Context: Health Emergency
Date: June 12th 2020
As a consequence of COVID-19 Pandemic and the implementation of the “Social Preventive and Mandatory Isolation” (SPMI), our legislation has been affected by regular and permanent updates. Within the past few months, a series of norms have been published in the Official Gazette in order to regulate issues relevant to the operability and functioning of the companies in our country.
Hereunder, we will proceed to briefly describe our regulation´s initial situation by the time the health emergency was declared and detail the main aspects of it that are in force nowadays.
BACKGROUND TO THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY ISOLATION
Worldwide Pandemic and Public Emergency
Once the COVID-19 (also known as Coronavirus) was declared as a Worldwide Pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) and considering the rate and characteristics of its spreading, the Argentinian Government decided to get ahead of the situation and publish Decree N° 260/2020. The mentioned Decree was included on March 12th Special Supplement of the Official Gazette and decided to extend for one year since its publication, the Public Emergency declared by Law N° 27.541/2020 (Law of Social Solidarity and Productive Reactivation in the framework of Public Emergency). Also, some measures regarding the containment and mitigation of the risks of transmission were taken, such as:
Furthermore, the National Migration Direction published on March 12th 2020 the Disposition Nº 1644/2020 with the purpose of regulating the migratory situation of people who come from the countries with high risk of COVID-19 contagion (affected areas). This disposition includes measures whose sole implementation is based on preventing the spreading of the virus in the Argentinian Republic, specifically related to the transitory suspension of: (i) temporary residence admission requests, (ii) transitory residence requests, (iii) on-line processes related to Electronic Travel Authorization, and (iv) in the Argentinian consulates the process of entry permits and visas as temporary and/or transitory residents from previously detailed countries.
Moreover, by means of Decree Nº 287/2020 issued on March 18th 2020, Decree N° 260/2020 was modified and extended, including among other issues, that during the term of the Health Emergency, jurisdictions, organisms and entities are empowered to develop a direct hiring of goods and services that are considered necessary in order to attend the situation, without being subject to the contracting regime of the National Public Administration or its specific contracting regimes. When they proceed this way, they must make a subsequent publication at the National Contracting Office web site and the Official Gazette. The Ministries Chief of Cabinet will establish the rules that will apply in the Goods and Service Hiring procedure.
On the other hand, with the aforementioned Resolution Nº 627/2020, social distance indications were approved, indicating that they are compulsory in areas that are public, semi-public, and private with free or restricted access whether this is paid or free of charge. In addition, the risk groups established in the context of Decree Nº 260/20 were stated, such as people with (i) chronic respiratory diseases, (ii) heart diseases, (iii) diabetics, (iv) chronic kidney failure that are going through dialysis or are expected to have dialysis in the following six months, (v) immunodeficiencies, (vi) cancer or transplant patients and (vii) disabilities certificate. Regarding the last cases, in the matter of labor licenses and in order to fulfill with the confidentiality obligation towards the patients, the Resolution established that doctors could indicate the licenses only by mentioning that the workers are reached by article 3 of the mentioned norm or the sectorial regulation that defined the “risk groups”
Finally, with Decree Nº 274/2020 (published on March 16th 2020) it was forbitten the entry from all the access points to our country of foreigner non-residents. Originally, this was established for the term of 15 calendar days to be counted from March 16th 2020. The mentioned norm also determined a few exclusions to this rule, such as those affected to (i) the transfer of goods in cargo transport for international commerce operations, (ii) the carriers and crew of ships and airplanes and (iii) flight operations and sanitary transfers. This will all take place if the exempted people are asymptomatic and fulfill with the recommendations and instructions that the sanitary national authority disposes. Once the “SPMI” was established, this norm was extended and modified. We will proceed to give more details about this aspect in the section identified as MEASURES RELATED TO THE ENTRY TO THE NATIONAL TERRITORY.
SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY ISOLATION: ESTABLISHMENT
Considering the sanitary impact of COVID-19, the advance of the pandemic and that despite the initial measures taken it was not possible to stop or mitigate the spread, the Argentinian Government decided to publish on March 20th 2020, the Decree N° 297/2020. This norm was created in order to mitigate the expansion of the virus, its impact in the health system, and to protect the health and life of the people in our country, especially because there is still no preventive vaccine nor an effective antiviral treatment.
One of the most important measure taken by the Decree was to establish the preventive and mandatory social isolation between the period of March 20th, 2020 till March 31st, 2020. Notwithstanding this, the aforementioned isolation was extended by the following norms:
The SPMI regulation includes a series of general prohibitions for the entire country, such as: (1.) On site teaching for all levels and modalities, (2.) Public and private events: social, cultural, recreational, sporting, religious and any other kind of event involving the conglomeration of people, (3.) Shopping centers, cinemas, theatres, cultural centers, libraries, museums, restaurants, bars, gyms, clubs and any other public or private space that involves the attendance of people, (4.) Interurban, interjurisdictional and international public passenger transport, except for those who must travel to carry out the activities referred to in article 6 of Decree N° 297/20, in Administrative Decisions N° 429/20, 450/20, 468/20, 490/20, 524/20 and 703/20 (activities exempt from compliance with “social isolation, preventive and compulsory”). The Head of the Cabinet of Ministers is empowered to expand or reduce the list provided for in this Article. (5.) Tourist activities, opening of parks, squares or similar.
For these cases, the Ministries Cabinet Chief´s may only make exceptions after the intervention of the national health authority and at the request of the provincial authority or the Head of Government of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
THE MEASURE: IMPLICATIONS
During the term of the isolation, people who are within the national territory must remain in their habitual residences or in the place where they are and abstain from attending their workplaces. This means people are not allowed to go to their workplaces and cannot travel on routes, roads, and public spaces. Only minimal trips are allowed to purchase supplies such as medicines, food, or cleaning products.
Also, cultural, recreational, sports shows, religious gatherings or any other event that involves the conglomeration of people are suspended and shopping centers, wholesale and retail establishments and any other place that involves the presence of people are not allowed to open.
In order to guarantee the compliance with the measure, the Decree establishes that the Ministry of Security will set permanent controls on routes, roads and public spaces, accesses, and other strategic places. This measure must be coordinated between the provincial jurisdictions and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires.
Moreover, the authorities of the other jurisdictions and organizations of the national public sector, within the scope of their competences, in coordination with provincial jurisdictions and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires, must establish inspection procedures.
In case of non-compliance with “SPMI” or related measures, the Decree states the first action to be taken must be to stop the offending behavior. After this, the competent authority will handle the situation, within the framework of articles 205, 239 and concordant of the Penal Code. The mentioned articles penalize with “prison from six months to two years to anyone who violates the measures adopted by the competent authorities to prevent the introduction or spread of an epidemic” (art. 205 Penal Code), and “fifteen days to one year, for anyone who resists or disobeys a public official in the legitimate exercise of his functions or the person who provides assistance at his request or by virtue of a legal obligation” (art. 239 Penal Code).
On the other hand, the norm foresees that the Ministry of Security will have the authority to retain the vehicles that circulate in violation of the provisions of the Decree.
However, the regulation also establishes that people affected by the activities and services declared essential in the emergency are exempted from complying with the “SPMI” and the prohibition on movement. They must limit their movements to the fulfilment of those activities and services and their employees must guarantee the hygiene and security conditions established by the Health Ministry. Currently, the exceptions are those listed below, but the list may be extended or reduced depending on the progress of the epidemiological situation:
Through the Administrative Decision N° 429/2020, publishes on the Special Supplement of March 20th, 2020, 10 more activities and services were added to the list. This means that the people that work in those areas are exempted to complying to the social and preventive mandatory isolation and the prohibition to move freely. We will proceed to list them below:
Another situation that the Administrative Decision addresses is related to religious congregations. Of course, temples cannot perform masses nor any kind of religious events that imply the gathering of people, but the regulation allows the ministries of different cults to move freely in order to assist people in spiritual matters.
Moreover, on March 20th 2020 the Disposition Nº 80/2020 of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue was issued. This norm establishes (i) actions of control and audits related to customs, tax and social security resources revenues, (ii) control and audits of people, goods and means of transport in the area of exterior commerce and (iii) collaboration duties with other public authorities, as activities and services that are essential to the emergency.
After this, on April 3rd 2020 by the Administrative Decision N° 450/2020, 8 new activities and services considered essential to the emergency were added. Hereunder, we will list them:
Subsequently, on April 7th 2020, two Administrative Decisions were published. The aim of the norms was focused on extending the list of activities and services declared essential in the emergency context. Hereunder we will proceed to mention the activities and services that the mentioned norms included in the extension: (i) the Administrative Decision N° 468/2020 incorporates to the list, private energy infrastructure work; and (ii) Administrative Decision N° 467/2020, adds the notaries’ activities, limited to enabling compliance with the activities and services considered essential, with the relevant notarial acts being granted only with the intervention of the people who are necessary for this purpose, avoiding all types of meetings. The latter rule adds that any request for notarial service, aimed at preventing the transfer or movement of people considered to be at risk, shall be granted for free. To obtain this free service, the holder of the benefits of Retirement, Pensions, Universal Allowance for Children, Universal Allowance for Pregnancy, Emergency Family Income or similar benefit from the National Social Security Administration, must require it.
Following this line, the Administrative Decision N° 490/2020 published on April 11th 2020, decided to keep extending the list of exceptions to preventive and compulsory social isolation, including the following activities:
On the other hand, Administrative Decision N° 524/2020 was posted on April 18th 2020 with the same purpose as the norms mentioned prior. The exceptions extended to compliance with the “SPMI” and the prohibition of movement, in the area of the Provinces of La Pampa, Neuquén, Formosa, Santa Cruz, Currents, Tierra Del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands, Salta, San Juan, Córdoba, Jujuy, La Rioja, Chubut, Catamarca, Río Negro, Entre Ríos, Mendoza, Santa Fe, Chaco, Buenos Aires, San Luis and Misiones and to the City of Buenos Aires, to the personnel affected by the following activities and services:
On the other hand, Resolution Nº 179/2020 of the Ministry of Productive Development was published on April 24th 2020, which provides the parameters to be considered for the authorization of activities under section 10 and 11 of Article 1 of Administrative Decision Nº 524/2020 (section 10 – production for export, with prior authorization from the Ministry Of Productive Development; and paragraph 11 – specific industrial processes, with prior authorization from the Ministry Of Productive Development). This rule indicates that these authorizations become effective at the discretion of the Provincial Authorities and City of Buenos Aires, according to each jurisdiction, in accordance with the rules issued by the competent Local Authorities. It is important to remark that, with regard to the requirements, Annex I of the regulation provides the following considerations:
o to have the proper international purchase orders.
o to have registered international sales during the years 2019 and/or 2020.
o Production of goods destined to the direct provision of the following activities and/or sectors: Hardware stores; Provision of carafes; Maintenance of basic services (water, electricity, gas, communications, etc.) ) and emergency attention; Oil and Gas fields, treatment and/or refining plants of Oil and Gas, transport and distribution of electric energy, liquid fuels, oil and gas, fuel vending stations and electric energy generators; Operations of nuclear power plants; Production and distribution of biofuel; Sale of construction supplies and materials provided by corralones; Tanneries, sawmills and wood product factories, mattress factories and road and agricultural machinery factories; Workshops for the maintenance and repair of automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles, exclusively for public transport, vehicles of the security forces and armed forces, vehicles affected by health benefits or personnel with authorization to circulate, in accordance with the regulations in force; Sale of computer inputs; Opticians; Industries that carry out continuous processes provided that they have been authorized.
o the manufacture of stoves, heaters and heating appliances for domestic use is also considered a specific industrial process authorized.
Finally, regarding the extension of the list of exempted activities and services and the prohibition to circulate, the following Administrative Resolutions were published on April 24th 2020:
Moreover, Decree N° 408/2020 (which extended the SPMI until May 10th 2020) clarified that governors may establish exceptions to the circulation prohibition as long as some parameters are fulfilled (such as the capacity of the health system, that the proportion of persons exempted does not exceed 50% of the population of the jurisdiction, etc.). The same decree also provides the possibility of short outputs without going further than 500 meters from the residence, for those who comply with the “preventive and compulsory social isolation” according to certain parameters, with the local authorities having to issue the relevant regulations and being able to limit or suspend this possibility.
Likewise, the Administrative Decision N° 729/2020, issued on May 7th 2020, established the following new exceptions to “SPMI”, applicable only in the jurisdictions stated below:
|Mendoza||Gran Mendoza||1. Liberal Professions (Lawyers, Accountants, Brokers, etc.).
|Buenos Aires||General Pueyrredón Party||1. Paint sellers.
2. Real Estate Auctioneer and Broker.
3. Economic Science and Professional Council.
4. Surveyor and Council.
5. Food Shops with take away modality.
6. Architecture Studies, technical offices and Schools for the development of construction.
7. Private Works.
|Salta||Salta Province||1. Trade in its various forms so that they can commercialize already elaborated goods, with respect to the limitations on custom service.
2. Activities related with food will only be accepted in the takeaway form or if the purchase is done to consume outside the shop.
|Santa Fe||Gran Santa Fe/Gran Rosario||1. Real State.
2. Relocation services
Moreover, the aforementioned Decree N° 459/2020 (which extended the SPMI and its complementary regulations until May 24th 2020), indicates the steps to follow in case of “NEW EXCEPTIONS” in: (i) AREAS OF MORE THAN 500.000 HABITANTS, EXCEPT THE BUENOS AIRES METROPOLITAN AREA (BAMA); (ii) AREAS OF LESS THAN 500.000 HABITANTS, EXCEPT THE BAMA; and (iii) THE BAMA. For every case, there are steps to be taken by the Governors or by the Head of Government, and the decree includes an Annex detailing the protocols authorized by the national health authority. If the activity to be authorized does not have a previously approved protocol included in the Annex, then it must be accompanied by a proposed protocol that provides, as a minimum, the compliance with all the recommendations and instructions issued by the national health authority. With regard to BAMA, this is a common urban area that composes the CITY OF BUENOS AIRES and the 40 Municipalities of the Province of BUENOS AIRES (Almirante Brown, Avellaneda, Berazategui, Berisso, Brandsen, Campana, Cañuelas, Ensenada, Escobar, Esteban Echeverría, Exaltación de la Cruz, Ezeiza, Florencio Varela, General Las Heras, General Rodríguez, General San Martín, Hurlingham, Ituzaingó, José C. Paz, La Matanza, Lanús, La Plata, Lomas de Zamora, Luján, Marcos Paz, Malvinas Argentinas, Moreno, Merlo, Morón, Pilar, Presidente Perón, Quilmes, San Fernando, San Isidro, San Miguel, San Vicente, Tigre, Tres de Febrero, Vicente López and Zárate). In this area, the exceptions will only be authorized if the employer guarantees the transfer of the workers, without the use of the public service of transport of passengers by bus, train and subway.
