27 March 2020
The current Covid 19 pandemic has long since developed into an economic crisis, the full impact of which cannot yet be predicted. The crisis also affects those companies that are active in so-called systemically important areas and whose commitment is particularly important for the protection of public health. In the opinion of the EU Commission, it is therefore particularly important to prevent a “sell-out” of companies and technologies that are critical and key to the health sector.

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The outbreak of the coronavirus in Germany has a direct impact on the operational export control of companies. While some export control departments are no longer able to work at full capacity and also the Federal Office of Economics and Export Control (Bundesamt für Wirtschaft und Ausfuhrkontrolle – BAFA) had to significantly reduce its services, such as its telephone hotlines, the risk of procurement efforts by unintended recipients of goods and technology is increasing.

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On 29 November 2019, the German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Peter Altmaier presented the final version of his “Industrial Strategy 2030”. In the strategy, the Ministry announces a practically relevant amendment to the Foreign Trade and Payments Ordinance (FTPO). At the press conference on the strategy, Mr Altmaier indicated that manufacturers of “critical technologies” may also be included in the list of particularly security-relevant companies. The background to this development is the concern about the sale of high technology to China and other countries classified as critical.

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On 30 July 2019, the European Commission published the EU Guidance on Internal Compliance Programme (ICP) for dual-use trade controls, which directly addresses companies involved in the trade of dual-use items. With these legally non-binding guidelines, the Commission has formulated certain expectations on corporations when it comes to their internal compliance programme for trade control regulations.

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The Practicioner’s Handbook on Art Law (Praxishandbuch Recht der Kunst) has been released by legal publishing house C.H. Beck. Reinhart Rüsken has contributed to the publication as an author.

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Digital information and online communication are becoming more and more important. As a result, people are increasingly aiming to protect their IT systems against attacks. Cyber security considerations play a special role in governmental restrictions on foreign direct investments to protect against foreign interference in key infrastructure or security-related sectors. In Germany, this has led to increased scrutiny of M&A transactions by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (FMEA) – not limited to companies active in key areas of software development or IT security.

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The digitalisation of global trade is constantly expanding. In the 21st century data will become the most important commodity, according to a report in the German newspaper ‘Handelsblatt’. The continuing development of 3D printing technology makes it possible to send, instead of the actual goods, data that can then be used to print the goods directly at the receiving end. The more the digitisation of trade develops, the more important cybersecurity products are becoming.

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The chapter Roland Stein and Leonard von Rummel have contributed to the 8th edition of “Getting the Deal Through (GTDT): Foreign Investment Review” is now available.

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The 8th edition of Getting the Deal Through: Foreign Investment Review has just been published. Roland Stein and Leonard von Rummel contributed the chapter on the German foreign investment review regime.

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Roland Stein, Pascal Friton and Hans-Joachim Priess have been recognised as leading experts in international trade law and public procurement law in Germany and in the world in the Who’s Who Legal: Trade & Customs 2018, Government Contracts 2018 and Germany 2019 editions.

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