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Basics of Mongolia Unemployment Insurance

Right to get unemployment compensation

The employee or insurer is entitled to get the compensation if employee were paying the unemployment insurance fees 24 months before he or she get unemployed and moreover employee must be paid the insurance 9 months continuously.  If insurer or employee get unemployment compensation previously, then they must be paid the unemployment insurance fee for 12 months, in this occasion, they are eligible to obtain the compensation. 

Compensation amount

Compensation will be granted considering the period of employee has been paid the insurance and the compensation will be provided as a percentage of below amount of last 3 months’s average salary or equivalent amount of payment. 

Work period of paid insurance Percentage of compensation
Until 5 years 45%
5-10 years 60%
10-15 years 60%
Above 15 years 70%

Minimum standard of compensation is no less than minimum wage of 75 percentage.

Employee or insurer is obliged to register the unemployment with 14 days after completed the handover work with employer, if there is reasonable reason for employee for the delay, it should be registered in 3 months with employment department or social insurance organization.

Employment department or social insurance organization will make a decision whether to grant compensation or not within 14 days after receiving the application and relevant document

The compensation will be granted to the employee or insurer within 76 working days after the registration of unemployment.  The employment department or social insurance organization will calculate the compensation and pay it up to two times per month.

Required documents to get the compensation

Following documents need to be collected in order to obtain the compensation:

  1. Application
  2. Social Insurance Book
  3. Termination order by employer

Reduction for the unemployment insurance

If employer or insurer has not been taken or obtained any compensation from unemployment insurance fund in 5 years, following year’s insurance fee will be reduced by 10 percentage. If employer and insurer continually meeting the above requirement, the reduction will be increased by 10 percentages, but it should not be exceeded 50 percentages. 

Bank Guarantee – a Trade Finance Tool

In one of our previous articles we wrote about a letter of credit, a trade finance tool that is most commonly used in international trade. In this article we will discuss about another trade finance tool – a bank guarantee.

A bank guarantee is a type of guarantee from a lending institution, usually banks. A bank guarantee means a bank ensures that the liabilities of a debtor (buyer) will be met. In other words, if the debtor fails to settle a debt, the bank will cover it.

A bank guarantee and a letter of credit are similar in many ways but they are two different things. Letters of credit ensure a transaction proceeds as planned, while bank guarantees reduce the loss if the transaction doesn’t go as planned. While letters of credit are used mostly in international trade agreements, bank guarantees are often used in real estate contracts and infrastructure projects.

Bank guarantees represent a more significant contractual obligation for banks than letters of credit. A bank guarantee, like a letter of credit, guarantees a sum of money to a beneficiary. However, unlike a letter of credit, the sum is only paid if the opposing party does not fulfill the stipulated obligations under the contract. This can be used to essentially insure a buyer or seller from loss or damage due to nonperformance by the other party in a contract.

There are different kinds of bank guarantees, including direct and indirect guarantees. Banks typically use direct guarantees in foreign or domestic business, issued directly to the beneficiary. The term direct guarantee applies when the bank’s security does not rely on the existence, validity and enforceability of the main obligation. Individuals often choose guarantees for international and cross-border transactions, which can be more easily adapted to foreign legal systems and practices due to not having form requirements. Indirect guarantees occur most often in the export business, especially when government agencies or public entities are the beneficiaries of the guarantee.

Banks, since they are agreeing to take on risk, thoroughly screen buyers interested in bank guarantee. After the bank has determined that the buyer is a reasonable risk, a monetary limit is placed on the agreement. The bank agrees to be obligated up to, but not exceeding, the limit. This protects the bank by providing a specific threshold of risk. Creditworthy buyers are then issued a bank guarantee.

Alternative Dispute Resolution: Mongolian Approach to Mediation

Mediation a method of alternative dispute resolution parties to any agreement should consider, aside from arbitration. Mediation is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party. Unlike arbitration, which takes a form more similar to trial, mediation doesn’t involve decision making by the neutral third party, but seeks to find a mutually acceptable resolution or compromise between the parties. Mediation procedures can be initiated by the parties or may be compelled by legislation, the courts, or contractual terms. When parties are unwilling or unable to resolve a dispute, one good option is to turn to mediation. Mediation is generally a short-term, structured, task-oriented, and “hands-on” process.

