature of fraud and asset tracing has becoming increasingly complex in light of globalisation and the almost seamless interconnectivity of the world's financial systems. The proceeds of fraud can now be dissipated in an instant across various jurisdictions, potentially frustrating any attempts at recovery whether via civil proceedings or by relying on the relevant government enforcement agencies. To increase the chances of recovery, it is important that fraudster(s) are quickly identified, with steps taken to trace any stolen assets in order to ascertain their location, after which the relevant applications should be filed to have them frozen to prevent further dissipation.

This publication serves as a guide to highlight:

(a) the similarities and differences in general framework between ASEAN jurisdictions in respect of fraud and asset tracing litigation;

(b) the options available to a fraud victim to identify the fraudster(s) and/or trace stolen assets;

(c) upon identification of the fraudster(s) and/or ascertaining the location of stolen assets, the mechanisms available to freeze such assets to prevent further dissipation; and

(d) the considerations to be taken into account when deciding on the appropriate jurisdiction to pursue recovery of any stolen assets, and the various courses of action that may be taken against the fraudster(s).