Italy: Italian Government Introduces Measures To Stimulate Real Estate Market

On September 12, 2014, the Italian Council of Ministries enacted Law Decree no. 133 ("Sblocca Italia" (the "Law Decree")). The Law Decree entered into force on September 13, 2014, the day immediately following its publication in the Italian Official Gazette.1

The Law Decree contains, inter alia, a set of measures to promote the Italian real estate market.

In particular, it has introduced (i) several amendments to the current regime applicable to listed real estate investment companies, and (ii) a deregulation of commercial property leases.

The amendments to the current regime applicable to listed real estate investment companies ("Società di Investimento Immobiliari Quotate or "SIIQs"), i.e., the Italian vehicles that resemble real estate investment trusts ("REITs") are intended to incentivize investment in these instruments. The changes can be summarized as follows:

  • Revision of requirements to qualify as SIIQs;
  • Introduction of lighter investment management criteria; and
  • Harmonization of the tax regime applicable to SIIQs and to Italian real estate investment funds with the goal to erase any mismatch between the tax regime applicable to SIIQs and the one applicable to Italian real estate investment funds.

The Law Decree deregulates commercial property leases with an annual rent higher than €150,000, which exceeds the mandatory provisions of Law no. 392 of July 27, 1978 (the "Tenancy Law"). The goal is to make Italian property lease agreements more attractive by implementing regulations with flexibility similar to that found in other European Union ("EU") member states.

Real Estate Investment Companies

SIIQs were originally introduced in the Italian legal context by Law no. 296 of December 27, 2006 (the "2007 Italian Budget Law"). However, various constraints contained in the original legal framework have impaired the growth and development of SIIQs. The Law Decree introduces certain changes to the SIIQ regime in order to grow the instrument in the Italian market. An overview of the SIIQ regime following the enactment of the changes set forth by the Law Decree follows.

Requirements to be Eligible for the SIIQ Regime

SIIQs must be formed as joint-stock companies, and their shares must be listed on a regulated stock exchange of a European Union member state.2 They must be domiciled for income tax purposes in Italy or in another EU member state.3 In the latter case, the SIIQ regime applies to the Italian permanent establishment of a non-Italian resident to the extent that its main activity consists of the leasing of real estate assets, also through the investment in nonlisted real estate companies (Società di investimento immobiliare non quotate or "SIINQs") (see "Nonlisted Real Estate Companies," below).

No shareholder can own, directly or indirectly, more than 60 percent of the voting rights or have right to more than 60 percent of the company's profits.4 At least 25 percent of the shares must be owned by shareholders who do not own, directly or indirectly, more than 2 percent of the voting rights nor have the right to more than 2 percent of the company's profits.5

The SIIQ's main business must be the leasing of real estate assets. The requirement is met if both an asset test and a profit test are satisfied. In particular:

  • Asset test. At least 80 percent of the value of the company's assets must be represented by (i) real estate assets intended to be leased; (ii) shares/equity interests—other than those held for trading—in other SIIQs or SIINQs; and (iii) units in Italian qualified real estate funds ("Italian Qualified RE Funds") (see "Tax Treatment of SIIQs," below).
  • Profit test. At least 80 percent of the company's total income in each tax year must derive from (i) the lease of real estate assets; (ii) capital gains from the transfer of such real estate assets; (iii) dividends paid out of profits relating to leasing activities by other SIIQs or SIINQs;6 and (iv) proceeds distributed by Italian Qualified RE Funds.7

SIIQs must keep separate accountings for leasing activity and their other businesses, disclosing the relevant criteria of allocation of general costs and of other items. In addition, there are no set debt/equity ratios under the law.

The law does not provide for minimum capital requirements that specifically apply to SIIQs without any prejudice to the provisions on joint-stock companies provided for by the Italian Civil Code.8 Nevertheless, the regulation of the Italian stock exchange (Regolamento dei Mercati Organizzati e gestiti da Borsa Italiana S.p.A.) provides that real estate investment companies—including SIIQs—must have a prospective market capitalization equal to €40 million and an appropriate floating regime that is presumed to be met if the SIIQ's shares are held by professional and/or nonprofessional investors in an amount equal to 35 percent of the overall outstanding shares.

