In light of the pandemic crisis caused by the COVID-19, Brazilian Officials have sought to enact emergency measures to minimize its impact on regular business practices. One of the latest efforts is Bill 1,179/2020.
On April 3, 2020 Brazil’s Federal Senate approved Bill 1,179/2020, to establish that:
- Corporate acts such as Board meetings and shareholders meetings can be held remotely.
- The effects of the pandemic are equivalent to the fortuitous event of force majeure, but they do not abrogate obligations due before the recognition of the pandemic.
- Implementation of Law 13,709/2018 (“Brazilian General Data Protection Law” or “LGPD”) is postponed so as not to burden companies in the face of the enormous technical economic difficulties arising from the pandemic.
The Bill will now be considered by Brazil’s Federal House of Representatives and, given the nature of this Bill, the House is expected to consider and vote on its contents within the next week.
If enacted, the Bill will come into force immediately, postponing implementation of the LGPD until January 1, 2021 (instead of the currently planned August 15, 2020 implementation deadline). In addition, the Bill would delay applicability of administrative sanctions (e.g., fines amounting to 2% of a company’s revenues in Brazil for the prior financial year) under the LGPD until August 1, 2021. It is noteworthy that, even though the Bill would specifically delay LGPD’s administrative sanctions until August 1, 2021, prosecutors and individuals would be able to bring lawsuits against companies under Brazil’s Consumer Rights Law, Internet Law, or Civil Code in case of any LGPD violations once the LGPD is implemented due to its indemnification provisions. Where such lawsuits are brought, the potential penalties are based on civil liability principles.