The Parliament approved a bill on a new Act on Investment Companies and Investment Funds (AICIF). Given that the bill’s content primarily represents the transposition of European directives on collective investment and the deadline for their incorporation into Czech law is 22 July 2013, we can expect a relatively quick legislative process ending with the bill’s approval by the President.

The bill replaces Act No. 189/2004 Coll. on collective investment, as amended, and as such is the third comprehensive tax law since 1989.

According to the explanatory memorandum, the bill should, inter alia, reflect the approach taken by other European countries. The UCITS IV, UCITS V and AIFMD directives and the national laws of Luxembourg, Germany, Great Britain and Ireland were used as models.

The law should introduce major new items into Czech law, primarily in the area of permissible legal forms of investment funds. While current law only provides for the use of a joint stock company and unit trust, the new law expands this list to include a trust fund, a joint stock company with variable capital and a limited partnership with investment certificates. However, the AICIF ties application of the provisions on these new legal forms to the effectiveness of the new Civil Code and Business Corporations Act.

The treatment of the trust fund, which was introduced into Czech law by the new Civil Code, deviates in some respects from this regulation for the purposes of the AICIF. This primarily applies to the matter of foundation, which is possible only by contract, and the matter of statutes, to which a special treatment pursuant to the AICIF applies and excludes the Civil Code treatment.