Subsequently, the Administrative Decision Nº 763/2020 (emitted on May 12th 2020), established new exceptions to the compliance with the “SPMI” and the prohibition of movement of people affected to certain activities, services and professions for the City of Buenos Aires, the Province of Buenos Aires and the Province of Santa Fe, as detailed below:
Autonomous City of Buenos Aires
1.- Proximity retailing with attention to the public, except for clothing and footwear
2.- Removals: freights and mini freights,
3.- Privately managed educational establishments: minimum guards for administrative activity without attention to the public,
4.- Notarial activity,
5.- Personnel affected by the demolition and excavation activity,
6.- Gastronomic shops exclusively for the “TAKEAWAY” modality.
Province of Buenos Aires
1.- Recycling of metal products.
2.- Manufacture of special use machines.
3.- Manufacture of knitted fabrics.
4.- Manufacture of clothing.
5.- Manufacture of textile products
6.- Notaries and its council.
7.- Automobile and motorcycles selling stores
9.- Services provided by Insurance Consultant Producer.
10. Speech therapists.
11. Technical Professionals related to construction, engineering and their council.
1.-ANSELMO L. MORVILLO SA (CUIT 30549547288).
2.-FACHAL Y GOMEZ SRL (CUIT 30662202750).
3.-TABACALERA SARANDI SA (CUIT 30677421548)
3.-Basic chemical substances manufacture.
5.-Metal products manufacturers.
6.-Metal and iron basic industry.
1.- Presential Ensurance Producers Payments.
1.- Cigarrets production
1.- Automotive Vehicles Industries.
|Provincia de Buenos Aires
Autopistas de Buenos Aires S.A. (AUBASA)
Gran Rosario y Gran Santa Fe
1.- Associations and Agencies that perform development activities or entities with a similar purpose.
2.- Liberal professions, including agents, brokers and auctioneers duly registered and enrolled.
4.- Wholesale and retail trade of goods, in the towns that form part of the large urban agglomerations of Santa Fe and Rosario.
5.- Private works, that need more than five (5) workers, and provided that the works do not involve entering homes with residents, premises or establishments in operation.
7.- Insurance activity, behind closed doors, with the minimum necessary staff.
8.- Home collection activities.
9.- Mechanical workshops, washing, maintenance and repairing services for auto and motor vehicles.
10.- Hairdressing, manicure, cosmetology and podiatry services.
To this end, certain requirements must be fulfilled, such as ensuring the shift system, working methods and transfers that guarantee the necessary distance and hygiene measures. Each provincial jurisdiction and the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires must issue the necessary regulations for the development of the activities, services and professions exempted.
On the other hand, the Administrative Decision N 766/2020 published on May 13th 2020 established new exceptions to compliance with the “Social Preventive and Mandatory Isolation” and the prohibition of movement of people affected to certain activities, services and professions for the Provinces of Mendoza, Salta and Jujuy, as detailed below:
1.- Gastronomy, cleaning and staff from bars and restaurants.
2.- Individual sports practice.
1.- Coffee Shops and restaurants.
2.- Shopping centers.
1.- Trade in general. Custom service limited to 50%of the capacity of the shop.
2.- Lottery and Gaming Agencies.
3.- Bars, coffee shops and restaurants (with take away modality until May 18th 2020 and as of that date custom service on site).
4.- Relocation services.
5.- Domestic service.
On 16th May 2020, the Administrative Decision N° 810/2020 was published, extending the list of activities and services throughout the national territory with the exception of the BAMA for: (i) Individual religious activities in churches, temples and cult places, corresponding to the Roman Catholic Church and religious entities registered in the National Register of Cults, as long as they do not celebrate ceremonies involving the gathering of people; (ii) activity and service of maintenance and repair of railway rolling stock, vessels, ships and aircraft; (iii) the manufacture and supply of inputs and spare parts essential for the provision of railway, air, river or sea transport services and any other service required for the maintenance of the railway, vessels, ships and aircraft services; (iv) and Pilot training activities, developed through private flights, in air clubs and flight schools, in order to maintain the standards of instruction and operational safety, with a maximum of 2 people per aircraft, which must use masks and maintain the proper distance between them, to minimize the risk of contagion; (vi) ANSES personnel; (vii) Professionals and technicians specialized in occupational health and safety; (viii) the activities of the concessionaires of the national road corridors, including toll collection; (ix) Insurance activity developed by insurance, reinsurance companies and intermediaries.
Subsequently, Administrative Decision Nº 818/2020 published on May 19th 2020 established new exceptions to the Social Preventive and Mandatory Isolation in the Province of Buenos Aires in the following jurisdictions and according to the detail indicated below:
|La Matanza Municipality
1. Automotive and auto parts.
2. Clothing Industry.
3. Metallurgical industry, machinery and equipment.
4. Shoe Industry.
5. Graphic Industry, editorials and printing.
6. Wood and furniture Industry.
7. Toy industry
8. Textile industry
9. Chemical and petrochemical industry.
10. Plastic and subproducts industry.
1. Tabaco Products
2. Parts, pieces and accessories manufacture for automobiles and its motors n.c.p.
1. Toy manufacturing
2. Textile Products manufacturing.
|General San Martin Municipality
1. Automobile and autoparts
2. Electric and devices
4. Tabaco products
5. Metallurgical industry, machinery and equipment.
6. Shoe Industry.
7. Graphic Industry, editorials and printing.
8. Wood and furniture Industry.
9. Toy industry
11. Textile products
12. Leather manufacture
14. Bicycles and motorcycles
15. Chemical and Petrochemical
16. Cellulose and Paper
17. Plastics and subproducts.
|Tres de Febrero Municipality
1. Automovile and autoparts
1. Automovile and autoparts
Finally, on May 22nd 2020 the Administrative Decision 876/2020 was issued, establishing new exceptions to compliance with the “SPMI” and the prohibition of circulation, for the Provinces of Santa Cruz, Corrientes and Chubut, as detailed below:
|Santa Cruz Province
1. Restaurants, Coffee Shops and Delivery and take away services.
2. Bars and restaurants.
1. Public transport of interurban passengers for the road that extends between the cities of Rada Tilly and Comodoro Rivadavia.
2. Public transport of interurban passengers for the road that extends between the cities of Esquel and Trevelin.
Subsequently, the Administrative Decision Nº 897/2020, emitted on May 25th 2020, established new exceptions to SPMI for the Province of Buenos Aires, as detailed below:
1. Automotive and auto parts
2. Electronics and appliances
4. Tobacco Products
5. Metallurgy, machinery and equipment
7. Graphics, editing and printing
8. Wood and furniture
11. Textile products
12. Leather goods
14. Bicycles and motorcycles
15. Chemical and petrochemical
16. Cellulose and paper
17. Plastics and by-products
1. Machinery for the production of food, beverages and tabaco
2. Electronica and appliances
| TRES DE FEBRERO Municipality
1. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment
2.Plastics and by-products
|GENERAL LAS HERAS Municipality
1. Transport equipment fabrication n.p.c.
| MALVINAS ARGENTINAS Municipality.
1. Provision of auto parts for reposition.
1. Metalurgy Activity
|SAN MIGUEL Municipality
1. Shoe Industry
2. Textil Industry
2. Plastic Industry
1. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment
2. Tabaco Products
On May 27th, two Administrative Decisions established new exceptions to the SPMI, as detailed below:
Administrative Decision N° 903/2020
|PROVINCE OF BUENOS AIRES
1. Administration Offices of health mutuals and social Works
2. Clubhouse Administration Offices
3. Material Recovery
4. CEAMSE Recyclers
1. Shopping malls
Administrative Decision N° 904/2020
|PROVINCE DE BUENOS AIRES|
1. Automotive and auto parts
2. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment
3. Wood and furniture
4. Leather goods
6. Graphics, editing and printing
8. Plastics and by-products
9. Steel, aluminum and related metals
10. Electronics and appliances
11. Chemical and petrochemical
1. Graphics, editing and printing
1. Leather goods
2. Plastics and by-products
3. Shoe industry
4. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment
5. Automotive and auto parts
1. Wood and furniture
2. Plastics and by-products.
3. Chemical and petrochemica.
4. Cement fabrication
5. Graphics, editing and printing
6. Textile products fabrication
8. Leather goods
9. Shoe industry
10. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment
11. Automotive and auto parts
1. Graphics, editing and printing
2. Cellulouse and Paper.
1. Electronics and appliances
Then, on May 28th 2020, the Administrative Decision N° 909/2020 added the following exceptions:
|PROVINCIA DE BUENOS AIRES- BAMA
1. Relocation services only inside the same jurisdiction.
PROVINCIA DE BUENOS AIRES Except BAMA
1. Interjurisdictional relocation, as long as they do not come from municipalities with local transmission of the virus.
1. Textile Products
1. Retailing of bazaar goods.
2. Retail sale of leather and leather goods
3. Retail sale of lighting items.
4. Retail sale of optical and photographic item’s
5. Retail sale of bicycles and similar vehicles
6. Retail of books, magazines and newspapers
7. Repair of computer and communication equipment
8. Retail sale for cars, motorcycles and bicycles parts.
9. Sales of toys and leisure products and sports articles for local retail trade. On-site pick-up mode (without trying them on)
10. Sale of clothing and accessories, footwear and similar for the local retail trade. On- site pick-up mode (without trying them on)
| LA PAMPA PROVINCE
1. Take out places, food trucks, restaurants, bars, breweries, coffee shops, ice-cream shops, confectioneries, and every shop intended to produce and sell or only sale food and/or beverages that have municipal authorization for the attention and permanence of the public on-site.
Subsequently, on May 29th 2020, two new Administrative Decisions were posted through which they established new exceptions to the “SPMI”, as detailed below:
Administrative Decision N° 919/2020: the personnel of the official lottery agencies, in the area of the Province of Buenos Aires is exempted from the isolation.
Administrative Decision N° 920/2020:
|PROVINCE OF BUENOS AIRES|
1. Automotive and auto parts.
2. Electronics and household appliances.
4. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment.
5. Graphics, Editions and Printing.
6. Wood and Furniture.
8. Textile Products
9. Bicycles and Motorcycles.
10. Chemicals and Petrochemica
11. Plastics and by-products.
1. Automotive and autoparts
2. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment.
3. Wood and Furniture.
5. Textile Products.
6. Chemical and Petrochemical.
1. Metallurgy, Machinery and Equipment
2. Manufacture of non-metallic mineral products (except cement and ceramics)
1. Paper and products of paper fabrication
1. Navy Industry
1. Nautical Industry and boat maintenance.
After this, on May 31st 2020, the Administrative Decisions N° 941/2020 and 942/2020 were published, establishing the following new exceptions:
|BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE|
1. Clothes Manufacture
2. Bicycles and Motorcycle Fabrication
3. Shoe Manufacture
4. Ceramics Manufacture
5. Wood and Furniture Manufacture
6. Plastic and by products fabrication
7. Electronic devices and appliances fabrication.
8. Metallurgical products, machinery and equipment’s fabrication.
9. Graphic, editions and printing.
10. Automotive and autoparts industry.
1. Ceramics Manufacture
2. Plastic and by products fabrication
3. Cellulose and paper
4. Chemistry and petrochemistry.
5. Bicycles and Motorcycle Fabrication
7. Leather Manufacture
10. Wood and Furniture Manufacture
11. Electronic devices and appliances fabrication
12. Shoe Manufacture
13. Clothes Manufacture
14. Automotive and autoparts industry.
1. Bicycles and Motorcycle Fabrication
2. Metallurgical products, machinery and equipment’s fabrication.
3. Automotive and autoparts industry.
4. Plastic and by products fabrication
5. Textile Productr Fabrication.
1. Metallurgical products, machinery and equipment’s.
2. Graphic, editions and printing.
1. Navy Industry:
light marine and essential boat maintenance activity in yacht clubs and nurseries
1. Automotive and autoparts industry
2. Graphic, editions and printing.
3. Wood and Furniture Manufacture
1. Clothes manufacture
1. Shoes manufacture.
Subsequently, on June 3rd 2020 new exceptions to the SPMI were published in the Official Gazette for Salta, Santa Fe, La Rioja, and Buenos Aires, in accordance with the following Administrative Decisions:
| SANTA FE PROVINCE: GRAN SANTA FE AND GRAN ROSARIO
1. Authorization to the facilities that perform sports activities that do not require physical contact between the participants, prior approval of the particular protocols for each discipline by the local authorities who should count with the assessment of the Ministry of Health from the Province of Santa Fe.
2. Family gatherings with up to 10 people, on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays, in private homes, as long as they (i) have a prompt ventilation, (ii) comply with the prevention measures established by the health authorities, (iii) comply with the personal distancing and (iv) with the obligatory use of correct protective elements covering nose, mouth and chin when travelling to and in the facilities.
3. Examining boards of the academic units of National and Private Universities and Institutes with headquarters in the province of Santa Fe.
4. Trade unions, business associations, social works, professional associations, political parties, administration of national and private universities with offices in the province and administration of sports entities: Closed doors, with the minimum necessary staff that could attend without using public transport, complying with health prevention measures and personal distance, with entry to the offices of others with previous shift, in cases where it is essential to attend because the operation to be performed cannot be done remotely, working days from Monday to Friday, not being able to exceed the hours of closure of the offices of 19 hours.
5. Activity of gastronomic premises (bars, restaurants, rotisseries, ice-cream shops, and others selling processed food products), in the “take away” mode, with the minimum necessary staff, complying with the health prevention measures ordered by the authorities, within the establishments and at the time of delivery of the products;
6. Activity of the retail trade located in premises within shopping centers, commercial walks or shopping, exclusively with the particular modality of payment and delivery previously agreed upon (“pick up”), to be carried out in an adjacent exterior space (parking lots or similar), duly conditioned, complying with the sanitary prevention measures ordered by the authorities, within the establishments and at the time of delivery of the products
7. Activities of employees of private homes, covered by the regime of Law No. 26844: complying with the health prevention measures and personal distance, provided that the transfer is resolved without the use of public passenger transport, subject to the condition that neither at the worker’s residence nor at the service provider’s home is a person particularly subject to isolation for presenting symptoms of COVID-19, or being under study and not defined as positive for the disease, because the results of the tests are pending; or for returning from areas defined as “at risk” by the national or provincial health authority.
1. Gyms and physical exercise facilities.
2. Sports clubs for the practice of disciplines already exempted.
3. Circulation of people between municipalities in order to carry out tourist activities in the territory of the province of Salta
|PROVINCIA DE LA RIOJA
1. Outdoor activities
2. Paddle and Tennis Activities
4. Religious Activities
Administrative Decision N° 965/2020:
|BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE|
1. Home maintenance service (plumber, gasman, electrician, gardener)
2. Commercial activities with on-premises retreat – take away (gastronomy, paint shops, sale of electrical materials, wood/furniture, sale of openings, sale of ceramics, automotive parts houses, nurseries).