Tax Treatment of SIIQs

SIIQs are exempt from both the Italian corporate income tax ("IRES") and the regional tax on production activities ("IRAP") on profits arising from:

  • The leasing of real estate assets;
  • Capital gains and capital losses on the disposal of real estate assets intended to be leased;
  • Dividends paid out of profits relating to leasing activity by other SIIQs and SIINQs;
  • Capital gains and capital losses on the disposal of shares/equity interests in other SIIQs and SIINQs;
  • Proceeds arising from investments in Italian real estate funds that invest at least 80 percent of their gross asset value into (i) real estate assets, rights in rem on real estate assets, including those arising from lease contracts with a transferral nature as well as from license relationships ("rapporti concessori") and interest in real estate companies, and (ii) other real estate investment funds leasing their real estate assets, including social housing real estate investment funds;9 and
  • Capital gains and capital losses on the disposal of units in Italian Qualified RE Funds ("exempt business").

Income arising from other sources ("taxable business") is subject to standard 27.5 percent IRES and IRAP generally levied at 3.5 percent.

With regard to joint-stock companies resident in other EU member states with a permanent establishment in Italy, the law provides that a 20 percent tax is levied on the business income that the Italian permanent establishment of the EU company derives from the leasing of real estate assets.

Nonlisted Real Estate Companies

The SIIQ tax regime also applies to SIINQs, nonlisted real estate companies, if the following conditions are met:

  • They are based in Italy for income tax purposes;
  • Their main business is the leasing of real estate assets;
  • They are 95 percent owned by a SIIQ (or, jointly, by more than one SIIQ);10 and
  • They opt for the SIIQ regime and for the domestic tax consolidation regime together with the controlling SIIQ.

Taxation Upon Option for the SIIQ Regime

Unrealized capital gains on real estate assets that are held to be leased are deemed to be realized at the time the company opts for the SIIQ tax regime. The SIIQ can:

  • Pay a 20 percent substitutive tax on the unrealized capital gain. The payment of this tax can be spread over a period of five years; or
  • Include the whole amount of the unrealized capital gain in its taxable base under the ordinary tax rules.11

The SIIQ may elect to apply the 20 percent substitutive tax also to the unrealized capital gains on real estate assets held for sale (and, therefore, not covered by the SIIQ tax regime) in order to obtain a step-up in the tax value of such assets.

The new tax value (i.e., the market value) becomes effective for IRES purposes on the fourth tax year following the year during which the election is made.12,13

Mandatory Dividend Distributions

SIIQs must distribute to their shareholders at least 70 percent of the net profits of the exempt business to the extent that such profits relate to the holding of real estate assets, shares/equity interests in other SIIQs and SIINQs, and units in Italian Qualified RE Funds.

Capital gains arising from the disposal of (i) real estate assets; (ii) investments in SIIQs and SIINQs; and (iii) units in Qualified Italian RE Funds must be distributed:

  • For an amount equal to 50 percent, in lieu of the 70 percent threshold; and
  • Within the two tax years following the tax year during which the capital gain has been realized.

Tax Treatment of the SIIQ's Shareholders

Dividends. A 26 percent withholding tax14 is levied on the dividends paid to the SIIQ's shareholders out of profits of the exempt business.

No withholding tax is levied on dividends paid to (i) other SIIQs; (ii) Italian undertakings of collective investment; (iii) Italian pension funds; and (iv) assets under management under Article 7 of Legislative Decree no. 461 of November 21, 1997 ("risparmio gestito").

The withholding tax is final if the SIIQ shares are held by nonbusiness individuals or by nonresidents without a permanent establishment in Italy. The Italian tax authorities have taken the view that the Parent-Subsidiary Directive does not apply to SIIQs. However, nonresidents can benefit from any available reduced rates provided for the applicable double tax treaties.

Dividends paid to Italian resident entrepreneurs (individuals or companies) are subject to a withholding tax on account and then are fully included in the taxable base of the taxpayer.

Capital Gains. The Italian participation exemption does not apply to the capital gains realized upon disposal of SIIQ shares.

Capital gains realized by Italian resident entrepreneurs, Italian business partnerships, Italian resident companies, and permanent establishments of non-Italian residents are fully included in the IRES taxable base of such persons.

In respect of shares held by (i) resident individuals (different from entrepreneurs) or (ii) nonresident individuals or companies without permanent establishment in Italy, the regime changes depending on whether the shares represent a qualified participation or not. An equity interest in the share capital of a listed company is deemed to be a qualified participation if it exceeds 5 percent of the company's share capital or 2 percent of the voting rights in the shareholders' meeting of the company.

If the SIIQ shares represent a qualified participation, capital gains upon their disposal are fully taxed if owned by Italian resident individuals and are subject to Italian personal income tax ("IRPEF," currently levied at rates ranging from 23 percent to 43 percent).15 An exemption may be available for nonresident individuals or companies (without a permanent establishment) under double tax treaties.