In Mongolia the institution of mediation was established by adoption of the Law on Mediation in 2012. Pursuant to Law, mediation may be used in civil legal disputes, individual labor disputes and disputes arising from family relationships, and in some other disputes only if specified by law.

In mediation, the disputing parties work with a neutral third party, the mediator, to resolve their disputes. The mediator facilitates the resolution of the parties’ disputes by supervising the exchange of information and the bargaining process. The mediator helps the parties find common ground and deal with unrealistic expectations. The mediator may also offer creative solutions and assist in drafting a final settlement. The role of the mediator is to interpret concerns, relay information between the parties, frame issues, and define the problems. Unlike the litigation process or arbitration, where a neutral third party (judge or arbitrator) imposes a decision over the matter, the parties and their mediator ordinarily control the mediation process – deciding when and where the mediation takes place, who will be present, how the mediation will be paid for, and how the mediator will interact with the parties.

A mediator is a specialized person, who is certified and registered in the list of mediators. Anyone with higher education may attend training courses for mediators and become a certified and registered mediator. However, currently most certified and registered mediators are usually lawyers or persons with certain legal or economic background. Law on Mediation provides presence of mediation centers at courts of first instance. Law also permits government authorities, NGOs and professional associations to have medication centers in accordance with their direction of professional activity, provided that certified and registered mediators are employed.

New Law Needed to Protect Internet Domain Names as Intellectual Property

Many companies wish to utilize a national top level domain in their online “URL” to indicate that the company, and products or services offered are local to a specific country. For example, a Mongolian company may utilize “.mn” to indicate to the world it is based in Mongolia, while an international company may establish a separate “.mn” website to target the Mongolia market.

Datacom LLC, a Mongolian company, holds the right to issue “.mn” domain name and has been doing so since 1996. Also, Erdemnet issues “edu.mn” domain name for educational organizations and National Data Center issues “gov.mn” domain name for government organizations.

Currently, there is a domain name registration system operated by the the National Data Center. However, there are many violations of the domain registration process because there is no legislation regarding registration and use of domain names in Mongolia. Many in the Mongolia IT sector have advocated for such a law as it is required to establish the legal basis for registering, possessing and using domain names. Having such law is also critical to avoid and mitigate potential for intellectual property rights infringement.

Illegal circulation of intellectual property in the internet or electronic environment is widespread. In particular, copyright ingringement, namely the music and film are widely copied illegally and available online.

Both the General Authority for Intellectual Property and the State Registration and Communications Regulatory Commission of Mongolia fight againt the copyright’s infringement in the internet and have authority to shut down the domain names which are found to use or make available intellectual property without constant of the owners. However, there is a continous cycle in which a site which finds it’s domain name shut-down quickly re-openeds and posts copyrighted contend under a new domain name. A formal domain name law would help to stop this process.

The Mongolian Parliament adopted the Resolution /No.11/, “List of Laws and Regulations need to be updated by 2020” on 12 January, 2017. According to the resolution, Law on Domain Names is scheduled to be enacted in the near future.

Franchising in Mongolia: Licensing your IP

This is the third part of our look at the uses of intellectual property in Mongolian franchises. You can find the first part here, and the second part here. We will discuss the use of licensing agreements as part of franchise IP management.

While in general, franchisors do own their intellectual property, this is not always strictly the case. In many franchise businesses, trademarks and other intellectual property elements may instead be owned by a parent company or even an affiliated company. In such cases, intellectual property is usually licensed from the legal entity that owns it to the franchisor, which then has the right to sell franchises and sub-license the use of intellectual property to the franchisees.

If the franchise agreement has been properly drafted, then this licensing/sub-licensing relationship between parent company or affiliated entity and the franchisor will be reflected in the wording of the agreement. There are quite a few places in a franchise agreement where special care must be given to properly set out who actually owns trademarks and other intellectual property if the franchisor itself is not their owner.

Pursuant to the Law on Trademarks and Geographical Indications, any licensing agreement is subject to state registration with intellectual property authority, otherwise such licensing agreement is deemed invalid.

Whenever someone uses, without permission, a trademark (sometimes even a trade dress) that is the same as or confusingly similar to that of a franchise system, that is a case of trademark infringement. It is becoming increasingly common to find the look, feel and design of one franchise business being copied elsewhere. In some of these cases, there is clearly an intent to pass off the copycat operation as a franchise.