3. Professionals (lawyers, accountants, auctioneers, managers, surveyors, notaries, architects)
4. Professions related to medicine and assistants (kinesiologists, speech therapists, podiatrists, nutritionists)
5. Vehicle repair workshops (lubricant centers, car washes, brakes, clutches, etc.)
1. Automotive and auto parts
2. Electronic devices and appliances fabrication
3. Clothes Manufacture
5. Metallurgic, machinery and equipmements.
6. Shoe Manufacture
7. Gráphic, editions and printing.
8. Wood and Furniture Manufacture
11. Textile Products.
12. Leather Manufacture
13. Tyres, Bicycles and Motorcycle Fabrication
14. Chemistry and petrochemistry.
15. Cellulose and paper.
16. Plastic and by products fabrication
17. Ceramics Manufacture
|EXALTACION DE LA
1. Alumminum Industry and related.
2. Glass industry
3. Paint industry
4. Printing companies (graphic industry, graphic editions and printing)
5. Car wash
6. Blacksmiths and carpenters
9. Telephone, cellular and computers items sale.
10. Furniture (wood and furniture manufacture)
11. Cement Factory
12. Bicycle and motorcycle fabrication.
13. Cellulose and paper manufacturing.
14. Plastics and by-productrs.
1. Automotive and auto parts
2. Electronic devices and appliances fabrication
3. Clothes Manufacture
5. Metallurgic, machinery and equipment.
6. Shoe Manufacture
7. Wood and Furniture Toys Manufacture
10. Textile Products.
11. Leather Manufacture
13. Bicycles and Motorcycle Fabrication
14. Chemistry and petrochemistry.
15. Plastic and by products fabrication
1. Shoe Manufacture
2. Cellulose and paper
5. Clothes Manufacture
7. Leather Manufacture
8. Tyres manufacture.
9. Gráphic, editions and printing.
2. Fodder crops
3. Bookstores and paper industry
5. Diaper shops
6. Cellulars sale and reparation shops
7. Sale and Repair of computer supplies.
8. Sale and repair of automotive parts.
1. Paint and coating manufacturing.
2. . Textile Products.
3. Chemistry and petrochemistry.
4. Cellulose and Paper
5. Plastic and by products fabrication
1. Metallurgic, machinery and equipmements
2. Chemistry and petrochemistry.
Moreover, on June 5th 2020, the Administrative Decision N° 975/2020 published new exceptions for Buenos Aires, Neuquén and Mendoza:
|BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE|
1. Lawyers, notaries, accountants
2. Maintenance services: gardeners and poolers
3. Transport related services: sale of automotive and related spare parts
4. Private passenger transport companies
5. Commercial activities with a take-away
3. Health professionals (kinesiology, phonoaudiology, nutrition, psychology and psychopedagogy)
4. Administration of private educational institutions, civil associations, sports, cultural (only collection of fees and administrative formalities)
5. Repair and maintenance of electrical appliances with collection and home delivery.
6. Professional services (legal, notary, surveying, architecture, engineering, real estate and insurance).
1. Retail sale of bazaar items and household goods
2. Retail sale of furniture and mattresses.
3. Retail sale of household appliances.
4. Retail sale of paper, cardboard and bookstore articles.
5. Retail sale of watches and jewelry.
8. Notarial activity
1. Automotive industry and auto parts
2. Manufacture of metallurgical products, machinery and equipment
3. Chemical and petrochemical manufacturing
4. Plastics and by-products
5. Graphics, editing and printing
1. Textile products
3. Bicycles and motorcycle
4. Glass Manufacture
1. Public accountants.
2. Producers of cut flowers and ornamental plants
2. Lawyers Association of Cañuelas.
3. Common Metal Fabrication
2. Economic Cience Professionals
|GENERAL SAN MARTIN
2. Private Educational Institutes (only for money collection)
1. Gastronomic premises, bars and restaurants.
2. Gyms, Pilates workshops, yoga, reiki, tai chi and other similar centers.
3. Swimming pools.
4. Workshops and seminars for dance and other artistic disciplines, without opening to the public.
5. Popular libraries.
1. Gyms and individual sports.
Administrative Decision N° 968/2020:
|BUENOS AIRES PROVINCE|
|LOMAS DE ZAMORA
1. Architects and Surveyors
2. Accountants, Lawyers, Notaries, Auctioneers
8. Vehicle repair and maintenance workshops.
9. Home maintenance
10. Gastronomic premises: Restaurants, Bars and Ice Cream Shops (under Take Away modality or on-site withdrawal).
11. Paint shops, sale of electrical materials, sale of wood products, sale of openings, sale of ceramics and/or sanitary ware, spare parts shops for the car and nurseries (only take away modality or on-site withdrawal).
1. Medical services (kinesiologists, physiatrists, podiatrists).
2. Liberal and/or collegiate professionals (accountants, lawyers, engineers, architects, surveyors, psychologists, managers, auctioneers, and real estate agents)
3. Retailers and personal services (technicians, seamstresses and car washers)
4. Gastronomy under the delivery modality
|GENERAL LAS HERAS
1. Non-medical professionals (notaries, accountants, lawyers, auctioneers, public brokers, managers)
2. Real estate agents
1. Management service
2. Technical Services
3. Shops with public attention (except for: Clothing, Shoes, Sports Houses, Accessories, Gifts and Toy Store)
4. Vehicle dealerships
1. Maintenance and reparation of aircraft, their activities, medical flights
1. Offices of “Edenor” with public attention, City of Morón, Partido de Morón, Pcia De Bs As
1. Chemical and petrochemical industry.
1. Aluminum and metals
|TRES DE FEBRERO
1. Shoes industry
| SANTA FE PROVINCE
1. Bars and restaurants from the province territory, according to the following:
a. With prior reservation modality, guaranteeing the proper social distance between the clients, who must attend by their own means, and being able only to use 50% of the premises capacity.
b. Taking the measures to disinfect the shoes of the assistants and the cleaning and disinfection of the frequently used surfaces and objects before the opening and periodically during the schedule in which the facilities are open.
c. Mandatory and correct usage by the staff of the protective elements that cover nose, mouth and chin.
On the other hand, the aforementioned Decree N° 520/2020 issued on June 8th 2020 (currently in force) has established that the SPMI is only applicable to people who live or are staying in the urban agglomerations and in the departments and districts of the provinces of Argentina that do not positively meet the epidemiological and health parameters foreseen for the application of the “Social, Preventive and Mandatory Distancing” (SPMD) measures.
This means that the regions that meet the epidemiological and health parameters are exempted from the SPMI. Currently, jurisdictions that remain complied to the obligation of the SPMI are: (i) Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area (BAMA), (ii) Department of San Fernando of the Province of Chaco, (iii) Departments of Bariloche and General Roca of the Province of Río Negro, (iv) Department of Rawson of the Province of Chubut, and (v) City of Córdoba and its urban agglomeration of the Province of Córdoba. In these places, the respective provincial authorities and the Government Head of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires may request the Minister´s Cabinet Chief to authorize new exceptions to comply with the SPMI and the circulation prohibition in order to allow the performance of industrial, service, commercial, sports or recreational activities.
Finally, the Administrative Decision N! 1018/2020, issued on June 9th 2020, exempt from the SPMI and the circulation prohibition to people, activities, services and professions for the Province of Buenos Aires, exclusively in the following geographic areas:
|GENERAL SAN MARTIN
1. Notaries (only for essentially declared activities)
2. Lawyers (opening and functioning of la firms)
3. Retail Goods sales through the door-to-door collection modality
4. Shoe sale by electronic and telephone means with door-to-door collection modality.
5. Clothes sale by electronic and telephone means and door-to-door collection modality.
6. Car wash.
1. Liberal Professionals that perform activities in their office or studies.
2. -Lubricenters, car and/or motorcycle repair shops, alignment and balancing shops and tire shops.
3. Door- to-door collection: gastronomic, furniture’s automobile parts and related, electricity devices sanitary, ceramic, libraries and nursery shops.
1. Electronic and household appliances
3. Tabaco products
4. Metallurgic, machinery and equipments
6. Graphic, editions and printing.
7. Wood and Furniture
10. Textile products
11. Leather manufactures
13. Bycicle and motorcycle
14. Chemistry and Petrochemistry
15. Cellulose and paper.
16. Plastic and subproducts.
1. Chemistry and Petrochemistry
1. Electronic and household appliances
1. Clothes industry.
1. Kinesiology services.
1. Brokers services.
2. Architecture and engeneering services.
3. Sale and maintenance of automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles.
4. Dog walkers.
5. Dog handlers
6. Dogs Hairdressers
7. Canine Educational and leisure Centers.
8. Boarding houses and doggy day-care centers
10. Car wash
1. Sale and maintenance of automobiles, motorcycles and bicycles
2. Accountant services
3. Architecture and engeneering services.
4. Brokers services
5. Law services
1. Baazar articles sales.
1. Glass industry
1. Mantainence of essential boats in the Regatas La Plata Clubs.
The rule establishes that during the period of “SPMI”, workers in the private sector will have the right to full payment of their usual income, in the terms established by the regulations of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security.
The Ministry has proceeded to regulate this matter with norms that will be detailed in the Section LABOR MEASURES RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SPMI.
In order to minimize the impact of the measure, the decree provides that the holiday on April 2ND 2020 will be moved to Tuesday March 31ST 2020. Also, it grants personal holidays to the National Public Administration on March 20th, 25th, 26th, 27th y 30rd 2020 and obligates the different organisms to implement the necessary measures so as to maintain the continuity of the pertinent activities. In this sense, the section PROCEDIMENTAL MEASURES, DEADLINES, PROCEDURES, MANAGMENT AND CUSTOMS SERVICES detail the norms especially elaborated by the different organisms related to their functioning during this particular period.
SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY DISTANCING
The aforementioned Decree N° 520/2020 published on June 8th 2020 and currently in force has established the measure of “Social, Preventive and Compulsory Distancing” (SPMD) from 8TH to 28th June 2020.
The SPMD is applicable to people who reside or transit in the urban settlements from districts and departments of the Argentinian provinces as long as they verify the following epidemiological and health parameters:
The urban settlements, departments or districts that do not fulfill those requirements must keep on complying with the SPMI, which shall also cover their bordering areas.
It is forbidden the circulation outside the limits of the department or district where the people affected by the SPMD reside, unless they possess the “UNIQUE ENABLING CIRCULATION CERTIFICATE- COVID-19 EMERGENCY ” which enables them to do so.
Regarding the detection of situations in which there is a risk of the SARS-CoV-2 virus spreading, the Governors may order the persons that enter to the province from another jurisdiction to comply with the preventive isolation. The isolation will take place after intervention by the provincial health authority and for a maximum period of 14 days.
The provincial authorities may publish norms in order to limit the circulation and prevent situations that could favor the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, for instance, by organizing people by schedules or areas.
Not only people with a “suspected case” or a “confirmed case” may not circulate, but also those who are required to comply with isolation under the terms of Decree N° 260/20, its amendment and supplementary regulations.
GENERAL RULES (MANDATORY)
Notwithstanding this, the Chief of Cabinet of Ministers may consider exceptions, which shall have the respective protocol according to the recommendations and instructions of the national health authority.
DISPENSATION FROM THE DUTY TO ASSIST AT THE WORKPLACE
Workers who are over 60 years of age, pregnant women or people included in the risk groups and those whose presence at home is indispensable for the care of children or adolescents, are exempt from the duty to attend the workplace (under the same terms of Resolution N° 207/20, who was extended by Resolution N° 296/20, of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security).
When the SPMD is breached, the offending conduct shall be immediately stopped and measures shall be taken by the competent authority, within the framework of articles 205, 239 and concordant of the Criminal Code. The same happens if the SPMI or any other rule provided for the protection of public health in the framework of a public health emergency is breached.
CURRENT JURISDICTIONS AFFECTED BY THE SPMD
As of today, the SPMD reaches every department of the Province of: (i) Catamarca, (ii) Corrientes, (ii) Entre Ríos, (iv) Formosa, (v) Jujuy, (vi) La Pampa, (vii) La Rioja, (viii) Mendoza, (ix) Misiones, (x) Neuquén, (xi) Salta, (xii) San Juan, (xiii) San Luis, (xiv) Santa Cruz, (xv) Santa Fe, (xvi) Santiago del Estero, (xvii) Tierra del Fuego, Antarctica and South Atlantic Islands, (xviii) Tucumán, (xix) Chaco, except the one of San Fernando, (xx) Chubut, except the one of Rawson, (xxi) Río Negro, except the ones of Bariloche and General Roca, (xxii) Córdoba, except the city of Córdoba and its urban agglomeration and (xxiii) All the districts of the Province of Buenos Aires, except the 40 that comprise the Buenos Aires Metropolitan Area.
MEASURES RELATED TO THE FREE MOVEMENT AND TRANSPORT IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MADATORY ISOLATION
On March 23rd 2020, the Ministry of Transport issued and Official Notice at the Official Gazette through which they communicated that the national and international cargo transport in all of its modalities (air, land, sea, lakes, among other) is enabled to circulate.
The Ministries of Transport Resolution Nº 74/2020 was emitted on March 25th 2020 and adopts a model of affectation certificate for activities and services declared essential by article 6 sections 15 and 18 of the Decree N° 297/2020 and Article 1 point 2 of the Administrative Decision N° 429/202. This refers to people affected to activities related to (i) exterior commerce, (ii) goods transportation, (iii) oil, (iv) fuels and GLP, (vi) and production and distribution of biofuel. Annex I is attached to the norm and its use is recommended in order to certify the exception to the “social and preventive compulsory isolation” and the prohibition to move freely as transporters in front of National, Provincial, City of Buenos Aires and Municipalities that require it.
On March 27th 2020, this model was replaced and held with no effects by the publication of Resolution Nº 78/2020 and on April 5th 2020 Resolution Nº 84/2020 was issued replacing again the model for a new one that includes activities and services declare essential for the emergency by Article 6°, sections 13,15 ,16 and 18 and 21 of the Decree N° 297/20 and Article 1° point 2 of the Administrative Decision N° 429/20. This includes activities linked to: (i) the agricultural and fishing production, distribution and commercialization, (ii) non-deferable activities related to exterior commerce, including operative tasks in ports, rivers, maritime, lakes and automotive cargo areas, (iii) recollection, transport and treatment of urban, dangerous and pathogenic solid residues, (iv) goods transports, (v) fuel, oil and LPG, (vi) post and packages distribution services and (vii) production and distribution of biofuel. The model mentioned is currently in force.
Regarding the situation, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires established inside its jurisdiction Decree Nº 163/20. With it, people who require to certify that they are reached by one of the exemptions of the “SPMI” disposed by Decree N° 297/20 must present an affidavit in order to justify the free movement. Notwithstanding this, they must also carry the certificate that the employee provided (in case it applies). To obtain the mentioned permits, it is necessary to generate them from the web site of the City Government: https://permisos.seguridadciudad.gob.ar/Solicitud/Default.aspx.
