Insights / Updates

Stay up to date with legal developments in Laos.

What's New

Instruction on the Procedures for Applying for a Lao PDR Entry-Exit Permit during COVID-19 Pandemic

On 17 March 2022, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs ("MOFA") issued Instruction No. 2143/MOFA.TFC on the Procedure for Applying for a Lao PDR Entry-Exit Permit during COVID-19 Pandemic  ("Instruction"). The Instruction replaces Instruction No.4881/MOFA.TFC dated 31 December 2021.  

Individuals wishing to enter into or depart from Lao PDR must comply with the procedures and measures set out in the Instruction. Among other things, individuals wishing to travel to Lao PDR must have with them certificates of COVID-19 vaccination and tested negative in an RT-PCR test taken within 72 hours prior to their entry into Lao PDR.  They must also register for a  Lao Green Pass with a  QR code via this link: laogreenpass.gov.la. Specific requirements apply to various types of travellers such as diplomats and representatives of international organisations, investors and technical officers involved in businesses in Lao PDR, returning Lao citizens, and returning spouses of Lao citizens.

Shipping Law Updates

The Shipping Law Updates is a publication by our Regional Shipping Group which marshals legal expertise, industry insight, and commercial acumen in the fields of maritime and trade from the diverse talent pool of specialist lawyers at the Rajah & Tann Asia offices. The publication provides a snapshot of the key legal, regulatory, case law and industry developments in the region that have an impact on the shipping industry and your operations.

In this issue, we report on the launch of the Fourth Edition Rules of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration which will apply to maritime arbitrations commencing this year. We also spotlight the implementation of Protocols on Court-to-Court communication and cooperation in Admiralty, Shipping and Cross-Border Insolvency matters announced by the Supreme Court of Singapore and the Federal Court of Malaysia in October 2021. From a recent court decision in Brunei, with conjoined arbitrations launched in Singapore, we revisit the practical significance of the arbitral seat and the consequences of wrongly interpreting an arbitration agreement. Regarding the topical subject to main-line operators and logistics companies of abandoned containerised cargoes, we consider the options available to manage the same, as well as the factual and legal issues to be considered as a matter of English law and Singapore law.

Bank of Lao PDR Issues Instruction on Converting Foreign Exchange Stores into Commercial Bank Representatives

On 2 August 2021, the Monetary Policy Department, Bank of Lao PDR ("BOL") issued Instruction No. 878/MPD on “Transferring Foreign Exchange Stores into a Representative of a Commercial Bank” ("Instruction"). The Instruction supplements/implements Notice No.758/MPD dated 12 July 2021 on “Converting Foreign Exchange Stores Representative of a Commercial Bank”. To comply with the laws and relevant regulations, BOL has issued various guidelines which cover, among other things, the following:

(a) Application to be a representative of a commercial bank;

(b) Determining exchange rates and trading currencies; and

(c) Operation of a foreign exchange store after becoming an agent.