The law today
Administrative and Regulatory
On June 14, 2023, the government vetoed the bill that systematizes economic crimes and attacks against the environment and adjusts the penalties applicable to them, thereby incorporating important amendments to Law No. 20.393, which establishes the criminal liability of legal entities.
The veto mainly addressed the following points:
– It is intended to correct the omission of new figures of the crime of money laundering that were incorporated in the year 2022, adding them to the list of base crimes of this criminal type.
– Certain reiterations or gaps in the catalogs of the first, second and third categories of economic crimes are corrected and the handling of confiscation in the law of criminal liability of the legal person is adapted.
– Some formal corrections are made to avoid possible problems of interpretation. Thus, for example, a final clause is added to Article 468 of the Criminal Code, establishing an express rule of subsidiarity that avoids potential conflicts with Article 7 of Law No. 21.459, and the typical structure of the crime of fraud is clarified.
– In the same sense, formal errors are corrected with respect to a modification in the Securities Market Law, which referred to risk ” raters”, when it should be “classifiers” of risk.
– Finally, a special rule is introduced for the entry into force of the amendments to the bankruptcy offenses, making them coincide with the vacancy provided by the recent Law No. 21.563, which modernizes the bankruptcy procedures contemplated in Law No. 20.720 and creates new procedures for micro and small companies.
On January 4, 2023, Law No. 21.524 (hereinafter the “Law”) was published in the Official Gazette, which amends the Political Constitution of the Republic (hereinafter the “Constitution”), reestablishing mandatory voting, which in 2012 was replaced by voluntary voting.
The aforementioned Law amends Article 15 of the Constitution, maintaining the secret quality of the vote, but eliminating the references to voluntary voting and establishing a new second paragraph to the mentioned article that expressly states that voting is mandatory in all elections and plebiscites, with the exception of primaries.
As a consequence of the foregoing, the enactment of a Constitutional Organic Law that establishes fines and penalties for non-compliance with the duty to vote established by the Law, its application procedure and the exemptions to such responsibilities is pending.
On June 13, 2022, Law No. 21,455, Framework Law on Climate Change, was published in the Official Gazette.
The purpose of this law is (i) to achieve GHG emissions neutrality by 2050; (ii) to adapt
to climate change, reducing vulnerability and increasing resilience to the adverse effects of climate change; and (iii) comply with international commitments assumed by Chile in this area.
The Law establishes the mitigation goal for Chile, which will materialize through:
• The instruments of climate change management at the national level: the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) and the Long Term Climate Strategy, which permeate the Sectoral Mitigation and Adaptation Plans.
• Climate change management instruments at the regional level: Regional Climate Change Action Plans; and
• Management instruments at the local level: Community Climate Change Action Plans and Strategic Plans for Water Resources in Watersheds.
Likewise, GHG emission standards will be established, with the possibility of using GHG emission reduction or absorption certificates, obtained through the implementation of projects in Chile to comply with these standards.
It establishes an institutional framework for climate change, through national bodies such as the Ministries; regional bodies with the respective Regional Ministerial Secretariats and collaborating agencies in the management of climate change).
Strengthens access to information and citizen participation through the National System for Access to Information and Citizen Participation on Climate Change.
In the economic sphere, the Ministry of Finance is mandated to develop a Climate Change Financial Strategy.
It also introduces climate considerations to existing management instruments, such as land use and territorial planning instruments; disaster risk management; the Climate Change management; the Environmental Impact Assessment System; and the Pollutant Registration and Transfer Systemof Pollutants.
Finally, it amends several laws, such as Law No. 19.300 (Law on General Bases for the the Environment); No. 20.417 (which creates the Superintendency of the Environment and establishes its organic law); No. 20.600 (which creates the Environmental Courts); among others.
Law No. 21.464 is published, which amends several legal bodies regarding the digital transformation of the State.
On June 9, 2022, Law No. 21.464 (hereinafter the “Law”) was published in the Official Gazette, which amends several legal bodies regarding the digital transformation of the State, particularly amending Law No. 21.180, on Digital Transformation of the State (hereinafter indistinctly as the “Digital Transformation Law”) and Decree with Force of Law No. 1, of 2020, of the Ministry General Secretariat of the Presidency (hereinafter indistinctly as the “Gradual Decree”).
The Law has its origin in the enactment of the Digital Transformation Law, which, in broad terms, creates and strengthens digital modalities of attention and management of administrative procedures by public agencies for individuals. Thus, the Law replaces its second transitory article, establishing the gradual application of the Digital Transformation Law until December 31, 2027, in addition to modifying its third transitory article and its sixth transitory article.
Additionally, Articles 6 and 7 of Decree with Force of Law No. 1 of 2020 were amended, adopting a gradual implementation of the Digital Transformation Law to the State Administration Bodies and establishing a legal period of preparation that will extend throughout 2022 for all the Groups contemplated in Article 5 of the Gradual Decree.
Thus, the application of Phase 1 of the implementation of the Transformation Law, as provided for in the amended Graduality Decree, will begin in 2023 for Group A and in 2024 for Groups B and C, extending the implementation of the Digital Transformation Law until 2027.
Consequently, the objective of the Law is to support public agencies with the largest gaps in technological solutions, and to ensure the correct implementation of the Digital Transformation Law.
The Regulations of Law No. 19,886 on Administrative Contracts for the Supply and Provision of Services are amended with respect to procedures whose terms and conditions are published between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021.
On October 14, Resolution No. 1.218, dated June 24, 2021, was published in the Official Gazette, which amends the Regulations of Law No. 19,886 of Bases on Administrative Contracts for Supply and Provision of Services, approved by Supreme Decree No. 250/2004 of the Ministry of Finance (hereinafter “Regulations”).
The purpose of these amendments is to facilitate the participation of a greater number of smaller companies in public contracting procedures, by making the requirements that bidders must comply with regarding the guarantees to be submitted in such procedures more flexible, in order to promote the economic reactivation of such companies, which has been adversely affected by the COVID-19 disease.
Thus, with respect to the contracting procedures whose terms and conditions are published between July 1, 2021 and December 31, 2021, both dates inclusive, it is established that:
Bid bonds shall not be required in the case of contracts equal to or less than 5,000 UTM, without prejudice to the provisions of Article 31 of the Regulations.
The bidding documents must state that the guarantees of faithful and timely performance may not exceed 5% of the total value of the contract, when the awarded supplier is a smaller company, in case they are required by the bidding entity, without prejudice to the provisions of Articles 68 and 69 of the Regulations.