On the other hand, the Province of Buenos Aires has developed for exceptional cases, a circulation permit system valid for 24 hours. The procedure to obtain the authorization is online and serves to those cases in which somebody requires to move freely in order to assist old people, people with disabilities, children, among other force majeure reasons. To sum up, the generation of the permits is done through the web site of the Province of Buenos Aires Government: https://permisostransito.mseg.gba.gov.ar/
This was the system that used to work until the Resolution Nº 48/2020 from the Interior Ministry was published on March 29th 2020. The norm had the purpose to unify the circulation permits in our country, so it implemented the “UNIQUE ENABLING CIRCULATION CERTIFICATE- COVID-19 EMERGENCY” for those exempted from the obligation to comply with the “SPMI”. The mentioned certificate must be required by the “Distance Procedure” platform, so as to present it along with the ID to the competent authority when they request it. The people who must move freely as a consequence of force majeure are exempted from this obligation. One of the main problems that had to be treated was related to the norms implementation because by the time it came into force, the “Distance Procedures” platform was not working properly and the norm was supposed to be applied in an immediate modality, allowing 7 days validity to circulate to whomever possessed it. For some time, all the certificates coexisted.
However, the technical problems persisted and because of this, on March 31st 2020 the Administrative Decision N° 446/2020 was included in the Official Gazette. The Decision clarified a few matters related to the “Unique Enabled Circulation Certificate” establishing that it will come into force as of April 6th 2020. Notwithstanding this, the same norm adds some people that are exempted from the obligation to process and carry the “Unique Enabled Circulation Certificate- COVID-19”. Hereunder we will proceed to mention them as:
In respect of the National Public Sector, the dispositions of the Administrative Decision N° 427/2020 will apply and the competent authorities will establish the payroll of the agents that provide essential services. Regarding the judicial power, the legislative power and the authorities from the province, the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires and municipalities, they must determine the formalities and procedures for the public agents that provide critical services in the frame of Decree Nº 297/20.
Finally, the norm clarifies that according to the in-force legislation, there will be sanctions to those who falsify or distort the information when requiring the “Unique Enable Circulation Certificate”.
Later on, the Resolution Nº 83/2020 from the Ministry of Transport was issued, through which the minimal precautions established by the competent authorities in the Administrative Decision N° 446/2020 for the certificate models had to be fulfilled. Also, it informs that the web site of the Ministry contains the models in force for every situation. Furthermore, the norm clarifies that the certificates, instruments and formalities properly issued by the competent authorities in respect to the activities included in the Sections 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21 and 24 of Article 6º Decree Nº 297/20 and Article 1° point 2 of the Administrative Decision N° 429/20, keep having effect until either the end of the isolation or their expressed repeal. The certificate models for each case can be found in the following link: https://www.argentina.gob.ar/coronavirus/aislamiento/aclaraciones/permisos.
On the other hand, it is important to mention that the Disposition Nº 5/2020 of the CHIEF OF MINISTERS’ CABINETS- SUBSECRETARY OF OPEN GOVERNMENT AND DIGITAL COUNTRY, published on May 21st 2020, created the Data Base called “Single Certificate Enabling for Circulation – Emergency COVID-19”. This database is established and administered by the SUBSECRETARIAT OF OPEN GOVERNMENT AND DIGITAL COUNTRY, and its purpose is to store the data generated from the Single Certificate Enabling Circulation – Emergency COVID-19.
Finally, Administrative Decision N° 897/2020, emitted on May 25th 2020, established the expiration of the “UNIQUE ENABLING CIRCULATION CERTIFICATE- COVID-19 EMERGENCY” that was processed under the rules nowadays in force. Such expiration will operate at 00:00 hours on 30 May 2020, and its holders must proceed to process it again. To this end, they must use the website https://www.argentina.gob.ar/circular so that all the personnel from companies that are in operation must process their respective permits again. It is important to note that the application to generate this permit makes a distinction between three types of activities exempted from the circulation prohibition:
When applying for the permit, it is very important to state that this is an essential activity (if it is the case), since this will also be relevant when using public transport (in most jurisdictions, this will only be available to personnel from companies that carry out activities considered essential). The steps to be taken and the options available to obtain the form are set out below:
USE OF PROTECTIVE ELEMENTS IN PUBLIC SPACES
By means of Resolution N° 95/2020 from the Ministry of Transport, it was established that as of April 20th 2020, the usage of protective elements that cover the nose, mouth and chin is mandatory. This norm applies for people staying or travelling on passenger transport services, car or rail under national jurisdiction.
On April 13th 2020, the Joint Resolution N° 15 was included in the Official Gazette of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. This norm was signed by the Minister of Health, the Minister of Economic Development and Production, the Deputy Prime Minister and the Chief of Staff of Ministers and came into force on April 15th 2020 declaring as well the mandatory use of “protective elements that cover nose, mouth and chin to enter or remain in commercial premises, in public service facilities and public transport in the area of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires”. Likewise, the regulation forbids the sale of chinstraps N95 to anybody who is not a professional nor staff from the health service in the area of the Autonomous City of Buenos Aires. This measure was taken in order to avoid the sale by a legal person who does not provide that service.
Furthermore, with Decree N° 255/2020, the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires determined that as of 20th April 2020, the use of protective elements covering the nose and mouth is mandatory to anybody who is staying or travelling on (i) public passenger transport, (ii) private transport when there are two or more persons inside of it, and (iii) in all closed public spaces (public offices, commercial premises, etc.) within the territory of the Province of Buenos Aires.
On March 20th 2020, the Ministry of Transport- Transport Management Secretary, added to the Special Supplement the Resolution Nº 60/2020. By means of this norm, the National Application Protocol for The Covid-19 Crisis Prevention Committee in Rain, Maritime and Lake transportation was approved.
The same Supplement included the Ministries of Transports Resolution Nº 71/2020 that stated a scheme for the provision of urban and suburban automobile and train services in the National Jurisdiction. Subsequently, the Resolution Nº 73/2020 of March 25th 2020 modified the aforementioned scheme establishing a new and special one which extended until March 31st 2020 the absolute suspensions of the services related to: (i) automobile and train transport of interurban and international passengers and (ii) commercial cabotage and general aviation air transport, disposed by Resolution N° 64/2020. This scheme was modified again by Resolution N° 89/2020 (published on April 9th 2020) and Resolution N° 110/2020 (issued on May 10th 2020).
MEASURES RELATED TO THE ENTRY TO THE NATIONAL TERRITORY
With Disposition Nº 1771/2020 of March 26th 2020, the National Migratory Direction determined that those who enter the country must subscribe and use the mobile app known as “COVID 19- Health Ministry” (https://argentina.gob.ar/coronavirus/app). The following day, the Decree Nº 313/2020 was published in order to expand the effects of the prohibition to enter the national territory until March 31st (this was disposed by Decree Nº 274/2020) and to apply this to the residents and Argentinians that were abroad as well. On the other hand, the original term was extended until April 12th 2020 by Decree Nº 331/2020, emitted on March 31st 2020 and subsequently extended until April 26th 2020 by Decree N° 365/2020 of April 11th 2020 (posted on April 11th 2020). Then, Decree N° 409/2020 of April 26th 2020 extended this until May 10TH 2020.
The aforementioned Decree Nº 331/2020 also regulated the situation related to the gradual entry to the national territory of people who are residents of the country and Argentinians with residence abroad that were unable to do so during the validity of Decree Nº 313/2020.
Moreover, it instructs the pertinent areas to proceed with the establishment of schedules and to coordinate the necessary actions in order to allow the return to the country to the mentioned people, having to determine the safest air, river, sea and land corridors to choose based on the best sanitary and security measures. It is vital to pay special attention to people who are among the risk groups.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Foreign Relationships, International Commerce and Cult was instructed to extend the validity of the “PROGRAM OF ASSISTANCE TO ARGENTINIANS THAT ARE ABROAD IN THE FRAMEWORK OF THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC” until they enter the national territory through the safe corridors.
In addition, it is important to remark that the Disposition Nº 1800/2020 published by the National Migratory Direction on March 28th 2020, suspended in a temporary way the entry to the country of the subcategory “crews of international transport” (Art. 24 Law N° 25.871) though the border crossing Iguazu – Foz de Iguazu (Tancredo Neves) until March 31st 2020. However, for this means, other international passages that allow the cargo operations are available.
Moreover, Resolution N° 90/2020 of the Ministry of Transport approved the procedure for authorizing exceptional shipments, requested for health and/or humanitarian reasons and/or supply in the framework of Resolution N° 71/2020.
Finally, Decree N° 409/2020, issued on April 26th 2020, prolonged until May 10th 2020 the prohibition to enter the national territory, according to Decree N° 274/20 (also extended by Decrees N° 331/20 and 365/20.
FOREIGN COMMERCE MEASURES COMPLEMENTARY TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY ISOLATION
Considering the Public Health Emergency, in virtue of the Pandemic declared by the World Health Organization regarding the COVID-19, our Government decided to publish Decree Nº 301/2020 on March 20th 2020 in order to prevent a negative impact on the health care system and to guarantee access to critical inputs. The Decrees main function was to establish that the exportation of goods that classify in the tariff position “9019.20.10 Oxygen Machines, its parts and accessories” of the MERCOSUR COMMON NOMENCLATURE (MCN) must obtain an export permit issued by the Ministry of Productive Development with the necessary intervention of the Health Ministry. The measure does not reach exportations that have as a destination the Special Customs Area (Law Nº 19.640) or the General Customs Territory (point 2. Article 593 Law N° 22.415 -Customs Code) and the previsions of Article 624 of it.
On the other hand, the Ministry of Productive Development posted Resolution N°114/2020 to suspend, for as long as the period that the COVID-19 pandemic extends, the effects of Resolution N° 360/2019 of the former Ministry of Production, regarding antidoping measures applied to hypodermic syringes made of plastic, disposable materials, sterilized, with or without needles, from all sizes between 1 cc till 60 cc, that enter the Republic of Argentina from the Popular Republic of China. The mentioned goods classify in the tariff positions of the MERCOSUR Common Nomenclature 9018.31.11 and 9018.31.19.
Subsequently, by means of the Resolution N° 118/2020 (published by the Ministry of Public Development on March 24th 2020), the effects of Resolution N° 1347/2019 of the former Ministry of Work and Production are suspended for as long as the period of the health emergency extends. This suspension is related to antidumping measures for parenteral dilutions that contain sodium chloride or dextrose, esterized, in closed infusion systems, for containers with capacity superior or equal to 0,1 liter but inferior or equal to 1 liter. Also, the norm states that they enter the Republic of Argentina through the Federative Republic of Brazil and the Mexican United States and that the products described classify in the tariff positions of the MERCOSUR Common Nomenclature 3004.90.99. This decision was made because the product mentioned is considered sensitive and vital for the public health in the frame of the Emergency.
Following the same objective of the norms described prior, Decree Nº 317/2020 was issued on March 28th 2020, establishing that the export of goods comprehended in the tariff positions of the MERCOSUR COMMON NOMENCLATURE listed in the ANNEX of the norm must proceed to obtain an export permit before the Ministry of Productive Development with the necessary intervention of the Ministry of Health. The Annex referred to includes elements linked to the health care and service in the frame of the Pandemic such as alcohol, gel alcohol, disposable gloves, paracetamol, etc.
Likewise, the Decree Nº 333/2020 (published on April 2nd 2020) disposed to settle an Extrazone Imports Right of 0% for goods grasped in the tariff positions of the norms Annex, those who refer to goods and inputs related to the treatment and prevention off the COVID-19 Pandemic. The list includes products like alcohol, disinfectants, gel alcohol, lab articles, pharmacies articles, among others.
On another note, the Resolution N° 140/2020 of the Ministry of Productive Development was published on April 7th 2020 and established the procedure for companies interested in exporting goods covered by Decrees Nº 310/2020 (oxygen therapy equipment, its parts and accessories) and Nº 317/2020 (certain products or goods required by the health system to deal with the health situation such as alcohol, medicines, diagnostic equipment, protective elements, respirators and oxygenators, etc.). In this sense, the regulation provides that these companies must be duly registered in the Single Registry Of The Ministry Of Production, created by Resolution N° 442/2016 of the former Ministry of Production, and must enter the platform “Distance Procedures”, of the Electronic Document Management System and from there complete the management.
With reference to the Origin Certificates from the Federal Administration of Public Revenue, the Circular N° 2/2020, posted on April 7th 2020 states that it will be exceptionally accepted for the goods to be accompanied by the electronic presentation of the documents. The purpose of this is certificates is to prove the origin of the products and access the preferences of each Agreement before the local customs authority, after they have been transmitted to Argentine importers. In this sense, the presentation of Origin Certificates issued under Preferential Agreements in “original” will not be required temporarily, being sufficient the presentation of the electronically transmitted Origin Certificates to Argentine importers. The aim of this Circular is to guarantee the safety of people, facilitate commercial operations and ensure the normal flow of trade in the respective Agreements.
Finally, the Ministry of Productive Development published on May 20th 2020 the Disposition N° 9/2020, which amended the Annexes of the Resolution N° 523/2017 from the former Commerce Secretariat of the ex-Ministry of Production. The currently modified Resolution established a procedure system for Automatic and Non-Automatic Import Licenses for goods included in all tariff positions of the Common MERCOSUR Nomenclature (C.M.N.), destined as consumption imports. Annexes II to XIV are the ones that include the tariff positions subject to the processing of “Non-Automatic” type Import Licenses. The new standard replaces and modifies Annexes II, V, VIII, IX, XI, XIII and XIV.
MEASURES RELATED TO CONTRACTS AND GUARANTEES
In connection with contracts, it is vital to point out two norms that were sanctioned to be applied in matters related to rental contracts and mortgage guarantees.
On March 29th 2020, Decree Nº 320/2020 was issued in order to suspend until September 30th 2020, the execution of the eviction judicial sentences from properties for those cases in which the payment obligation of the rental contract was breached. It also suspends for the same period, the prescription terms of the execution sentence process.
At the same time, it extended for the aforementioned term, the validity of rental contracts for properties whose expiration date should have operated as of March 20th 2020 or it is foreseen to terminate before September 30th 2020. The owner can choose between keeping the expiry date settled by the parties or to extend it for a period shorter than the one authorized by the Decree. Either option taken by the Owner must be notified with at least 15 days’ notice. The obligations of the guarantors will also be extended for the same period of the contract.
The Decree also stated that the rental prices will freeze until September 30th 2020 and the difference between what was contractually negotiated and the amount that was tenants have to pay as a result of the application of this norm will be paid in minimum 3 installments and maximum 6. The quotas must be monthly, equal and consecutive.
Regarding the debts accumulated until September 30th 2020, whose origin comes from (i) lack of payment, (ii) payments subscripted out of the terms that the contracts provide and (iii) partial payments, they can be fulfilled in at least 3 installments and 6 as maximum. They must be monthly, equal and consecutive. In this case, compensatory interests may be applied but those cannot exceed the interest rate of fixed terms in Pesos for 30 days that the Bank of the Argentine Nation pays.
The same Decree highlights that, within 20 days the Owner must notify the tenant about the necessary information required in order to perform bank transferences or ATM deposits in concept of payments. This measure is also applied to the following properties:
Notwithstanding what we exposed, the Decree states that the disposition related with the freezing of prices will not apply if the Owner depends on this payment to cover his or his family’s basic needs. It is important to point out that when the norm says family group, it is referring to the people from the primary group and those who live at the same house. This situation must be certified.