A strong franchise system depends on a strong brand and must therefore protect its trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets and trade dress. For these reasons, franchisors need to spend a lot of time, attention and money to maintain, improve and protect their intellectual property. Their franchisees, in turn, will benefit from a strong protection strategy, as it ensures the rights for which they have paid, over the stated term.

Mongolia Deliberates Major Tax Revamp

Under the leadership and coordination of the Ministry of Finance, consultations on the Ministry’s proposed tax amendments started on March 5. The first session was held with business sector representatives regarding tax law reforms and amendments at the Mongolian National Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Ministry of Finance is conducting a public discussion on revising 24 tax-related laws, including General Taxation Law of Mongolia, Laws on Corporate Tax, Personal Income Tax and Value Added Tax, in order to hear voices of taxpayers and collect best proposals from the relevant parties. The Government noted that no fundamental changes and revisions were made to tax laws in the last decade and the taxation law ‘package’ was created to improve tax environment and decrease some taxes. The taxpayers expect favorable environment from this tax reform.

According to the proposed tax law amendment, if the annual revenue of enterprises operating in Mongolia is lower than MNT 1.5 billion, the government will return 90 percent of paid taxes. Furthermore, small and medium sized enterprises which have MNT 50 million of annual revenue, will be able to pay only one percent tax from sale revenue. The proposed amendments would also reduce the number of reports required from SMEs. Companies with an annual income of over three billion MNT would be required to issue tax reports four times a year, and those with less than three billion MNT in annual income would be required to file reports twice per year. The amendments include major changes to the VAT law.

The proposed amendments expect to be discussed and voted on during the spring parliamentary session and, if approved, will come into force on  January 1, 2019.

Switzerland Aids Mongolian Small-Scale Artisanal Mining

The Sustainable Artisanal Mining (SAM) Project started in 2005 and built on Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation’s (SDC) experience in Artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) projects in Ecuador, Bolivia, and Peru. Since 2005, the SAM Project has been contributing to the organization and formalization of Mongolian ASM sector, advocating for environmentally sound mining practices and raising awareness amongst stakeholders on responsible ASM. The SAM Project has been implemented in four Phases, so far, with goals and aims to develop an economically sustainable, environmentally responsible and human rights-based ASM sector in Mongolia benefiting from and contributing to, global best practice regarding ASM. Phase 1 of the SAM Project aimed to develop ASM as a motor for sustainable rural development under an integrated sustainable resource management by the Government of Mongolia. Goal of Phase 2 was to support ASM to create favorable conditions and structures for the ASM sector so that its contributions to socio-economic development based on the careful use of natural resources in selected areas will increase. Phase 3 secured the recognition of ASM as a formal sub-sector contributing to Mongolia’s economic development. Phase 4 of the SAM Project seeks to transform Mongolia into an international knowledge hub for ASM best practice. In Phase 4 of the SAM Project, SDC initiated and funded the development of ASM Knowledge Hub, a web-based platform, opening ceremony for which was held on March 1, 2018. The ASM Knowledge Hub is a web-based interactive platform, which will provide active exchange and distribution of ASM information and connect ASM actors and knowledge contributors in Mongolia as well as with global ASM stakeholders. The platform features latest news and updates in ASM sector and provides information on upcoming events regarding the sector. Visit ASM Knowledge Hub at www.asmhub.mn for various articles, studies, researches and publications produced by ASM stakeholders.

Mongolia Set to revise Labor Law

A recent meeting of the Cabinet reviewed and discussed a proposed draft of amendments to the Labor Law. It was decided by the Cabinet that the proposed amendments will be submitted to Parliament to be formalized in law, along with the addition of some proposals from Cabinet members.

The Labor Law was ratified in 1999 and has been amended several times since. The law governs employment relationships within Mongolia. The Law and sets standards as to health and safety requirements, minimum wage levels, maximum hours of work, collective employment agreements and bargaining and resolution of employment disputes. The law prohibits employment discrimination on the grounds of social or property status, race, color or nationality, sex, religion or political views as well as unwritten contracts of employment.

