After more than a century and a half in force, the current Civil Code will be finally substituted. In fact, on August 1st, the new unified Civil and Commercial Code is bound to entry into force in Argentina. The new Code, approved by the Parliament in October 2014, is the result of a years’ long work. It’s a new system that is not exempt by controversial points and it implies a huge change into the present Argentinian legal system.

It has to be underlined that, for the first time in its history, the civil and commercial matters will be ruled by a unique legal framework, without any prejudice to other special regulations such as, for example, the Law on Commercial Companies and Financial Entities, and many others. The new code has been written by a Commission of Jurists before being preliminarily approved by the executive power and, later on, by the Parliament.

The main news that could be of interest for the enterprises are:

• Possibility to discharge an obligation in foreign currency with the equivalent in local currency. In the present system (in force since 1991) debts in foreign currency have to be discharged only with the same currency.

• The express regulation of the agreements written on standard form with non-negotiable clauses and the agreements with consumers. This regulation is complementary with the already existing consumer protection law.

• The unification of the agreements that, at the moment, can be civil or commercial, such as the sales, the lease, the loan, the caution and etc.

• The inclusion into the Code of some specific kind of agreements, at the moment regulated by specific acts such as: leasing, trust, associative agreements, franchising and arbitrate.

• The generic prescription term about obligations is shortened to five years. The legal actions, based on civil liabilities, will have a prescription term of 3 years.

• The possibility to create unipersonal companies, eliminating the requirement of a plurality of partners to create a commercial company.

Some of these changes require an adaptation process both for the legal operators and for the entrepreneurs. The correct implementation of the reform implies a conscious effort by the State, the Universities, the Professional Associations that shall permit the spread of the knowledge about the new regulation assuring a minimum standard of juridical safety, especially, with regards on still on going obligations.

News in cooperation with our Correspondent from Argentina.

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