Through Decree N° 319/2020, published on March 29th 2020, it was established that:
TAX MEASURES COMPLEMENTARY TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY ISOLATION
REPATRIATION – EXTENSION FOR THE TAX PERIOD 2019.
On April 1st 2020, Decree Nº 330/2020 was issued as a way to extend the repatriation date of the tax period from the year 2019 until April 31st 2020, according to the dispositions of Articles 10 and 11 of Decree N° 99/19 (this norm regulates the Social Solidarity and Productive Reactivation Law in the context of the Public Emergency).
Furthermore, the abovementioned Article 11 is incorporated in the Decree N° 99/19 so as to determine the exemptions to the fees disposed: “The Benefit provided for this article will be appropriate when the funds and results, derived from the investments mentioned in the second paragraph- obtained before December 31st, included, of the calendar year in which repatriation had been verified- were affected by any of the destinations established in this and in the conditions stated there, even interchangeability and successively to any of them.”
PAYMENT FACILITIES AND DEBT REGULARIZATION.
Before the SPMI was announced, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue emitted- on March 18th 2020- the General Resolution Nº 4684/2020 so as to extend until April 30th 2020 the suspension period for the application of precautionary measures corresponding to those who (i) register the status of Micro, Small and Medium Companies (MiPyMES), registered in the “Register of MiPyMES Companies”, and (ii) taxpayers who are characterized in the “Registry System” as “Micro, Small and Medium Business Potential – Section I and II”. This was established in order to contemplate the economic situation that taxpayers are experiencing in the frame of the current pandemic.
On March 20th 2020, the General Resolution Nº 4683/2020 was published by the Federal Administration of Public Revenue so as to extend the term of application of the facility payment plans until June 30th 2020.
Then, with Decree N° 316/2020 (issued on March 28th 2020) the term of accession to the Debt Regularization Regime was extended until June 30th 2020, in order to prevent it from being affected by the current situation. The mentioned regime, was created to regularize debts that involve: (i) taxes, (ii) social security resources, (iii) customs resources and (iv) any other fines, interests and sanctions taxpayers must pay, when the Federal Administration of Public Revenues is the one that applies, perceives and audits. This applies to Micro, Small or Medium Companies and non-profit civil entities.
Finally, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue, by means of General Resolution N° 4705/2020 -issued on April 29th 2020- decided to extend until June 30th 2020 the suspension of the precautionary measures, correspondent to those who register the condition of Micro, Small and Medium Companies.
REGULARIZATION OF TAX, SOCIAL SECURITIES AND CUSTOMS OBLIGATIONS FOR MIPYMES AND NON-PROFIT CIVIL ENTITIES.
It is important to point out that Law N° 27.541 declared the Public Emergency in economic, financial, fiscal, administrative, pension, tariff, energy, health, and social matters. In this context, it established a regime in order to regularize tax obligations and social security and customs resources that expired by November 30th 2019 for taxpayers who obtain the “MiPyME Certificate” as well as for non-profit civil entities. The Law also stated (i) the benefit for the release of fines and other penalties that are not firm or paid, (ii) the removal from the consolidated debt when the capital, the firm fines and non-forgiven interests are paid by cash, (iii) the exemption and/or total forgiveness of the compensatory and/or punitive interests that have as their origin the social security contributions owed by self-employed workers and (iv) a percentage of the interest owed by the rest of the tax obligations, providing that the inclusion to such a regime could be formulated until April 30th 2020.
Considering how the context changed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic declared by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Administration of Public Revenue decided to publish the General Resolution N° 4690/2020 on April 1st 2020, as a way to extended the term until June 30th 2020, modifying the pertinent articles of General Resolution N° 4667 .
Finally, on June 1st 2020, the General Resolution N° 4728/2020 was emitted in order to establish a term of 60 calendar days for exporters registered in the “Registry of Micro, Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises – Law N° 24.467” to fulfil the obligation of submitting the relevant documentation to remedy non-compliance with their tax and/or social security obligations. Within this term, they may use the “Exporter’s Affidavit” guarantee.
ECONOMIC MEASURES COMPLEMENTARY TO THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY ISOLATION
SUSPENSION OF SERVICE DISRUPTION IN CASE OF ARREARS OR LACK OF PAYMENT.
Based on the current situation of SPMI, Decree Nº 311/2020 was posted on March 25th 2020 with the purpose of promoting the temporally suspension of the disruption of essential services for the period of 180 days. This Decree considers as vital services, the ones related to: (i) electric power, (ii) water, (iii) gas, (iv) telephones, mobile phones, internet and TV either by radio or satellite, among other.
Furthermore, the Decree adds that the provision applies to the following entities that suffer nowadays emergency:
SUSPENSION RELATED TO THE CLOSURE OF BANK ACCOUNTS.
Decree 312/2020 was published on March 25th 2020 in order to consider the following situations:
Also, the Decree promoted the suspension until April 30th 2020 of:
In this sense, the Central Bank of the Argentinian Republic, issued the Communication “A” 6950, through which they extended for 30 additional days the term to present common checks or deferred payments that expire during the validity of the aforementioned Decree. Moreover, it allows a second presentation of the rejected checks when the cause is related to “insufficient funds in the account”, although it clarifies that this is not applicable to the checks emitted by electronic means or ECHEQ. The norm adds that the financial entities cannot apply commissions to clients when checks are rejected.
On the other hand, through Communication “B” 12005/2020 –published on May 11th 2020- the Central Bank of the Argentinian Republic formulates some clarifications regarding the informational regime of Rejected Checks. In this sense, it basically establishes that:
ARGENTINIAN GUARANTEES FUND
With Decree Nº 326/2020, issued on March 31st 2020, instructions were given to the Application Authority and Administration Committee of the Argentinian Guarantees Fund (FoGAr) -Law Nº 25.300- to proceed with the construction of the Specific Affectation Fund in order to grant guarantees to facilitate access to loans for working capital by Micro, Small and Medium Companies registered in the MiPyMES Business Registry (Law Nº 24.467).
In this context, the Ministries Chief of Cabinet was empowered to make budget adjustments in order to transfer as a direct contribution to the FoGAr, the amount of $30.000.000.000. This sum must be destined to grant guarantees according to the following guidelines:
The validity of the dispositions is subject to the timeframe in which the emergency situation determined by Law Nº 27.541 prolongs and its eventual extensions. The Application Authority is the Productive Development Ministry.
SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR THE NATIONAL PRODUCTIVE SYSTEM IN THE AREA OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, HEALTH SUPPLIES AND TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS IN CONNECTION TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC.
The Productive Development Ministry issued the Resolution Nº 132/2020 on March 31st 2020 which created the SUPPORT PROGRAM FOR THE NATIONAL PRODUCTIVE SYSTEM IN THE AREA OF MEDICAL EQUIPMENT, HEALTH SUPPLIES AND TECHNOLOGICAL SOLUTIONS IN CONNECTION TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC. The programs objective is to assist and finance the Public Health Area and the companies, entrepreneurs and public institutions in the framework of the Sanitary Emergency.
WORK AND PRODUCTION EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (WPEAP).
On April 1st 2020, the Decree Nº 332/2020 created the “Work and Production Emergency Assistance Program” for employees and workers affected by the sanitary emergency. This Decree was modified by Decree N° 376/2020– published on April 20th 2020. Hereunder, we will highlight the main characteristics of the Program:
Benefits for employers included in the Program:
Criteria established in order to be achieve one or more benefit.
The subjects excluded from this benefits are those who (i) perform activities and services that are considered as essential in the framework of the Health Emergency and as a consequence of this, their staff has been exempted from the obligation to comply with the “Social Preventive and Mandatory Isolation” according to Article 6 from Decree N° 297/2020 and the Administrative Decision N° 429/2020, or (ii) those who, without being expressly stipulated in the norms mentioned prior, show no concrete indication that allows to infer a representative reduction on their activities.
Later on, Decree Nº 347/2020 added the possibility to consider the special circumstances that would have caused a high negative impact on the development of their activity or service. The aforementioned “excluded” subjects may submit the request to be reached for the benefits provided in this decree. The Ministries Chief of Cabinet, after obtaining the opinion based on technical criteria from the Evaluation and Monitoring Committee of the Emergency Assistance Program for Work and Production based on technical criteria, will decide whether to accept or deny such requests.
Objective Criteria, Activity areas and other relevant elements: They will be determined by the Ministry of Chiefs Cabinet.
Benefits Specifications: The subjects that fulfill the requirements can access to one of the following benefits:
The Federal Administration of Public Revenue will dispose the special due dates for the payment of the social security contributions to the AISS accrued during the months of March and April 2020. They will also determine payment facilities.
It is a sum of money to be paid by the Social Security National Administration to all or a part of the employees hired in the dependency ratio relationship that fulfill the requirements of reached subjects. Hereunder, we will mention the parameters for the determination of the amount of the allocation:
We consider it important to add that through Resolution N° 408/2020 (published on May 8th 2020), the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security clarified the situation when companies paid to their employees April´s salary before they could perceive the Complementary Salary. In this case, the amount that the workers collected (salary paid by employer plus the Complementary Salary) exceeds the sum that they should have collected. The solution for this is that the employers may charge the surplus amount against the payment of the salary for the month of May 2020. This same scheme is applicable to the payment of the non-remunerative sum established by article 223 bis of the Labor Law.
Data that the employees reached by the Benefit must present:
Relevant Period: The Decree is applicable to the economic results of the companies occurred as of March 12th 2020. It should be added that the Chief of Minister´s Cabinet may extend the benefits, modifying the activities reached, companies and independent workers affected, prior intervention of the Committee For Evaluation And Monitoring Of The Emergency Assistance Program For Work And Production. This will be evaluated depending on the evolution of the economic situation, until June 30th 2020. Without prejudice of this, for those cases in which the social distancing measures continue to be affected, even when the preventive and obligatory social isolation has ended, the benefits may be extended until to October 2020.
Non-Employer Natural Persons: on the other hand, the same norm contemplates the comprehensive system of unemployment benefits. In this sense, workers who fulfill the requirements provided in Law N° 24.013 (Employment) and 25.371 (Construction Work) can access to an unemployment economic provision. For this provision, the minimum amount rises to $ 6.000 and the maximum to $10.000 during the period established by the Ministry´s Chief of Cabinet. On another note, it also provides the granting of the Zero Rate Credit for people registered in the Simplified Regime for Small Taxpayers and for Autonomous Workers, with a subsidy of 100% of the total financial cost.
In this sense, the Central Bank of the Argentinian Republic published on April 28th 2020 the Communication “A” 6993/2020 that determines the steps that must be followed by the financial entities that grant the “Zero Rate Credit” funds for self-employed and freelancers.
Also, Communication “A” 6992 indicates that people that have access to the aforementioned credit cannot (i) access to the foreign exchange to perform operations related to the formation of foreign assets of residents, family assistance remission and derivatives, (ii) nor sell securities with liquidation in foreign currency or transfer them to other depository entities, until the complete cancelation of them.
Moreover, it is important to remark that prior to this norm, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security emitted Resolution 260/2020 (March 28th 2020) through which they extended the expiration of the Unemployment Benefits until May 31st 2020 (Laws N° 24.013 and Nº 25.371) that take place between February 1st 2020 and April 30th 2020 for the amount equivalent to 70% of the original benefit.
In addition, the Social Security Secretariat, by means of the Resolution Nº 8/2020 (issued on March 31st 2020) approved the rules of application of the Family Emergency Income (FEI) of Decree N° 310/2020, stating recipients, requirements, compatibilities, concept of “Family Group”, socioeconomic and patrimonial evaluation, notification to the applicants, granting and payment, and control, supervision and recovery of improper perceptions. In this context, the National Social Security Administration is empowered to: (i) create the norms required to implement what was disposed and for the administration, granting, payment, control, supervision and recovery of improper perceptions of the FEI and (ii) liquidate and make the payment of the FEI prior to April 1st 2020, in those cases that, by virtue of the available information, its operationally impossible.
It is important to add that the aforementioned Decree N° 347/2020 created the Evaluation and Monitor Committee for the Work and Production Emergency Assistance Program, constituted by the heads of the Ministries of Productive Development, Economy and Labor, Employment and Social Security and the Federal Administration of Public Revenue. The functions of this Committee will be:
Likewise, as far as practical matters are concerned: (i) the General Resolution N° 4693/2020 of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue published on April 9th 2020 enabled the web site for the “Work and Production Emergency Assistance Program” (WPEAP) in order to allow companies and employers to access the benefits and (ii) the Administrative Decision N°591/2020 issued on April 22nd 2020 adopts the recommendations of the “Evaluation and Monitor Committee for the Work and Production Emergency Assistance Program”(EMC-WPEAP) related to the criteria and conditions for the granting of the Complementary Salary.
Those criteria and conditions must be settled according to the following guidelines: (a) benefits with reference of the salaries accrued on April 2020, (b) conditions to fulfil: main activities of the employers as of March 12th 2020 must be one of the defined by the Committee N° 1 and 2, modified by N°3 (listed by the Federal Administration of Public Revenue); (c) nominal variation of the billing between March 12th and April 12th in relation to the same period of the year 2019 must be 0 or inferior to 0 (there must not be a nominal increase of the invoice; (d) general principle: payroll that does not exceed the 800 employees as of February 29th 2020; (e) for companies with more than 800 employees: the financial information or additional information provided to the Federal Administration of Public Revenue ´s web site must be evaluated and the additional requirements applicable during a fiscal period must be fulfilled.
The abovementioned requirements are: (i) non-distribution of the fiscal periods utilities as of November 2019, (ii) no re-buying directly or indirectly their shares, (iii) non purchase of securities in pesos for their subsequent and immediate sale in foreign currency or their transfer in custody to another country, (iv) no disbursements to subjects directly or indirectly related whose residence, establishment or domicile is in a non-cooperative jurisdiction or a jurisdiction with a low or no taxation.
For the purpose of calculating the employee’s plaintiff, the labor relationships terminated by April 4th 2020 must be deducted. Regarding the Complementary Salary, the “net salary” is considered as the amount equivalent to the 83% of the gross remuneration earned for the month of February 2020. This amount will be determined from the affidavits that the employer presented to the Federal Administration of Public Revenue who must perform a pre-liquidation that will be checked by the National Social Security’s Administration before the payment is settled.
On the other hand, the Administrative Decision N° 663/2020 adopts the recommendations for the “EMC-WPEAP” (this norm includes 7 Annexes). It is important to point out that “the first billing data shows that being exempted of the quarantine or having a high rate of personnel that performs their activities through homeworking, does not guarantee that the companies can work properly. A lot of them have had important turnovers of their billing which increments the risk of termination of their business and therefore the loss of work for their employees. In order to preserve the organizational capacities and the quality employment, it is recommended to expand the list of the areas that are potentially beneficiaries of the WPEAP”.