Conversely, if the SIIQ shares do not represent a qualified participation, capital gains realized by Italian resident individuals are subject to a 26 percent capital gain tax. In this case, Italy does not tax the capital gain if it is realized by nonresident individuals or companies (without a permanent establishment in Italy.)16

Contribution of Real Estate Assets into a SIIQ

Income Taxes and IRAP. As a rule, contributions of real estate assets into companies are treated as sales of real estate assets for IRES, IRPEF, and IRAP purposes. In other words, they represent a realization event. This means the contributing company (or the contributing individual) is taxed on any capital gain.

The SIIQ regime allows the contributing company or individual to pay a 20 percent capital gain tax in lieu of any IRES, IRPEF, or IRAP due. However, the contributing taxpayer may elect to subject the capital gain to IRES, IRPEF, or IRAP, as the case may be.

VAT and Other Indirect Taxes. As a rule, the contribution of business real estate assets is subject to 22 percent value added tax ("VAT"). Conversely, the contribution of residential real estate assets is subject to proportional registration tax.

As to indirect taxation, the SIIQ regime provides for the following tax benefits:

  • The contribution of a pool of real estate assets (regardless of whether business or residential) that are mainly leased is regarded as a contribution of a going concern for VAT purposes. Therefore, VAT does not apply, and registration and mortgage taxes are levied at the nominal amount of €200 each; and
  • Mortgage taxes on the contribution of single-business real estate assets are reduced to 2 percent.

Contribution to, and Assignment from, Italian Real Estate Funds. Should an Italian real estate fund, upon partial or total liquidation, assign to its unitholders shares in a SIIQ, such exchange does not give rise to any taxable capital gains, but the shares in the SIIQ must keep the same tax value of the units in the real estate funds. This rule applies provided that the units were originally issued as a consequence of contributions of real estate assets to the fund.

  • Contributions into a SIIQ by Italian real estate funds of a pool of real estate assets that are mainly leased are subject to €200 registration and mortgage taxes. The same tax treatment applies to the assignment, upon liquidation of the units of Italian real estate funds, of such pools of assets to SIIQs.

Regulatory Considerations

SIIQs do not qualify as undertakings for collective investments pursuant to the Legislative Decree February 24, 1998 no. 58 (the "Unified Financial Act"), and, therefore, SIIQs do not fall within the provisions set forth under the Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of June 8, 2011 on alternative investment fund managers as implemented in Italy. As a consequence, SIIQs do not need to be licensed by the Bank of Italy, the Italian supervisory authority with reference to collective portfolio management services, nor fall under the Bank of Italy's supervision as per matters of Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament, and of the Council of June 8, 2011 on alternative investment fund managers.

The provisions of the Unified Financial Act on public offerings of financial products and the rule books issued by the Italian stock exchange—including the envisaged regulation—apply in connection with the listing of a SIIQ on the Italian stock exchange (e.g., duty to draft a prospectus, approval of the prospectus by the competent Italian supervisory authorities, and listing requirements). Compliance with the provisions of the Unified Financial Act on public offerings as well as with the rule books issued by the Italian Stock Exchange must be analyzed in greater detail during the listing process of a SIIQ.

In the case of contributions of real estate assets by Italian real estate funds into existing SIIQs, the contributing Italian real estate fund is not required to launch a mandatory tender offer pursuant to Article 106 of the Unified Financial Act, provided that the SIIQ shares received by the fund in exchange for the real estate assets contributed are assigned to the fund's unitholders within 30 days from the relevant contribution required.

