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Estonia is probably best known for its IT businesses and startups. At the same time its population density is among the lowest in Europe, which means that forestry and agriculture are also topics to look into. Due to the country’s geographical location and climate, Estonia is well-suited for dairy farming, and the Estonian islands and seaside regions are also very good for beef cattle farming. Agricultural subsidies provided by the European Union and the Estonian government have resulted in some of the most modern dairy production facilities in the world, making the Estonian average cattle herd size the second-highest in Europe. As a result of state-of-the-art genetics, the average milk production per cow is over 9,300 kilos per annum – the second highest result in Europe, right after Denmark. As a consequence, foreign investors have turned to Estonia for investment possibilities. Here we would like to look more into the possibilities of investing in Estonian agriculture and what to bear in mind.

In a recent case involving parallel-imported agrochemical products, the District Court of The Hague ruled that non-compliance with the requirements laid down by the European Court of Justice (CJEU) for parallel import of relabelled products displaying the original right-holder’s trademark constitutes trademark infringement, particularly if the right-holder is not properly notified of the parallel import and is not offered a sample of the relabelled product on request. This decision shows that the requirements for parallel import are applied strictly by the courts and have a broad scope (not limited to pharmaceutical products), allowing the mark-holder to exercise control over the resale, re-labelling, and re-packaging of its original products within the EU.

On March 28, 2019 the Slovak parliament adopted Act No. 91/2019 Coll. on Unfair Conditions in Food Trade, which completely replaces previous legislation on the subject.

The tobacco products market is heavily regulated in the Czech Republic, as it is across the European Union. A key document is the Tobacco Products Directive (2014/40/EU), which sets out a uniform, detailed framework for all EU member states. The TPD thus provides substantial direction regarding tobacco regulation, tobacco products, and electronic cigarettes, as well as novel tobacco products. It includes comprehensive definitions of various types of tobacco products and regulates their labeling and packaging, mandatory health warnings and security features, and how to place them on the EU market.

Preventing the division of agricultural lands is important in preserving quality in the sector and ensuring the continued contribution of agriculture-related income to the domestic economy. As a result, every positive step taken in the agriculture sector creates a similarly positive movement in the economy. Among the most important steps taken in this regard in Turkey were the 2014 amendments to the Law on Soil Protection and Land Use No. 5403, including to the definitions of “minimum agricultural land size” and “agricultural land size of sufficient income,” affecting the division of inherited agricultural land and transfers of ownership of agricultural lands with designated sizes.

Over 77% of the European Union’s territory is classified as rural (47% is agricultural land and 30% is forest). The numbers are little different in Romania, where around 81% of the territory is rural (approximately 50% is agricultural land and over 31% is forest cover).

Ukraine is a leading producer and exporter of agricultural products, and agribusiness is the driving force of the country’s economy, as almost 40% of overall foreign currency earnings which come in to the state budget relate to agricultural exporters. The industry grows every day, engaging ever-more investments from both national and foreign participants. Nonetheless, the relevant logistics and infrastructure requires improvement, as does the quality of applicable legal framework.

Major developments in 2018 and 2019 have affected the growth of the agricultural industry and agribusiness in Moldova. Key among these developments was the March 1, 2019 adoption of the restated Moldovan Civil Code, which significantly affected the parts of the Moldovan legal framework relevant to businesses.

The landlocked former Soviet republic struggles to move beyond political division and geopolitical pressures to find a steady and reliable path to prosperity.

The Republic of Moldova has three and a half million people – two and a half million fewer than when it was part of the Soviet Union. The Soviet bar was strictly a criminal/civil/family bar, with lawyers doing international legal work concentrated mainly in Moscow. With the breakup of the Soviet Union, local bars (such as Moldova’s) were forced to develop legal capabilities from scratch to serve the needs of local businesses and foreign investors.

Simona Marin is an English- and New York-qualified partner in CMS’s International Finance team in Bucharest, where she focuses on project finance, real estate finance and other financing structures, both syndicated and bilateral, secured and unsecured. Simona has over ten years’ experience advising on a broad range of high-profile financings and projects throughout Central and Eastern Europe.

The Deal: In April 2019 CEE Legal Matters reported that Clifford Chance Badea had advised Alpha Bank Romania on its EUR 1 billion direct issuance global covered bond programme – the first-ever in Romania. RTPR Allen & Overy advised Barclays Bank PLC as arranger on the programme, which came three years after the country’s covered bond law entered into force.

At the European Community level there have been numerous regulations related to asset freezing and confiscation, the most recent being Directive 2014/42/EU of the European Parliament and of The Council on the freezing and confiscation of instrumentalities and proceeds of crime in the European Union (the “Directive”).

The Romanian personal identification number (“cod numeric personal” in the Romanian language) is a unique and general identifier that is assigned to each individual at birth and appears on most personal documents, including birth certificates and identity cards. The number remains unchanged throughout an individual’s life.

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