CELIS Update on Investment Screening – February 2023
Estonia – Introduction of new FDI-regime
On 25 January 2023, the Estonian Parliament has passed the Foreign Investment Reliability Assessment Act which will enter into force on 1 September 2023. The act will introduce the very first Foreign Direct Investment Screening (FDI) regime in Estonia. Under the new law foreign direct and indirect investments from non-EU investors will be covered with the Consumer Protection and Technical Regulatory Authority being the competent authority. By adopting the FDI Act, Estonia implements the EU FDI regulation 2019/452. The FDI regime captures, among others, providers of vital services, companies in which the state has a qualified holding, certain companies in the media and telecommunications sector, certain infrastructure companies, certain companies producing, supplying or providing technical services regarding military and dual-use goods.
Morocco – Definition of a new investment support system
On 26 January 2023, the Moroccan Government Council has published a decree that supplements the Investment Charter which it adopted in December 2022. The new investment support system will include three elements which are the common scheme; the territorial schemes, and the the sectoral schemes. The common scheme will provide a grant corresponding to a percentage of the invested amount depending on various factors. Under the territorial scheme, grants are provided for enhancing the attractiveness of investment in the provinces and prefectures, and for reducing territorial disparities. Lastly, under the sectoral scheme amounts up to 5% of the invested amount are granted for investments in priority sectors such as industry, tourism and leisure, cultural industries, digital, or renewable energies.
The executive summary of the UNCTAD can be accessed here.
EU- Commission publishes draft on implementing the foreign subsidies regulation
On 6 February 2023, the European Commission has invited stakeholders publicly to give feedback on the implementation of the EU Foreign Subsidies Regulation that entered into force on 12 January 2023. Under the Foreign Subsidies Regulation the Commission is allowed to investigate financial contributions granted by non-EU countries to companies operating in the EU and redress, if needed, their distortive effects. Furthermore, it empowers the Commission to adopt procedural rules in relation to its enforcement.
The Draft act is available here. Interested parties are invited to submit their comments by 6 March 2023.
US – CFIUS grants UK and New Zealand investors exemptions
On 10 February 2023, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) announced its decision that the UK and New Zealand meet the criteria in order to be considered as excepted foreign states and excepted real estate foreign states. Consequently, qualifying investors will be excepted from CFIUS jurisdiction over certain “noncontrolling transactions, real estate transactions, and mandatory filing requirements.”
The official announcement of the CFIUS is available here.
EU – Council adopts REPowerEU Regulation
On 21 February 2023, the Council formally adopted an amending regulation to include REPowerEU chapters in the Recovery and Resilience Facility. The purpose is to strengthen the strategic autonomy of the EU by diversifying its energy supplies and ending its dependency on Russian fossil fuel imports. Member States will now be able to implement a new REPowerEU chapter into their national resilience and recovery plans under Next Generation EU. The new amending regulation will help to finance key investments and reforms that will help achieve the REPowerEU objectives.
The amending regulation can be accessed here.