José Ricardo Taveras, Head of the Immigration Department, has reiterated that foreigners who do not comply with the National Legalization Plan face possible deportation.
Mr. Taveras added that the intent is not to identify and deport illegal immigrants, but to offer clear guidelines on how to go about acquiring legal status in the Dominican Republic. However, he stressed that those who do not choose to regularize their status or leave voluntarily will be expelled from the Dominican Republic.
The Senate of the Dominican Republic approved over 70 changes to the Code of Penal Procedure recently, stripping away many provisions that were considered too lenient toward the accused in criminal proceedings. Under the bill, still pending enactment by the President, judges may issue search warrants to be executed at night, and order up to 24 months of preventive custody against the accused, instead of the present 12-month limit. A very controversial provision takes away the right of ordinary citizens to file complaints against public afficials for corruption.
Victor Taveras, director of the National Tobacco Institute (Intabaco), announced recently that the Dominican Republic is the world leader in hand-rolled cigar exports. Cigar exports from the Dominican Republic topped $600 million dollars in 2013. Eleven of the Cigar Aficionado Top 25 Cigars of 2013 were made in the Dominican Republic. .
President Medina recently signed into law an amendment to Tourism Incentive and Promotion Law # 158-01. Law # 195-13 expands the scope of tax incentives for the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic to all tourist destinations on the island, and extends exemptions under the law from 10 to 15 years, among other benefits.
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The Customs Department has announced a pilot plan for a one-stop shop facility for international trade starting in mid-March 2014. Several public and private entities will need to synchronize their computer systems for the facility to be fully operational. The pilot program will involve four government departments: Treasury, Agriculture, Public Health and Taxes.
Everton Resources, a Canadian mining company, announced on March 3, 2014 that it had finalized the definitive agreement to acquire from Brigus Gold Corp. the Ampliación Pueblo Viejo, Pontón and La Cueva mining concessions in the Dominican Republic. Everton Resources is actively exploring in the area adjacent to the Pueblo Viejo Mine, owned by the world’s two largest gold mining companies, Barrick Gold Company (60%) in partnership with Goldcorp Inc. (40%) (“Goldcorp”).
The Central Bank announced recently that the Dominican economy had grown by 4.1% in 2013, better than estimated. Inflation for last year was 3.88%, below the 5% estimated by the IMF. The year ended with a global surplus of US$938.5 million in the balance of payments, and a record balance of gross international reserves of US$4.7 billion.
Unemployment, however, went up in 2013 to 15%, from 14.3% in 2012. The peso depreciated 5.6%.
The Guzmán Ariza Foundation Pro Dominican Academy of Letters and the Dominican Academy of Letters entered into an inter-institutional agreement with the Judiciary Council in order to promote and develop cooperation programs aiming at improving the quality of language used in the judicial sector in the Dominican Republic.
The agreement was signed in the office of the president of the Supreme Court of Justice and the Judiciary Council, Mariano Germán Mejía. Fabio J. Guzmán Ariza, president of the Guzmán Ariza Foundation, Bruno Rosario Candelier, president of the Academy and Chief Justice Germán Mejía signed the agreement after a few introductory words.
The signatories spoke about the importance of creating awareness of the proper use of the language in the institutional and judiciary field. Mr. Fabio J. Guzmán Ariza, who is also president of the Editorial Council of the Gaceta Judicial, the leading legal journal in the country, and Director of the Publication Department, as well as president of the Guzmán Ariza law firm, added that in a democratic society documents emanating from the government should be written in a readily understandable and correct language in order for ordinary citizens to be in a position to comply with their obligations and to implement the rights they are entitled to.
This is the second agreement that the Academy has entered into with a public institution, as part of a joint strategy with the Guzmán Ariza Foundation aimed at improving greater transparency in legal language usage in the Dominican Republic.
In a conference hosted at the Casa de Campo villa of Phyllis Berney, in the beautiful Barranca Este neighborhood, law firms Guzmán Ariza (based across the Dominican Republic, including La Romana), and Cantor & Webb P.A. (based in the United States) presented a conference on “Developments in U.S. and DR Tax, Estate Planning and Reporting Requirements”. Details of the event from the Casa de Campo Living: http://casadecampoliving.com/tax-guzman-ariza-cantor-webb/ magazine
The inaugural ceremonies took place on November 14 with the attendance of the President of the Civil Division of the Supreme Court of the Dominican Republic and other judges and officials of the Dominican government and the diplomatic corps, as well as many clients and friends of the firm.