Subsequently, on May 5th 2020 the Administrative Decision N° 702/2020 was published so as to adopt new recommendations of the “EMC-WPEAP”. In this case, there are 3 Annexes added to the norm and proceeds as following:
Furthermore, the Administrative Decision N° 712/2020- emitted on May 7th 2020- adopted the recommendations of the “EMC-WPEAP”, which are detailed in the 4 Annexes that integrate the norm.
Annex I include the minute of April 30th 2020 of the “EMC-WPEAP” which indicates the background and the agenda to be fulfilled. With reference to the relevant information for companies, we can remark the following considerations:
Subsequently, the Administrative Decision N° 745/2020 published on May 8th 2020, authorized the private Works to perform their activities with no more than 5 workers, as long as they do not have to enter homes with residents, shops or establishments that are functioning in the urban settlement of Gran Santa Fe and Gran Rosario, that belong to the Province of Santa Fe.
In addition, the Administrative Decision N° 747/2020 (issued on May 12th 2020) adopted the recommendations formulated by the “EMC-WPEAP” with its 8 Annexes as well as the Administrative Decision N° 765/2020 (issued on May 13th 2020), which also adopted other recommendations formulated by the same Committee. It is vital to remark that the aforementioned Committee understands that for the calculation of the Complementary Salary from the month of May it is appropriate to take as reference the remunerations paid in March 2020. Likewise, the Administrative Decision N° 817/2020 was emitted on May 18th 2020 and also adopted the recommendations that the EMC-WPEAP proposed in its 4 Annexes.
On the other hand, the Administrative Decision N° 963/2020 -published on June 3rd 2020- took the recommendations of the EMC-WPEAP related to the clarifications on supplementary wages.
At the same time, taking into consideration that the WPEAP´s benefits were extended to the salaries and contributions that were accrued during May 2020, the General Resolution N° 4716/2020 of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue (issued on May 14th 2020) disposes that they could access to the web service of the WPEAP since May 14th 2020 until May 21st 2020 so as to obtain the benefit, when applicable.
Then, by means of the General Resolution N° 4719/2020, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue implemented the mechanism to be complied by employers that request the termination of the WPEAP, with respect of the benefit of the Complementary Salary perceived by their dependent workers.
On the other hand, the General Resolution N° 4711/2020 of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue, emitted on May 11th 2020 has resolve the following regarding the benefit of the reduction of the employer´s contributions and the due date deferral of the employers contributions payment, both with destination to AISS.
A. Benefit of reduction of the employer´s contributions to the AISS.
B. Benefit of payment deferral of the employer´s contributions to AISS.
0, 1, 2 y 3 July 15th 2020
4, 5 y 6 July 16th 2020
7, 8 y 9 July 17th 2020
These subjects will be characterized in the “Registry System” with the code “460 – Benefit Dto. 332/2020 Postponement of payment of contrib. Social Securities”. In addition, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue, through General Resolution N° 4712/2020 (issued on May 11th 2020), has extended the general deadline for the submission and payment of the affidavit related to the social security contributions for the period accrued on April 2020, according to the following schedule.:
CUIT TERMINATION DATE
0, 1, 2 y 3 May 18th 2020
4, 5 y 6 May 19th 2020
7, 8 y 9 May 20th 2020
Subsequently, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue issued on May 21st 2020 the General Resolution N° 4720/2020, which extends the term provided by the General Resolution N° 4716. The latter Resolution states that the subjects indicated in Article 1 of General Resolution N° 4693 may access the web service of the WPEAP between May 14th and 21st 2020 for the purpose of obtaining such benefits. In this sense, in order to facilitate the registration and supply of information, the new standard has extended the deadline until May 26th 2020.
Finally, Administrative Decision N° 887/2020, published on May 25th 2020, adopted new recommendations made by the EMC-WPEAP, especially with regard to Supplementary Salary (wage limits and multiple jobs) and payment deferment of employer’s contributions.
COMMERCIAL MEASURES LINKED TO THE ESTABLISMENT OF THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE AND MANDATORY ISOLATION
SUPERMARKETS, AUTO SERVICES AND OTHER SHOPS.
The Interior Commerce Secretary issued the Resolution N°101/2020 on March 23rd 2020, which aims mainly to regulate the activities developed by full-service supermarkets, superstores, self-services food grocery stores, non-food grocery stores, chains of retail stores, wholesale supply organizations, perishable packers, and shopping centers.
With this purpose, the norm establishes a few measures that these shops have to implement within the term of 30 days, such as:
Finally, in connection with the presentation of cases that a company or natural people has to do at the Internal Commerce Secretary or any of its dependencies, a result of an inspection, imputations or requirements, within the framework of the Health Emergency, those must be processed through the platform “Distance procedures” (TAD) o the Documental Electronic Management system.
At the beginning of the Health Emergency, our country experienced a noticeable increase of the Price of food and personal hygiene products. Those increases were determined by companies with diverse economic capacity and were considered unreasonable because they did not correspond to recent variations in production costs structures. This is the reason why the Ministry of Productive Development- Secretary of Interior Commerce, decided to publish Resolution Nº 100/2020. With this, they settled that, as an exceptional and temporal measure for the term of 30 calendar days, the maximum sales Price for consuming goods would be fixed to the values in force by March 6th 2020 (Prices reported in the Electronic Publicity System of Argentinian Prices as of March 6th 2020). Thereupon, the maximum sales prices to the general public are mandatory for marketers complied with the duty of information provided (Resolution N° 12/16 and its modifications of the former Commerce Secretary). It is important to point out that through Resolution N°117/2020 issued on April 18th 2020, the validity of the Resolution 100/2020 was extended for 30 calendar additional days until May 19th 2020 and after this, the Resolution N° 133/2020 (published on May 18th 2020) prolonged it until June 30th 2020.
Moreover, in order to avoid the imbalances or distortions of the chain of production, distribution and commercialization of the products included in the measures (those that the Resolution lists in an Annex), and achieve an effective integral protection of the consumer, they dispose for the same term, the fixing of maximum sale prices of the subjects reached by Law N° 20.680. That is, economic processes related to (i) goods, benefits and services and any other stage of economic activity linked directly or indirectly to sales, exchange and rental of mobile goods, works and services (their direct or indirect raw material and supplies) (ii) provisions whatever their nature, contract or legal relationship that originated them, either with a free of charge or paid modality, habitual or occasional, that are destined to the production, construction, processing, commercialization, sanity, food, clothing, hygiene, housing, culture, transport and logistic, recreation, as well as any other mobile good or services that directly or indirectly satisfy basic and essential needs oriented to the general well-being of the population.
It is important to clarify that subsequently, by means of the Resolution N° 118/2020 posted on April 18th 2020, the Exterior Commerce Secretary modifies the sales products whose prices must be informed to the Argentinian Electronic System of Prices Publicity. This is a transitory measure that is valid as long as the Resolution N° 100/2020 is in force.
This in force regulation urges companies that compose chain of production, distribution and commercialization, (i) to manufacture the products included in the list of those whose production should be increased until the maximum of the installed capacity and (ii) to arbitrate the conductive measures to secure their transport and provision during the period of validity of the measure.
On the other hand, it disposes the Sub-Secretariat of Actions for the Defense of Consumers to publish on its web site the list of prices reported to the Electronic Publicity System of Argentinian Prices that was in force on March 6th 2020 for every product established as well as the maximum prices of reference for the basic food basket for each province. This publication must be in done in a prominent way. The mentioned Sub-secretariat will also be in charge of implementing measures for the reception of complaints for non-compliance.
By means of Resolution Nº 102/2020, emitted on March 28th 2020, the Ministry of Productive Development- Secretary of Interior Commerce disposed that distributors, producers and retailers reached by Law 20.680 must comply with the obligation of having in every sale location, the list of the prices in force on March 6th 2020 for each of the products established in Resolution N°100/2020 (maximum selling prices). Law N° 20.680 is the supply law that addresses everything related to sale and purchase, exchange and rentals (mobile, work and services).
Furthermore, the subjects with the obligation to comply in Resolution Nº 86/2020 must have in every sales store the list with the gel alcohol prices of February 15th 2020. The norm prior was the one that stated a transitory regression of the price of gel alcohol whose selling is authorized in the national territory to February 1st 2020.
Subsequently, Resolution Nº 151/2020 from the Ministry of Productive Development – Secretariat of Internal Trade published on June 3rd 2020 extended Resolution Nº 86/2020 for 60 more days.
Finally, through Disposition 3/2020, the Sub-Secretariat of Actions for the Defense of Consumers created an exclusive informative regime of public consultation for all consumers. This regime has the purpose of publishing maximum reference prices for the consumers basic basket for each of the provinces, available on the web site www.preciosmaximos.produccion.gob.ar free of charge. The same norm established a public and free of charge mechanism of complaints for consumers and every economic agent that composes the chain of production, distribution and commercialization of the products reached by the fixation of maximum prices, enabled on the web site: www.preciosmaximos.produccion.gob.ar.
“NOW 12 PLAN”
On March 31st 2020, the Resolution Nº 104/2020 was issued by the Interior Commerce Secretariat of the Ministry of Productive Development. This norm extends until June 30th 2020 the “Program for the Promotion of Consumption and Production of Goods and Services” (known as NOW 12). The Program was created by Joint Resolution N° 671 of the former Ministry of Economy and Public Finance and N° 267/2014 of the former Industry Minister, which will keep its validity exclusively for credit card operations issued by financial entities. Also, as a consequence of the COVID-19 Sanitary Emergency, new items and purchases were added in fixed installments.
Within the framework of the Program, the products included in the following categories can be purchased: “the goods of national production and services provided in the territory of the Argentine Republic included in the categories detailed below: (i) Households appliances, (ii) Clothing, (iii) Footwear and leather goods, (iv) Materials and tools for construction, (v) Furniture, (vi) Bicycles, (vii) Motorcycles, (viii) Tourism, (ix) Mattresses, (x) Books, (xi) Eyeglasses, (xii) Bookstore Articles, (xiii) Toys and Board Games, (xiv) 4G Cellphones, (xv) Tires, accessories and CNG gas vehicle conversion kits and spare parts for automobile and motorcycles, (xvi) Musical Instruments, (xvii) Computers, notebooks and tablets, (xviii) Light Devices, (xix) Televisions, (xx) Perfumery, (xxi) Small household appliances, (xxii) Sports preparation services, (xxiii) Medical Equipment, (xxiv) Machinery and Tools , (xxv) Food and (xxvi) Medicine”.
On the other hand, by means of Resolution Nº 106/2020 on April 3rd 2020, the Secretary of Interior Commerce of the Ministry of Productive Development, ratifies the Articles 4° and 7° of the Resolution Nº 104/20 once they detected involuntary errors on its writing.
It is important to highlight that the official web site “Now 12” contains all the information necessary to Access it. There, it is explained among other issues, that the businesses that are interested in being a part of the program must access the web site of the Credit Cards and Purchases Chamber or get in touch with the bank of the credit cards and the registration must be done with each of the cards that they work with. The web site is https://www.argentina.gob.ar/ahora-12/comerciantes.
Finally, the Resolution N° 130/2020 published on May 11th 2020 modifies definitions and guidelines related to the accession to the program. One of those modifications is to replace the reference “digital payment operators”, which were companies that provide an online payment system and/or ecommerce, through which transactions related to acquisition/purchase/sale of goods and/or services included in the “Program” were carried out, for the term “digital payment groups”. The latter concept defines the companies that provide an online payment system, through which transactions related to the acquisition/purchase/sale of goods and/or services included in the “Program” are carried out electronically.
Also, the norm refers to “Electronic Commerce Platform” and defines it as the companies that carry out ecommerce activities, as well as the distribution, sale, purchase, marketing and/or supply of product or service information through the Internet, or any other electronic means, with respect to the goods and/or services included in the “Program”. This are adapted to the accession guidelines.
Special Compensation Regime
As a consequence of the current economic and social scenario, it was vital to establish a special compensation regime for those whose activity is related to selling essential goods, such as certain dairy products. This is the reason why Decree N° 418/2020 was emitted on April 30th 2020, in order to generate a positive effect on the prices for the population. The aforementioned regime: (i) seeks the stability of the dairy food prices listed in Articles 558, 559, 559 bis, 559 tris, 560, 560 bis, 560 tris, 562, 564 and 567 of the National Food Code; and (ii) is applicable to the sale of the indicated goods, to the extent that the purchaser is one of the subjects of Article 7, Section f of the Value Added Tax Law. The products excepted are ordinary natural water, fluid or powdered milk, whole or skimmed, milk without additives, when the buyer is the final consumer and its activity is “Retail sale in hypermarkets” (471110), “Retail sale in supermarkets” (471120), “Retail sale in mini-markets” (471130), or “Retail sale of dairy products” (472111)
By means of Resolution N° 139/2020 of the Ministry Of Productive Development – Secretariat Of Internal Commerce, published on May 28th 2020, it was established that extremely vulnerable consumers are “those human beings who are in a vulnerability situation due to their age, gender, physical or mental state, or due to social, economic, ethnic and/or cultural circumstances, which cause special difficulties for the full exercise of their rights as consumers” and “also, legal persons without profit-making purposes that direct their social objects to the groups included in this article”. This regulation entrusts the Sub-Secretariat of Actions for the Defense of Consumers and the Secretariat of Internal Commerce of the Ministry of Productive Development, to take the measures necessary for the implementation of this resolution and details the main objectives and functions that they shall have, among which we can remark the following:
The Resolution Nº 144/2020 of the Ministry of Productive Development – Secretariat of Internal Commerce, posted on May 29th 2020, some limits to the commercialization of the “Chinstraps type N95 and/or surgical and/or TRI-CAPA”. This was for the purpose of leaving these goods for the exclusive usage of professionals of the health system and for legal persons that need to acquire them for the protection of their employees and/or dependents.
LABOR MEASURES RELATED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE SOCIAL, PREVENTIVE ANDA MANDATORY ISOLATION
DISMISSAL AND SUSPENSIONS PROHIBITION. AGGRAVATED COMPENSATIONS.
In this area, it is important to point out the validity of Decree N° 34/19 which declared the Occupational Public Emergency for the term of 180 days, establishing -until June 2020- that if a dismissal without fair justification took place, the workers would have the right to perceive a double compensation. Notwithstanding this, the new regulation went even further and stated through Decree N° 329/2020 (published on March 31st 2020) the prohibition for the period of 60 days of:
The abovementioned article describes a particular situation in which, the suspension of the labor provisions takes place, based on lack or reduction of work (non-attributable to the employer) or force majeure (properly verified). The suspensions can be negotiated either individually or collectively between workers and employers and must be approved by the enforcement authorities. In compensation, a non-remunerative contribution will be paid to the workers, meaning that the employer will only credit the social security contributions stated in Law 23.660 and 23.661.
All things considered, if a company decides to fire or suspend workers, they would be breaching the dispositions of this Decree and as a consequence those decisions will have no effect. This means that the labor relationship will be kept intact, and the dismissal/suspension will have no effect. It is important to remark that Decree N° 487/2020 (issued on May 19th 2020) extended the prohibition of dismissals without proper justification, force majeure and lack or reduction of work, as well as the suspensions based on force majeure, lack or reduction of work, for the term of 60 days from the due date of the period established by Decree N° 329/2020. This means the prohibition is in force until the end of July 2020.
It is important to clarify that on June 10th 2020, Decree N° 529/2020 was issued in order to determine that the time limits provided for in Articles 220, 221 and 222 of the LCT (that state the maximum time limits for suspensions of 75 or 90 days) shall not apply to suspensions due to lack or reduction of work and force majeure under the terms of Article 223 bis as a result of the health emergency, which may be extended until the end of the SPMI.
Without prejudice to the validity of the prohibition of dismissals currently in force, on June 10th 2020, Decree N° 528/2020 was published, extending for a period of 180 days, the public emergency in occupational matters declared by Decree No. 34/2019 and consequently extended during the same period the right to receive double compensation in accordance with the terms of Article 3 of Decree N° 34/19 and the legislation in force on the subject. This means the double compensation that takes place in cases of unjustified dismissals.
DIFFERENCE FOR HEALTHCARE EMPLOYEES.
Due to the CODIV-19 Pandemic declared by the World Health Organization and given the current situation of our country, considering that the fight against the pandemic compromises the establishments and institutions related to healthcare, Decree Nº 300/2020 was posted on March 20th 2020. The aim of this Decree was to grant for the term of 90 days a special treatment for employees that perform activities related with Health, in everything that implies employers contributions destined to the Argentinian Integrated Social Security System and the Tax over Credits and Debits from Bank accounts and other operations.
DUTY OF ASSISTANCE AND SALARIES.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Sanitary Emergency, a series of norms related to the duty of assistance and waivers were issued, considering specially the risk groups and those whose flights arrived from affected areas.
In this sense, the rules have urged employers to provide the necessary measures to reduce the presence of workers in the establishments. Only those considered essential for the proper operation of the company or establishment must access the facility and the employees must adopt the necessary measures for the implementation of the remote working modality. Moreover, employers must at all times take precautions to satisfy the working and environmental conditions in accordance with the recommendations of the health authority, which basically include (i) frequent hand washing with soap and water or gel alcohol, (ii) the appropriate ventilation of work environments, (iii) disinfection of frequently used objects (for example, handrails, latches, railings, etc.), (iv) coughing or sneezing over the elbow crease or using disposable tissues and (v) in case of detecting symptoms contact the health system (107 in CABA, 148 in Buenos Aires Province, 0800-222-1002 nationwide).
It is important to point out that the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security published the Resolution Nº 202/2020, (on March 13th), Resolution Nº 207/2020 (on March 17th) and Resolution 219/2020 (special supplement of March 20th 2020) by which it was intended to dictate the necessary regulatory measures to guarantee the decrease in the influx of people in the public transport and workplaces, without affecting the production and supply of necessary goods and services. The duty for the staff qualified as essential must be kept in force. This norm was repealed later and replaced by the current Resolution 279/2020, which establishes that:
Furthermore, the Decree N° 408/2020 that extended the SPMI until May 10th, also clarified that (i) workers that are over 60 years old, (ii) pregnant women, (iii) people included in the risk groups according to what the Ministry of Health established (https://www.boletinoficial.gob.ar/detalleAviso/primera/227068/20200320) and (iv) those whose presence at home is indispensable for the care of children and adolescents, are exempted from the duty of assistance to the workplace (res. 207/2020 of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security).
Finally, the Decree N° 459/2020 issued on May 11th 2020, which extended the SPMI and its complementary regulations until May 24th 2020, repeated the clarification aforementioned stating that (i) workers over 60 years old, (ii) pregnant women, (iii) people included in the risk groups defined by the Ministry of Health and (iv) those whose presence in home is indispensable for the care of children or adolescents, are exempt from the duty of assistance to the workplace under the terms of Resolution N° 207/20, extended by Resolution No. 296/20 of the National Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security.
With Resolution Nº 238/2020 issued on March 18th 2020, the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security decided to suspend for the term of 30 days the celebration of Electoral Processes, Assemblies and/or Congresses, institutional acts that imply mobilization, transfer and/or conglomerations of people, of every union association.
In relation with the assumption of authorities, it was disposed that they must be carried out at the Headquarters of the Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, only with the presence of the Electoral Board and the new authorities. For the rest of the acts that must be performed, they will be analyzed in particular in order to make compatible the public health measures with the maintenance of the institutional regularity of the entities. Subsequently, the Secretariat of Labor published on May 5th 2020 the Resolution N° 489/2020 which established the suspension of electoral processes, every types of assemblies and/or congresses -both ordinary and extraordinary- as well as any institutional act involving mobilization until September 9th 2020. Furthermore, it extended the terms of office of the members of the governing, deliberative, auditing and representative bodies of labor unions for 180 days from September 30th 2020.
ARTICLE 223 BIS LABOR LAW AGREEMENT
The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security emitted on April 30th 2020 the Resolution N° 397/2020 which distinguishes different situations related to the homologation of the suspension agreements that are subscripted according to the provisions of article 223 bis of the Labor Law, including the possibility of an abbreviated process. In this context, the norm provides three different situations:
For every case, an affidavit stating the authenticity of the signatures must be attached.
Regarding the main considerations provided by the aforementioned Annex I, they can be summarized as follows:
In addition, the Sub-Secretariat for Labor Auditing published the Disposition N° 5/2020 which created the Homologated Agreements Registry in the terms of Article 223 bis of the Labor Law.
Through the Resolution N° 21/2020 (issued on March 17th 2020), the Superintendence of Occupational Risks established that employers must be prudent and allow the workers to carry out their tasks with the homeworking modality. Therefore, employers that opt for this modality, have the obligation to inform the Labor Risk Insurer, which workers are reached by this modality and the address where they will carry out their activities. The information that has to be provided is:
The Prevention Management of the Superintendence of Occupational Risks created the Disposition N° 3/2020 on March 23rd 2020. With this norm, the “Special Recommendations for Telecommunications Jobs” was approved. The mentioned recommendations are attached in the Annex of this Resolution and are directed specifically to the telecommunication staff excepted from isolation.
Furthermore, by means of Disposition 6/2020 of April 5th 2020, the Management of the Labor Risks Superintendence approved the document “EMERGENCY PANDEMIC COVID-19. SPECIAL RECOMENDATIONS FOR ELECTRIC ENEGRY LABOR.”
Disposition N° 5/2020 from the Superintendence of Occupational Risks, was emitted on March 28th 2020 and approved a series of special recommendations to consider in the framework of the mandatory isolation and the COVID-19 Pandemic, among which we can name the following:
One of the most important measures taken in connection with labor risks was related to the consideration of the COVID-19 disease as a presumably Occupational Illness- not listed- under the terms of Paragraph 2, Section B, Article 6 of The Labor Risk Law (Law N° 24.557). This was stated by Decree N° 367/2020 (published on April 14th 2020).
However, it is important to consider that the presumption of the illness as an Occupational disease will take place (i) only regarding dependent workers excluded from compulsory isolation by legal waiver and for the purpose of carrying out the essentially declared activities; (ii) as long as the isolation measure provided by those regulations, or any extension thereof, is in force and (iii) for those contingencies who is first manifestation has occurred after the entry into force of the Isolation Decree N° 297/2020.
On the other hand, the norm indicates that the Occupational Risk Insurer will not be able to reject the coverage of these contingencies, and they will have to adopt all the necessary precautions so that once they become aware of the company report accompanied by the corresponding confirmed diagnosis issued by a duly authorized body, the worker receives the attention immediately. The worker must initially receive treatment in accordance with the Occupational Risks Law, without prejudice to the fact that the definitive determination of the professional nature of the pathology will be made in each case by the Central Medical Commission established in article 51 of Law N° 24.241 (Integrated Retirement and Pension System), which will proceed to establish “the essential and necessary direct and immediate causal relationship of the reported illness with the work performed in the aforementioned context of dispensation from the duty of social, preventive and obligatory isolation”.
At the same time, it should be noted that the decree authorizes the Central Medical Commission to reverse the burden of proof of the causal relationship in favor of the worker whenever it is found “the existence of a relevant number of people infected by the COVID-19 disease in activities carried out in the aforementioned context, and in a given establishment where they have proximity or possible contact, or when other facts revealing the certain probability that the infection has been on the occasion of the fulfillment of the tasks carried out”.
Notwithstanding what the Decree determines for general cases, the health personnel is considered as a particular situation. For those professions, the condition shall be understood to have a direct and immediate causal relationship with the work carried out, unless it is proven in the specific case that the latter is not the case, and the period is extended to 60 days after the declared health emergency.
On the other hand, the Resolution N° 38/2020 of the Superintendence of Occupational Risks (published on April 29th 2020) approves the special procedure for the declaration of COVID-19 as an unlisted occupational disease under the terms of Decree N° 367/20. In this sense, the regulation basically establishes the following
When a report informing the COVID-19 illness is rendered under the term of the Decree N° 367/2020, the affected worker or his or her beneficiaries must prove to the Labor Risk Insurer or the Self-insured Employer the following formal requirements:
Any disputes that arise regarding compliance with the fulfilment of formal requirements of the report must be resolved with the intervention of the Labor Risk Insurer. The presentations made will be settled within a maximum period of 48 hours, by means of a binding technical opinion issued by the Legal and Regulatory Affairs Management of this Labor Risk Insurer. If they do not express on this matter, then their silence will imply the admissibility of the aforementioned report.
Within 3 administrative working days from the notification of the C.M.C.’s Opinion, the parties may request by Electronic Portals:
Remedies must be solved by the C.M.C. within 3 days of their presentation and notification to every party. The interposition does not interrupt the term to Appeal.
The decision of the C.M.C. may be appealed by a direct action of any of the parties before the labor courts of the corresponding jurisdiction. If these does not exist, then the appeal must be presented before the first instance courts which are competent. The term of the appeal presentation is within 15 administrative working days.
The Labor Risk Insurer issued on April 30th 2020, the Resolution N° 40/2020 which established that until the VIRTUAL PORTAL of this SUPERINTENDENCE OF OCCUPATIONAL RISKS (SOR) is definitively implemented, it will be possible to carry out presentations of the procedures before the CENTRAL MEDICAL COMMISSION (C.M.C.) and the JURISDICTIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSIONS (J.M.C.) through the platform “Distance Procedures” (DP) of the Electronic Document Management System (EDMS). Regarding the medical examination hearings, the regulation provides that when the circumstances justify it, they will be included in the exception to the prohibition of circulation of Section 6, Article 6 of Decree 297/2020. The norm also approves the PROTOCOL FOR THE VIRTUAL CELEBRATION OF AUDIENCES BEFORE THE HOMOLOGATION SERVICE IN THE SCOPE OF THE JURISDICTIONAL MEDICAL COMMISSIONS. Likewise, by Resolution N° 39/2020 -posted on April 30th 2020- the Superintendence of Occupational Risks creates the COMMISSION OF CONDITIONS AND WORKING ENVIRONMENT.
On the other hand, Resolution Nº 44/2020 published on May 18th 2020 establishes the VIRTUAL PORTAL as a means of interaction with the community in general. This interaction is within the scope of the Superintendence of Occupational Risk and will be performed through the “e-Services S.R.L.” platform, which can be access through “Fiscal Code”. This way, the presentations addressed to the Jurisdictional Medical Commissions (C.M.J.) and the Central Medical Commission (C.M.C.) will be channeled by the VIRTUAL PORTAL.
Finally, Resolution N° 46/2020 emitted on May 21st 2020 approves the “OCCUPATIONAL RISK SUPERINTENDENCY PROTOCOL FOR THE PREVENTION OF COVID-19 – Recommendations and Suggestions”. This is a document created taking into consideration what was discussed with the Crisis Committee, based on the advice received by the Prevention Management and the intervention of the Medical Service, Hygiene and Security Departments.
The purpose of this is to deliver recommendations and prevention measures designed to address gradually the normalization of duties by the end of the SPMI and seeking the implementation of the recommendations issued by both the health authority and the Occupational Risk Superintendence. Especially regarding travel to and from work, the use of personal protective equipment and special recommendations for jobs exempted from compliance with the SPMI.
This Protocol includes recommendations for the performance of activities for the Occupational Risks Superintendence and details a series of annexes, such as: (i) Protocol for work in medical commissions; (ii) Protocol for personnel in the infrastructure areas and user support; (iii) Protocol for personnel of the Occupational Risk Superintendence who carry out inspection and control activities in third-party facilities (Prevention Management and Performance Control Management); (iv) Health sworn statement; (v) Recommendations for personal care and hygiene; (vi) Recommendations for social distancing in common spaces; (vii) Recommendations and posters for the entrance of the general public; (viii) Recommendations for the use of official vehicles; (ix) Recommendations in service areas; (x) Recommendations for the correct use of disposable Personal Protection Equipment; (xi) Posters indicating the disposal of Personal Protection Equipment waste; (xii) COVID-19 symptoms and (xiii) Regulatory Reference Framework.
MEASURES FROM THE HEALTH MINISTRY
AUTHORIZATION TO COMMERCIALIZE INVASIVE MECHANIC VENTILATORS.
Through Resolution N. º 695/2020, published on April 1st 2020, companies that manufacture, distribute or commercialize invasive mechanical ventilators cannot deliver the units without express authorization from the Ministry of Health. It states that it does not matter whether a purchase order, contract or obligation of any nature exist.
EXCEPTIONAL MEDICINE PRESCRIPTION
The Ministry of Health created the Resolution N°. 696/2020 on April 1st as a means to state that:
PROCEDURE MEASURES, DEADLINES, MANAGMENT AND CUSTOMS SERVICES
Regarding the mandatory isolation measures, it has been necessary to establish special norms for deadlines in the administrative and judicial procedures, as well as for the different organisms who must elaborate norms for their proper functioning during this period. Hereunder, we will proceed to mention some of the main norms in this sense.
SUPREME COURT OF JUSTICE
With the Decision CSJN N º 4/2020, the Supreme Court of Justice of the Nation declared the days from March 16TH till March 31st as non-working holidays for judicial proceedings before the Tribunals that compose the Judicial Power. During this period, the tribunals must guarantee the minimum provision of the justice service. Therefore, custom services will be suspended, except for procedural actions in which the presence of lawyers and/or the parties is essential. Also, for matters that cannot allow delays, the parties will require the authorization of non-working days and hours. Finally, the norm establishes that from March 18th 2020, every presentation to the national and federal justice system will be delivered completely in digital format through the Electronic Judicial Identification (except for initial presentations that cannot be handled in a digital modality). These presentations must be electronically signed by the presenter, along with the documentation and will be considered as affidavits, so no paper copy is required.
Based on the Health Emergency and the Decree 297/2020, the Supreme Court of Justice dispossess an extraordinary judicial recess, from March 20th 2020 till March 31st 2020, for all federal and national tribunals and other dependencies that integrate the Judicial Power. This is established at the Decision Nº 6/2020 and posted at the Official Gazette on March 26th, 2020.
Subsequently, with the Decision N º 8/2020 from April 1st 2020, the Supreme Court of Justice decided to extend the extraordinary judicial recess related to national and federal tribunals and the dependencies that integrate the Judicial Power from April 1st till April 12th 2020.
Moreover, the Decision N° 10/2020, of April 26th 2020, extended the extraordinary judicial recess until April 26th 2020 and the Decision N° 11/2020 and 12/2020 both dated on April 12th 2020, allowed the use of electronic and digital signature within the scope of the Supreme Court and the Judiciary Power of the Nation. They also allowed procedures for receiving complaints, filing direct appeals and appeals to the Chamber.
By means of the Decision N° 14/2020, the Supreme Court of Justice has extended the Extraordinary legal recess until May 24th 2020.
Finally, the Decision N° 15/2020 was published on May 27th 2020 in order to approve the Regulations for the Electronic Delivery of Offices with Entities Outside the Judicial Branch -DEOX-.
By Resolution N° 121/2020 of the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, it was established that during the period in which restrictions of movement and social distancing measures are in force, pre-court mediators will be able to conduct hearings by electronic means, by videoconference or by other means, provided that the identity of the participants and respect for the principles governing the procedure of mandatory pre-court mediation are guaranteed. In this regard, the norm has provided that:
After this, by means of the Disposition Nº 7/2020 issued by the Sub secretariat of Justice Access on May 8th 2020, the “Guidelines for the performance of Distance Mediations” was approved.
The Resolution Nº 137/2020 of the Productive Development Ministry – Secretariat of Interior Commerce was published on May 20th 2020 in order to state that in the context of the “SPMI” the audiences that must be held within the scope of the Direction of the Services for Conciliations Prior to Consumers Relations (also known as COPREC in Argentina) will be performed only through the Electronic Conciliation System.
The regulation includes the following stipulations:
Given the current situation, Decree N° 298/2020 suspended the course of deadlines, within the administrative procedures regulated by (i)the National Law of Administrative Procedures N° 19549, (ii) Regulation of Administrative Procedures, (iii) Decree 1759/72 until March 31, 2020. Only administrative procedures related to the public emergency declared by Law N° 27.541, expanded by Decree No. 260/2020 and its complementary regulations, were exempt from such suspension.
Later on, Decree N.º 327/2020 extended the suspension of the course of the terms provided by Decree N°298/2020, within the administrative procedures regulated by the Administrative Procedures National Law (N° 19.549), the Administrative Procedures Regulation (Decree 1759/72 – T.O. 2017), and special procedures, from April 1st till April 12th 2020. Notwithstanding this, the acts fulfilled or to be fulfilled will be considered as valid. The same norm exempted from the mentioned suspension to those administrative procedures related to the emergency declared by Law N° 27.541, expanded by Decree N° 260/2020 and its amending and complementary regulations.
Moreover, the Decree 372/2020 posted on April 13th 2020 extended the term until April 26th 2020 and Decree Nº 410/2020, (published on April 26th 2020) prolonged it until May 10th 2020 the suspension of the deadlines established by Decree N° 298/20 and its complementary norms, within the administrative procedures regulated by (i) the National Administrative Procedures Law N° 19.549, (ii) the Administrative Procedures Decree N° 1759/72 – T.O. 2017 and other special proceedings.
On May 11th 2020, Decree N° 458/2020 was issued in order to extend the suspension of time limits in administrative proceedings established by Decree N° 298/20 and its supplements until May 24th.
Finally, Decree N° 494/2020 was emitted on May 25th 2020 so as to extend the suspension of the deadlines of the administrative procedures until June 7th 2020.
NATIONAL FISCAL TRIBUNAL
By Resolution N. º 17/2020, the National Fiscal Tribunal extended the Extraordinary Judicial Recess stated by the Agreement Act of March 16th 2020 for the term of the “SPMI” established according to Decree N. º 297/2020.
FEDERAL ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC REVENUE
On the Official Gazette´s Special Supplement from March 20th 2020, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue published the General Resolution Nº 4685/2020. The norm establishes that, as an exception, until July 30th 2020 it is compulsory to use the Fiscal Code known as “Digital Presentations” to execute the presentations and communications electronically. Those procedures are detailed at the regulation. A measure like this is taken in order to avoid on-site crowding at the agencies, districts, and costumer services stations, to preserve staff health and the people that receive the services.
On the other hand, the General Resolution N° 4688/2020 modified Resolution N° 4540 and regulated the conditions that the taxpayers must have into consideration for the emission of credit and debit notes. Moreover, it has disposed that dispositions of the General Resolution N° 4540 will start having effects on May 1st 2020 and that when the operations are done by using the “Micro Small, and Medium Companies Regime of Credit Electronic Bills” beforehand the date established, the calculation of the negotiable net amount of the executive title will only consider the credit and debit notes issued by the issuer of the electronic credit bill.
Also, through General Resolution N.º 4691/2020, the Federal Administration of Public Revenue modified the deadlines established by General Resolution N° 4673/2020 for the purposes of the payment of the taxes related to personal property and the requirement of the exemption and adequation of the extension terms of the fiscal period (Decree N° 330/2020).
Likewise, the General Resolution N° 4692/2020 decided to set between April 1st and 12th 2020 a new extraordinary fiscal recess with the reach provided by the General Resolution N° 1.983, its amendments and complementary norms. After this, the General Resolution N° 4695/2020 published on April 13th 2020 established a new extraordinary fiscal recess period between the days 13th and 26th of April.
Subsequently, through the General Resolution Nº 4703/2020 issued on April 28th 2020 a new extraordinary fiscal recess was set between April 27th and May 10th 2020 and by means of the General Resolution Nº 4713/2020 the same period was extended until May 24th 2020 and the General Resolution Nº 4722/2020 of the Federal Administration of Public Revenue states the recess until June 7th 2020. Finally, the General Resolution N° 4736/2020 established a new extraordinary fiscal recess between June 8th and June 28th 2020.
Moreover, the General Resolution Nº 4718/2020 established a payment facility regime within the scope “MY FACILITIES” system, for the cancellation of the tax, customs and social security obligations, included in the aforementioned regime whose expiration has operated until April 30th 2020.
Finally, the General Resolution N° 4720/2020 was posted on May 21st 2020 in order to adopt measures to facilitate the compliance of the taxpayer’s obligations. The Federal Administration of Public Revenue has modified the terms of the affidavits presentations and payment of fees according to the following details:
|CUIT Termination||Presentation Date||Payment Date|
|0, 1, 2 y 3||July 24th 2020||July 27th 2020|
|4, 5 y 6||July 27th 2020||July 28th 2020|
|7, 8 y 9||July 28th 2020||July 29th 2020|
|Termination CUIT||Presentation and payment date|
|0, 1, 2 y 3||July 27th 2020|
|4, 5 y 6||July 28th 2020|
|7, 8 y 9||July 29th 2020|
Finally, on June 4th 2020 the Federal Administration of Public Revenue published the General Resolution Nº 4730/2020 that suspended until June 30rd 2020, the initiation of tax execution proceedings and on June 5th 2020 the General Resolution Nº 4734/2020 determined the implementation of the benefits of reduction and/or postponement of the expiry of the patronal contributions and the payment facilities regime.
GENERAL JUSTICE INSPECTION
The General Justice Inspection, through General Resolution N. º 10/2020 suspended from March 16th 2020 till March 30th 2020 the terms of:
Subsequently, the General Resolution N.º 11/2020 regulated the use of mechanisms to develop distance meetings of the administrative or govern body and disposed that for the term of the circulation restriction extends, the meetings carried out by digital or informative platforms will be considered valid, even if this is not established in the Statute.
The General Resolution N° 13/2020 of the la General Justice Inspection has resolved to extend until April 12th 2020 the suspension of the terms disposed originally by the General Resolution N° 10/2020. This term was extended again from April 13th 2020 till April 26th 2020, by General Resolution N° 15/2020.
After this, the General Resolution Nº 19/2020, published on April 29th 2020 prolonged it until May 10th 2020 and the General Resolution Nº 24/2020 settled as the new date of the terms suspensions, May 24th 2020.
By means of the General Resolution N° 28/2020, issued on May 25, 2020, it was established that all deadlines in effect as of March 19th 2020, will be considered suspended with respect to this Inspectorate General of Justice, starting on March 20th 2020 and ending on May 24th 2020.
MINISTRY OF LABOR, EMPLOYMENT AND SOCIAL SECURITY.
The Ministry of Labor, Employment and Social Security, by means of Resolution Nº344/2020, published on April 23rd 2020, established the need to extend the remote activity to avoid or diminish the propagation of COVID-19 virus. That is the reason why, it stated the following measures:
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY.
By official notice issued on April 24th 2020 it has been informed that as of April 22nd 2020, the National Institute of Industrial Property will be working with a service of minimum guards and shift system. Likewise, the web portal will continue to operate.
SUSPENSION OF THE OBLIGATION FROM SURVEILLANCE SYSTEMS.
With Resolution N° 119/2020, the Secretariat of Domestic Trade of the Ministry of Productive Development, decided to suspend the terms of the Surveillance Systems with respect to the surveillance certificates already issued, which expire between March 20th and May 31st 2020. In this sense, the application of a series of norms that regulate technical aspects of diverse domestic electrical devices is suspended, in order to subject them to mandatory certification regimes, as well as to certain safety standards, such as: (i) Resolutions Nr. 319/1999 of the former Secretariat Of Industry, Trade And Mining, of the former Ministry Of Economy And Public Works And Services, (ii) 35/2005 of the former Secretariat Of Technical Coordination of the former Ministry Of Economy And Production; (iii) 169/2018 of the former Secretariat Of Trade of the former Ministry Of Production, (iv) Provisions Nr. 86/2007, 859/2008, both from the former National Directorate of Domestic Trade of the former Sub secretariat Of Consumer Defense of the Secretariat Of Internal Trade of the former Ministry Of Economy And Production, (v) 761/2010, 246/2013, 219/2015, 230/2015, all from the ex-National Directorate of Domestic Trade of the former Commerce Secretary of the ex-Ministry of Economy and Public Finances, (vi) 170/2016 and 172/2016, both from the ex-National Directorate of Domestic Trade of the former Interior Commerce Sub-Secretary of the ex-Commerce Secretary of the former Production Ministry.
The suspension of the obligation will be extended until June 15th 2020, a period that may be extended, if necessary or while the “preventive and obligatory social isolation” subsists.
The Secretary of the Small and Medium Industry with Resolution N° 52/2020, has decided to extend the validity of the MiPyMES Certificate’s whose expiry date takes place the last day of April 2020 or the last day of May 2020. This extension is until the last day of June 2020.
NATIONAL AGENCY OF CONTROLED MATERIALS. NATIONAL DIRECTION OF REGISTRY AND NATIONAL DIRECTION OF AUDIT, SAFEGUARD AND DESTRUCTION OF CONTROLED MATERIALS.
The Joined Disposition N° 1/2020 states that the mentioned agency will start its custom services on April 27th 2020. However, they will adapt the shift system.
ANNUAL ENVIRONMENTAL CERTIFICATES AND ANNUAL AFFIDAVIT.
The Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, through Resolution N° 93/2020, extended until April 30th 2020 the validity of the Annual Environmental Certificates granted to Carriers and Operators of Dangerous and Pathogenic Residues (National Law N° 24.051) that had operated from March 1st 2020 and because their activities are reached by Decree N° 297/2020. On the other hand, the same norm established that during the validity of the mandatory isolation, the obtaining of manifests for the transport of hazardous waste must be carried out in person, following the guidelines stated by the Resolution.
Subsequently, on April 24th 2020, the Resolution N°131/2020 of the Ministry of Environment and Sustainable Development, was published. This norm stated an extension on the presentation of the affidavit for the obligated industrial establishments until July 31st 2020.
ABROAD SALES AFFIDAVITS
Resolution N° 36/2020 of the Ministry of Agriculture, Farming and Fisheries (posted on the Official Gazette´s special supplement on March 20th 2020) exceptionally extends for 30 calendar days from March 12th 2020 the terms of the Affidavits of Abroad Sales (DJVE) that are registered and in force within the regime of Laws N° 21.453 and 26.351, including those that have been registered with a validity period of 30 days. This Extension will not be applicable to those DJVEs that have been registered as of March 12th, 2020.
NATIONAL SERVICE OF HEALTH AND QUALITY FOOD INDUSTRY HABILITATIONS.
Through Resolution Nº 295/2020 of March 28th, the National Service of Health and Quality of Food Industry extended until July 31st 2020, the expiration of some allotments and registries. Hereunder we will proceed to mention them as:
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF INDUSTRIAL TECHNOLOGY.
By Resolution N° 7/2020, the institute aforementioned has suspended the course of interest accrued and/or payable obligations generated by services rendered by the National Institute of Industrial Technology. It should be highlight that the institute offer more than 1.200 services for all the industry sectors (food, construction and infrastructure, electronics and energy, mechanics and logistic, chemistry and environment, sectorial services and management and knowledge technologies. Therefore, the suspension of the course of interests that have accrued or are accrued for the various obligations generated by such services rendered by the Institute is applicable as of March 20th 2020 (date of the beginning of the isolation). Considering the extension of the SPMI, the suspension of interest was extended until April 26th 2020 by Resolution N° 10/2020. Then Resolution N° 13/2020, extended it until May 10th 2020 and subsequently until May 24th 2020 by Resolution N° 15/2020 (published on May 20th 2020) and finally until June 7th 2020, through Resolution N° 16/2020 issued on June 8th 2020.
AUTONOMOUS CITY OF BUENOS AIRES
As a consequence of the health emergency, modality of distance procedures for costumers’ services had to be implemented. Also, in order to prevent people from commuting and spreading the infection, deadlines have been extended.
The web site (https://www.buenosaires.gob.ar/coronavirus/nueva-modalidad-de-atencion-al-publico-ante-la-emergencia-sanitaria detailed everything related to the extensions and new modalities for each procedure.
PROVINCE OF BUENOS AIRES
Given the current Health Emergency situation, the Government of the Province of Buenos Aires, decided to apply the use of virtual and long-distance communication and work channels and to extend some deadlines as well with the purpose of preventing the circulation of people on the streets and governmental headquarters. The details about the measures can be found at the web site: https://www.gba.gob.ar/servicios
MEASURES RELATED TO DATA PROTECTION
The Administrative Decision N° 431/2020 was published on March 23rd 2020 as a way to regulate everything related to data and information. In order to protect public health, the norm provides that data and information registered on the files, registries, bases, data banks or related, can be transmitted, transferred, or exchanged by the competence of the respective organisms or jurisdictions. This will be allowed during the pandemic COVID-19 within the framework of the health emergency and must be supervised by the “General Coordination Unit of the Comprehensive Plan for the Prevention of Internationally Importance Public Health Events”
Of course, the norm adds that provisions for protection of personal and sensitive data must be followed at every moment, not allowing them to be disseminated, transmitted nor transferred outside the jurisdictions, entities and organisms of the National Public Administration, within the framework of the Protection of Personal Data Law and always respecting the principles, rights and actions emerging from it.