Summary Chart of the Previous Regime Versus the Revised Regime

Main changes Past regime prior to the Law Decree Revised regime following the Law Decree
Shareholdings No corporate shareholder can own, directly or indirectly, more than 51 percent of the voting rights or have right to more than 51 percent of the company's profits. No corporate shareholder can own, directly or indirectly, more than 60 percent of the voting rights or have right to more than 60 percent of the company's profits.
Floating shares percent Thirty-five percent of the shares must be owned by shareholders who do not own, directly or indirectly, more than 2 percent of the voting rights nor have the right to more than 2 percent of the company's profits. Twenty-fivepercent of the shares must be owned by shareholders who do not own, directly or indirectly, more than 2 percent of the voting rights nor have the right to more than 2 percent of the company's profits.
Asset test At least 80 percent of the value of the company's assets must be represented by:
  • Real estate assets intended to be leased; and
  • Shares/equity interests—other than those held for trading—in other SIIQs or SIINQs.
At least 80 percent of the value of the company's assets must be represented by:
  • Real estate assets intended to be leased;
  • Shares/equity interests—other than those held for trading—in other SIIQs or SIINQs; and
  • Units in Italian Qualified RE Funds.
Profit test At least 80 percent of the company's total income, in each tax year, must derive from:
  • The lease of real estate assets; and
  • Dividends paid out of profits relating to leasing activities by other SIIQs or SIINQs.
At least 80 percent of the company's total income, in each tax year, must derive from:
  • The lease of real estate assets;
  • Capital gains from the transfer of these real estate assets;
  • Dividends paid out of profits relating to leasing activities by other SIIQs or SIINQs; and
  • Proceeds distributed by Italian Qualified RE Funds.
Exempt business
  • The leasing of real estate assets; and
  • Dividends paid out of profits relating to leasing activity by other SIIQs and SIINQs.
  • The leasing of real estate assets;
  • Capital gains (and capital losses) on the disposal of real estate assets intended to be leased;
  • Dividends paid out of profits relating to leasing activity by other SIIQs and SIINQs;
  • Capital gains (and capital losses) on the disposal of shares/equity interests in other SIIQs and SIINQs;
  • Proceeds arising from investments into Italian Qualified RE Funds; and
  • Capital gains and capital losses on the disposal of units in Italian Qualified RE Funds.
Mandatory distribution SIIQs must distribute to their shareholders at least 85 percent of the net profits of the exempt business. SIIQs must distribute to their shareholders at least 70 percent of the net profits of the exempt business to the extent that such profits relate to the holding of real estate assets, shares/equity interests in other SIIQs and SIINQs, and units in Italian Qualified RE Funds.

Capital gains arising from the disposal of (i) real estate assets; (ii) investments in SIIQs and SIINQs; and (iii) units in Qualified Italian RE Funds must be distributed:
  • For an amount equal to 50 percent; and
  • Within the two tax years following the tax year during which the capital gain has been realized.

Deregulation of Commercial Property Leases

Italian Tenancy Law

Italian commercial property lease agreements are regulated by the Tenancy Law, which contains various mandatory provisions in favor of the tenant that may not be departed from. Any departure from the provisions to the benefit of the landlord, if challenged by the tenant, can be declared null and void and automatically replaced by the relative mandatory provision of the Tenancy Law.

Deregulation of Commercial Property Leases

The Law Decree allows the parties to a property lease agreement to depart from the mandatory provisions of the Tenancy Law in those agreements where the annual rent is greater than €150,000. As a result, large Italian property lease agreements now have the same type of flexibility as in other European markets.

Some of the main provisions of the Tenancy Law that were previously mandatory and now can be departed from in large property lease agreements include:

  • Minimum duration and renewal. Minimum duration is six years, with automatic renewal for additional minimum six-year periods at each expiration.
  • Exit rights. Landlords are not entitled to withdraw from a lease outside of expiration and, in any case, at the expiration of the first term, withdrawal is limited to where (i) it intends to occupy premises for its own use, or (ii) it intends to renovate the leased premises. The tenant is always entitled to withdraw from a lease in the case of so-called "serious reasons" ("gravi motivi").
  • Rental increases/indexation. Rent increases are capped at 75 percent of variation of the National Institute for Statistics ("ISTAT") index for leases having the minimum duration (i.e., 6 + 6 years), and capped at 100 percent of the variation of the ISTAT index for a lease that exceeds minimum duration.
  • Sublease and assignment of contract. The tenant retains the right to sublease or to assign the contract within the scope of the lease or the sale of the relevant going concern.
  • Registration costs. No more than 50 percent of contract registration costs are chargeable to the tenant.

With respect to lease agreements where the tenant is a retailer—i.e., carrying out an activity that involves direct contact with clients and consumers ("contatti diretti con il pubblico degli utenti e dei consumatori")—the following additional previously mandatory provisions of the Tenancy Law may now be departed from in large Italian property lease agreements without any prejudice to the considerations described above.

  • Goodwill indemnity. The tenant has the right to a goodwill indemnity equal to 18 times the annual rent, or 36 times the annual rent if the immediately subsequent re-letting (within 12 months) is to a tenant operating in same product category.
  • Preemption rights. The tenant has preemption rights in the case of the sale of the property, as well as re-letting of the property at the same terms and conditions of third-party purchasers or tenants.

Footnotes

[1] The Law Decree must be converted into law within 60 days from its publication in the Italian Official Gazette (i.e.,September 12, 2014); otherwise, it will cease to be effective and will be considered as if it had never entered into force. The Italian Parliament may carry out amendments to the Law Decree during its conversion process.

[2] Or of a European Economic Area member state allowing an adequate exchange of information.