The latest changes introduced via the Amendment Law on 21 April, 2017 provide detailed regulations regarding previously unclear provisions of the Labour Law, such as probationary periods, internship/apprenticeship periods, and part-time employment. The amendment also increased the level of fines for violations of the Labour Law by employers, in order to ensure the protection of employees’ basic rights.

The working group which drafted the current proposed amendments believe that a number of the law’s articles are outdated and don’t meet the needs of the modern labor environment. The newly proposed amendments seek to cover relations between employers and employees, clarifying rights and obligations. The amendments also include articles that would place restrictions on the employment of minors, workplace discrimination, establishing employment agreements without time constraints for permanent employment, part-time employment regulations, remote working regulations, basing salaries on skills and abilities, annual vacation requirements, and new regulations for vacation days for mining sector employees who work far from home for extended periods.

Lehmanlaw Mongolia LLP will be update further progress of the amendments to the Law on Labour in timely.

Using Customs Seizure to Stop Import of Infringing Products to Mongolia

Our firm’s Mongolian intellectual property lawyers have seen a lot of inquires in recent months from clients seeking assistance regarding counterfeit products which were being sold in Mongolia.

There are several mechanisms our Mongolian lawyers recommend to deal with counterfeit products in Mongolia.  One of the most important of these is utilizing Customs to restrict entry of counterfeit products or goods infringing registered trademarks from entering Mongolia.

This works by seizing infringing goods at Customs upon attempted entry into Mongolia. Before this may be done, the authentic goods bearing a validly registered Mongolian Trademark must be registered with Customs.

This registration process is relatively easy, requiring documentation of the registered trademarks, basic information regarding the trademark owner, a description of the products, and a list of items requested to be reviewed and protected by Customs. Our Mongolian lawyers will walk you through the process. The review procedure will talk approximately 30 days from the date of submission of the application, after which, the registered information will be forwarded to Customs entry points around Mongolia.

A written request for seizure of infringing goods, must be submitted along with a small cash deposit or bank guarantee. The customs office prefers having the deposit to avoid incurring any damages to importer before starting examination of infringing goods based on the original goods with customs registration.

Our Mongolian lawyers and clients have found such Customs seizures to be effective at blocking incoming shipments of infringing products. However it is important to note the applicant seeking to block the shipments must have a valid, registered Mongolian trademark in order to support such action by Customs.

Mongolia to Amend Law on Patents

Law on Patent was adopted initially in 1993 to facilitate the legalization of the ownership rights of the industrial design, the patent, the utility models and the certificate holders; to regulate relations arising out of their use; and to facilitate them into economic circulation. The Law on Patent was amended in 1996, 1999 and revised in 2006 in connection with social and economic reform.

With the development of technological developments, innovation of Industrial designs, utility model and patent and their scope of applications are growing rapidly.

Thus, innovators and entrepreneurs are keen to produce value-added products, as well as to focus on foreign markets and business development.

In Mongolia, the number of patent applications is steadily increasing, with 70% of 1555 applications filed for patent the last 6 years (2010-2016), 94% of 1817 applications for industrial designs, and 80% of 1065 applications for utility models have been issued.

Patents grant with exclusive rights in the territory. In Mongolia, 16 patents were filed under Patent Cooperation Agreement in 2008-2016

However, in practice, the enforcement of laws is inadequate due to failure of regulations that need to be regulated by law, conflicting regulations, as well as renewing needs to meet with international treaties in which Mongolia ratified.

In other words, there is only one standard regulated by laws regardless the difference between the 3 objects of the invention, the industrial design and the utility model, regulation in connection with the filing and examination process is not appropriate in practice, as well as the use of a compulsory license of the patent that violates the rights of the owners. In addition, there is no financial support, tax and fee discount policy that supports creators, and the process of international application relating to the patent regulated by laws do not meet the standards and requirements of international agreements ratified by Mongolia.

Guidelines for improvement Mongolian legislations until 2020 states that the Patent Law is aimed at improving the protection of patents based on global trends and agreements with World Intellectual Property Organization based on the views of the World Intellectual Property Organization.

In addition, the Government’s Action Plan for the 2016-2020 was obliged to the Ministry of Justice and Home Affairs in order to draft a law on amendments to the Patent Law to submit to the State Great Hural.

As a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization, Mongolia obliges to comply with the fundamental principles set forth in international treaties and conventions which ratified.

Law on Patent expects to be amended based on abovementioned requirements.