[3] See note 2 above.

[4] If the 60 percent shareholding requirement is breached as consequence of corporate restructuring transactions or transactions made on the capital markets, the SIIQ regime is suspended until the shareholding requirement is reinstated.

[5] The shareholding requirements under 3 and 4 above must be met within the end of the first tax year in relation to which the election for the SIIQ regime is made, although the SIIQ regime applies starting from the beginning of that tax year. If at the end of the first tax year during which the election for the SIIQ tax regime is made only the 25 percent shareholding requirement is met, the 60 percent requirement can be fulfilled within the subsequent two tax years. In this case, and until the 60 percent requirement is met, (i) the SIIQ tax regime does not apply; and (ii) the company is subject to ordinary taxation. Once the 60 percent requirement is met, the SIIQ tax regime applies starting from the tax period during which the requirement is met.

[6] Provided, however, that the related shares are not held for trading and that the dividends are paid out of leasing activity profits (i.e., exempt profits).

[7] If the asset test and/or the profit test is not met for three consecutive tax years, then the ordinary tax regime applies starting from the beginning of the second tax year of such three-year period.

[8] In this regard, pursuant to Article 2327 of the Italian Civil Code—as recently amended by Article 20, paragraph 7 of Law Decree June 24, 2014 no. 91 ("Decreto Competitività ")—the minimum share capital of Italian joint-stock companies must be equal to €50,000, in lieu of the previous €120,000 threshold.

[9] The 26 percent withholding tax generally applicable to proceeds paid by the Italian real estate funds does not apply to the proceeds paid by Qualified Italian RE Funds to SIIQs.

[10] The controlling SIIQ (or the controlling SIIQs) must own at least 95 percent of the voting rights in the ordinary shareholders' meeting, and it must be entitled to at least 95 percent of the profits.

[11] In essence, the capital gain may be (i) fully included in the SIIQ's taxable base of the tax year when it arises or (ii) spread in equal installments over a period of up to five years, provided that the real estate assets have been owned by the company for at least three financial years prior to the option.

[12] In the event the real estate assets are sold before this date, the difference between the step-up and the tax book value of the real estate assets at the time of the option, net of depreciation installments calculated on such tax book value, is subject to the ordinary taxation. In this case, the taxpayer can set the 20 percent substitutive tax paid against the IRES due.

[13] The same rules apply to SIINQs that have opted for the special regime.

[14] The withholding tax is reduced to 15 percent with regard to dividends paid out of profits that derive from the leasing of residential properties in accordance with certain criteria laid down by local collective agreements, where applicable.

[15] A surcharge of 3 percent on incomes higher than €300,000.00 is provided.

[16] The transfer of the shares in SIIQs and SIINQs is, in principle, subject to, respectively, a 0.1 percent and a 0.2 percent financial transactions tax. For SIIQs with market capitalization lower than €500 million, an exemption is provided.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
Alessandro E. Corno
Francesca Tresoldi
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
 
Email Address
Company Name
Password
Confirm Password
Position
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Accounting
 Anti-trust
 Commercial
 Compliance
 Consumer
 Criminal
 Employment
 Energy
 Environment
 Family
 Finance
 Government
 Healthcare
 Immigration
 Insolvency
 Insurance
 International
 IP
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Litigation
 Media & IT
 Privacy
 Real Estate
 Strategy
 Tax
 Technology
 Transport
 Wealth Mgt
Regions
Africa
Asia
Asia Pacific
Australasia
Canada
Caribbean
Europe
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
U.K.
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration
Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:
  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.
  • Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.
    If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here
    If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here

    Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement

    Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

    Use of www.mondaq.com

    You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about Mondaq.com’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.

    Disclaimer

    Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

    The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.

    Registration

    Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

    • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
    • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
    • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

    Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

    Information Collection and Use

    We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

    We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to unsubscribe@mondaq.com with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

    Mondaq News Alerts

    In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.

    Cookies

    A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

    Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

    Log Files

    We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.

    Links

    This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

    Surveys & Contests

    From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.

    Mail-A-Friend

    If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.

    Emails

    From time to time Mondaq may send you emails promoting Mondaq services including new services. You may opt out of receiving such emails by clicking below.

    *** If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of services offered by Mondaq you may opt out by clicking here .

    Security

    This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to webmaster@mondaq.com.

    Correcting/Updating Personal Information

    If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to EditorialAdvisor@mondaq.com.

    Notification of Changes

    If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

    How to contact Mondaq

    You can contact us with comments or queries at enquiries@mondaq.com.

    If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at problems@mondaq.com and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.

    By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions