MOROCCO BACKGROUND CHECK

General Information

GDP USD103.84bn (World ranking 61, World Bank 2013)
Population 33 million (World ranking 39, World Bank 2013)
Form of state Constitutional Monarchy
Head of government Abdelilah BENKIRANE
Next elections 2016, legislative (Chamber of Representatives)

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PRODUCTS IN MOROCCO

Data Protection

Contribution Details hajji & associés

Amin Hajji

Partner

Myriam Bennani

Partner

Law

Personal data protection is governed in Morocco by the Law n° 09-08 of 18 February 2009 relating to the protection of individuals with respect to the processing of personal data (the “Law”) and by its implementation Decree n° 2-09-165 of 21 May 2009 (“Decree”).

Definition of Personal Data

Personal data is defined by article 1.1 of the Law as any information of any nature and independently of its format, including the sound and images relating to an identified or identifiable individual, referred to in the Law as a “concerned individual.” A person is deemed identifiable when he or she can be identified directly or indirectly, especially by reference to an identification number or one or several specific elements of his or her physical, physiological, genetic, psychical, economic, cultural or social identity.

Definition of sensitive Personal Data

Sensitive data is defined by article 1.3 of the Law as “any information pertaining to a

“concerned individual” that reveals racial and ethnic origin, political, philosophical, religious

opinions or trade union affiliation, or that concern sex life or health, including the genetic data.

National Data Protection Authority

Commission national de Control de la Protection des Données à Character Personnel

(“cnDP”) (in English “National Control Commission for the Protection of Personal Data”)

Registration

The processing of personal data requires a prior notification to the CNDP.

The processing of sensitive data or of personal data that includes ID card numbers requires a prior authorization from the CNDP.

The prior notification or authorization application to the CNDP must specify, among other

things:

■     the purpose(s) of the processing;

■     the identity and the address of the data controller (ie the natural or legal person who determines the purpose and the means of the processing of the personal data and either implements such decisions itself or engages a data processor to implement them);

■     the possible connections between databases;

■     the personal data processed and the categories of persons about whom personal data are processed;

■     the time period for which the data will be retained;

■     the department or person(s) in charge of implementing the data processing;

■     the recipients or categories of recipients of the personal data; and

■     the measures taken to ensure the security of the processing. Additional specific security measures are required when processing sensitive data.

Data Protection Officers

No requirement to appoint a data protection officer

Collection and Processing

Any personal data must be processed consistently with the following general principles;

■     all personal data must be processed fairly and lawfully;

■     all personal data must be collected for specific, explicit and legitimate purposes and be subsequently processed in accordance with these purposes for which they are collected; and

■     all personal data must be accurate, comprehensive and, when necessary, kept up to date. The processing of personal data shall have received the individual’s consent or shall fulfill one

of the following conditions;

■     processing is required by law;

■     the purpose of the processing is to save the individual’s life;

■     the purpose of the processing is to carry out a public service;

■     the processing relates to the performance of a contract to which the concerned individual is a

party; or

■     the processing relates to achieving a legitimate interest of the data controller, balanced

against the interests and fundamental rights and liberties of the concerned individual.

Where sensitive personal data are processed, a different list of specific conditions applies. Indeed, the concerned individual must give his/her express consent for this processing unless the processing meet one of the following conditions;

■     the processing is necessary for the exercise of legal or statutory functions of the controller;

■     the processing is necessary to protect the vital interests of the concerned individual, and that the concerned individual is in physically or legally incapable to give his/her consent;

■     the processing relates to data made public by the concerned individual; or

■     the processing regards the recognition, exercise or defense of legal claims and is done

exclusively for this purpose.

The person from whom the personal data is collected must receive notice of:

■     the identity of the data controller and, if applicable, the data processor;

■     the purposes of the data processing; the recipients or categories of recipients of the data; and

■     the right to object, for a legitimate reason, to the collection of such data, the right to access

the collected data and the right to have the processed data rectified.

Transfer

The transfer of a data subject’s personal data to another country is allowed if the country provides a sufficient level of protection in relation to an individuals’ private life and fundamental rights and liberties. The sufficient nature of the protection is evaluated with regards to national laws and applicable security measures.

Data controllers may transfer personal data out of Morocco to countries that are not deemed to offer adequate protection if the transfer is necessary:

■     to safeguarding the individual’s life;

■     to safeguarding the public interest;

■     to comply with obligations relating to the recognition, exercise or defence of a legal right;

■     to the consultation of a public register intended to inform the public;

■     to the performance of a contract between the data controller and the individual, or pre-

contractual measures undertaken at the individual’s request; and

■     to the conclusion or the performance of a contract in the interest of the individual, between

the data controller and a third party.

Security

The entity processing the data must take all reasonable precautions with regard to the nature of the data and the risk presented by the processing, in order to preserve the security of the data and, among other things, to prevent third parties’ gaining unauthorised access to such data. Where sensitive data are processed, the law sets forth specific security requirements that must be followed.

A data processor may only process personal data based upon the instructions of the data controller. The data processor must provide sufficient guarantees in terms of security and confidentiality. However, the data controller remains liable for the processor’s compliance with these obligations.

Breach Notification

The Law does not set out any obligation to notify the CNDP or the concerned individual in the event of a data security breach.

Enforcement

The CNDP is responsible for enforcing the Law.

Violations of the obligations set forth in the Law are punishable as an administrative and/or criminal offence.

Article 50 to 64 of the Law makes it a violation for any person intentionally to:

■     fail to notify or seek CNDP’s authorization for data processing;

■     provide false information in the notification or in the applications for authorization for the

processing of personal data;

misappropriate or uses personal data in a manner incompatible with the purpose of the collection;

promote or carry an illegal collection of personal data; or

fail to comply with the obligations set forth in the Law or the Decree.

The above offences are punishable by a fine ranging from MAD 10,000 (approx. US$1,200) to

MAD 600,000 (approx. US$72,000) and/or imprisonment from three months to four years. In addition, where the offender is a legal entity, it may be subject to the following penalties:

■     partial seizure of its material goods;

■     seizure of objects and things whose production, use, carrying, holding or selling is an

offense; and

■     closure of the entity’s premises where the offense was committed.

Electronic Marketing

Article 10 of the Law provides that advertising/promotion via any electronic means (eg email, fax, SMS) is forbidden if the recipient has not affirmatively consented to it. However advertising and promotion are allowed when the data were collected directly from the recipient.

Unsolicited emails can only be sent without consent if:

■     The contact details were provided in the course of a sale;

■     The marketing relates to a similar product; and

■     The recipient was given a method to opt-out of the use of their contact details for marketing

when they were collected.

In addition, the Law also prohibits the use of automated calling systems without the consent of the recipient.

Direct marketing emails may not disguise or conceal the identity of the sender. SMS marketing is also likely to be included within this prohibition on email marketing.

The restrictions on marketing by email only apply to email marketing sent to individuals and not to email marketing sent to corporations.

Online Privacy (including cookies and Location Data)

The Law does not specifically address the collection of location and traffic data by public electronic communications services providers, or the use of cookies (or similar technologies).

Article 1 – The Prime Minister establishes a Central Agency of Prevention of Corruption, hereafter named the “Central Agency”

For the purpose of the present decree, corruption consists of all the acts related with the traffic of influence or the use of public power for private gain, as they are defined in the penal code.

Dispositions related to the Central Agency

Article 2 – The Central Agency shall co-ordinate, supervise, and assure the implementation of policies aiming to prevent corruption in the public sector as well as collect and publicise information about these policies.

To this end, the Central Agency is charged with:

– proposing to the government general policies related to preventing corruption, particularly involving co-operation in the fight against corruption between the public sector and the private sector,

– proposing measures of awareness raising among the public and organising information campaigns aiming at preventing corruption,

– contributing, in co-operation with the public administration and other concerned organisations, to the development of international co-operation in the area of preventing corruption,

– assuring the implementation and the evaluation of measures taken in order to implement government policy in the area of preventing corruption as well as addressing recommendations to the administration, public organisations, private enterprises, and other organisations which are involved in making policies related to preventing corruption,

– giving advice to administrative authorities about measures which can be taken to help prevent acts of corruption in the public sector,

– collecting all information related to corruption and managing such information in a database,

– informing the competent judicial authority about facts likely to constitute acts of corruption as defined and punished by the law.

Article 3 – The Central Agency shall be composed of a Plenary Assembly, an Executive Commission and a General Secretary.

The Central Agency shall be presided over by an individual known for his or her competence, experience and probity, nominated by the Prime Minister for a non-renewable period of 6 years.

Dispositions related to the Plenary Assembly

Article 4 – The Plenary Assembly shall be charged with:

– proposing to the government a national strategy for preventing corruption, as well as proposing mechanisms to adopt in order to reduce corruption,

– recommending to the private sector measures to take to prevent corruption,

– giving advice to administrative authorities about measures which are likely to prevent acts of corruption,

– defining the Executive Commission’s work programme,

– evaluating activities undertaken to prevent corruption

Article 5 – The Plenary Assembly, which shall be presided over by the president of the Central Agency shall consist of, besides Ombudsman (Wali-Al Madhalim):

I – a member designated by each of the government authorities changed with: foreign affairs, interior, justice, habous property and Islamic affairs, public finance, the secretary general of the government, agriculture and fishing, employment, education, equipment and transport, health, communication, public sector modernisation, commerce and industry, national defence, environment, housing and urban affairs.

II – a representative from each of the following professional organisations: the association of the order of Moroccan lawyers, the represent of the federation of chambers of commerce industry and services, the notorial chamber, the national order of adouls, national order of accounting experts, general confederation of moroccan enterprises, professional moroccan banking group, the trade unions most representing workers, the association the most representative among those cited in the second bullet point section of the III point thereafter, and the national union of the Moroccan press.

III. The following associated members: 13 members nominated by the prime minister as follows:

– six members of civil society chosen for their activity in the fight against corruption

– three members of the associations working in the area of preventing corruption

– four members chosen among researchers-teachers known for the competence in the area of the fight against corruption.

The members of the plenary assemble shall be named for a duration of 4 years, renewable only once.

The Plenary Assembly may also include within its membership any person who can contribute to its work.

Article 6 – The Plenary Assembly may be convoked by the government for any question related to corruption.

The Plenary Assembly shall present an annual report about its work in preventing corruption and progress on previous recommendations to the Prime Minister.

This report should consist of proposals made to the government about preventing corruption as well as include an evaluation of the actions taken.

The Plenary Assembly shall publicise this report and provide for its publication. The Plenary Assembly shall be responsible for sending a copy of the report to the Minister of Justice. The Plenary Assembly may also publish all studies, advice or proposals in relation to the prevention of corruption.

Article 7 – The Plenary Assembly shall meet at least two times per year or by the request of the majority of its members,

The president of the Central Agency shall establish the Plenary Assembly’s meeting agenda, in conformance with the objectives assigned to the Plenary Assembly as per article 2 above. The Central Agency’s president shall submit this agenda to the Plenary Assembly.

The Plenary Assembly shall be quorate when two-thirds of its members are present. The Plenary Assembly shall take decisions by the majority vote of present members. In case of a tie, the president’s vote decides the vote’s outcome. If the meeting is inquorate, the Plenary Assembly shall meet after one calendar month.

Dispositions related to the Executive Commission

Article 8 – the Executive Commission shall be in charge of implementing, under the authority of the Agency’s president, the tasks assigned to the Central Agency and shall assure the implementation of his or her decisions and recommendations.

To this end, the Executive Commission shall:

– centralise and process information related to acts of corruption brought to the attention of the Central Agency and inform the judicial authorities about these acts when these acts are likely to constitute acts of corruption punishable by law,

– establish and update a database related to corruption,

– develop actions which help co-ordination work aimed at preventing corruption between relevant administrative bodies,

– establish communication strategies and organise public awareness and information campaigns about preventing corruption.

Article 9 – The Executive Commission shall constitute, beside the president of the Central Agency, eight members chosen by the Plenary Assembly, in conformance with article 15 below.

The members of the Executive Commission shall include:

– four members designated by the government authorities defined in the first section of article 5 above,

– two members of the professional organisations mentioned in the second section of article 5 above,

– two members of the associations mentioned in the third section of article 5.

Dispositions related to the General Secretary

Article 10 – The president of the Central Agency shall be assisted by a Secretary General which shall be nominated by the Prime Minister.

The Secretary General shall manage, under the authority of the Central Agency president, the Central Agency’s administrative functions, and shall conduct any work required for the preparation and organisation of Central Agency’s work activities,

The Secretary General shall be responsible for the maintaining and storing Central Agency files and archives. He or she shall serve as the rapporteur during Plenary Assembly and Executive Commission sessions.

Final dispositions related to the Central Agency

Article 11 – in order to fulfil its legal obligations, the Central Agency’s president may call upon experts and external service providers.

Article 12 – regional or local commissions be created by the president of the Central Agency, as necessary, who determines its composition and attributes, after agreement by the Plenary Assembly.

Article 13 – the Central Agency’s personnel are all required to maintain the confidentiality of any acts of corruption and information in which acquire during the course of their work, except for information included in the annual report as required by article 6 of this decree.

Article 14 – the state administration and the administration of local collectivities must provide the Central Agency’s president, upon his or her demand and by the deadline he or she gives, any documents or information, in conformance with the legal dispositions and regulations in force.

Article 15- The Central Agency’s structure, activities and working procedures shall be determined by a regulation to be elaborated by the Plenary Assembly and submitted for the Prime Minister’s approval.

Article 16- The Central Agency’s finance for daily operations and equipment shall come from the budget of the Prime Minister’s office. The Central Agency’s president shall oversee and manage all Agency budgetary revenues and expenditures.

Article 17 – The present decree will be published in the Official Bulletin, executed in Rabat on the 13 march 2007.

(Abstract: Dahir No. 1-59-413 of 28 Jumada II 1382 (November 26, 1962) approved the text of the criminal code which stipulates repeat offenders who got imprisonment of over six months for embezzlement can be relegated.)

Article 66

Peuvent être relégués, les récidivistes qui, dans un intervalle de dix ans, non compris la durée des peines effectivement subies, ont, dans quelque ordre que ce soit, encouru :

1° Trois condamnations, dont l’une à la réclusion et les deux autres à l’emprisonnement pour faits qualifiés crimes ou à l’emprisonnement de plus de six mois pour vol, escroquerie, abus de confiance, recel de choses obtenues à l’aide d’un crime ou de délit, outrage public à la pudeur, excitation de mineurs à la débauche, embauchage en vue de la débauche, exploitation de la prostitution d’autrui, avortement, trafic de stupéfiants;

2°Quatre condamnations à l’emprisonnement pour faits qualifiés crimes ou à l’emprisonnement de plus de six mois pour les délits spécifiés au numéro précédent;

3° Sept condamnations dont deux au moins prévues aux deux numéros précédents, les autres à l’emprisonnement de plus de trois mois pour crime ou délit.

Risk

Sovereign risk

Despite subsidy reform and lower oil prices, Morocco will continue to post large fiscal deficits, owing to high spending on wages and investment. Debt-service payments will nonetheless remain manageable and lendingby domestic and external creditorswill remain available on reasonable terms.

Banking sector risk

The banking sector benefits from strong prudential regulation, but rising levels of non-performing loans are a concern, as is the relatively high level of concentration in the banking system. Liquidity constraints have hindered lending, but new regulations to widen Islamic finance options will support a deepening of the sector.

Political risk

The fight against terrorism will remain a government priority. Although The Economist Intelligence Unit does not believe that terrorism presents a systemic threat, there is an ongoing risk of violent attacks by militant Islamists on government and Western targets. If the government fails to contain inflation and reduce high unemployment, especially among the young, the risk of social unrest will rise.

Economic structure risk

A reliance on agriculture leaves the economy exposed to adverse weather (albeit rainfall levels have been good this year). The fiscal and external accounts are vulnerable to changes in commodity prices. Economic performance is heavily dependent on Europe, through demand for tourism services, as well as investment and remittance inflows.

Travel Risk

Security

The decision to travel is your responsibility. You are also responsible for your personal safety abroad. The purpose of this Travel Advice is to provide up-to-date information to enable you to make well-informed decisions.

Increased threat of attacks and kidnappings

In 2013, the French military assisted the Malian government in efforts to repel armed rebels. Terrorist groups in the region declared their intention to increase attacks and kidnappings targeting Westerners. While the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Mali has been supporting the transitional authorities in stabilizing the region since July 2013, citizens of countries supporting the intervention are still at particular risk, but all travellers should exercise increased vigilance in the region.

Western Sahara and border regions

Western Sahara is a non-autonomous territory whose political and legal status has yet to be determined through the United Nations. Although the Government of Canada does not recognize Moroccan sovereignty over Western Sahara, you are subject to the laws and regulations of Morocco, which unilaterally administers the territory. Because of the remoteness of Western Sahara, the Government of Canada may be extremely limited in its ability to provide assistance in this region.

Restrict travel to officially designated tourist areas if you choose to travel to this area. Western Sahara is a former area of conflict still littered with unexploded landmines, particularly in remote regions. Seek local advice prior to travelling to the desert areas in the south and hire only official guides recommended by hotels, travel agencies or local tourist authorities. A four-wheel-drive vehicle and appropriate supplies are essential for off-road driving in the mountains or the desert.

Terrorism

There is a general threat of terrorism in Morocco and past attacks have targeted foreigners. On April 28, 2011, a terrorist attack at a restaurant on Jemaa el Fna Square, a popular tourist site in Marrakech, resulted in several deaths and numerous injuries. Exercise caution in public places, monitor local news reports, avoid demonstrations and follow the advice of local authorities.

Kidnapping

There is a general threat of kidnapping in the border and remote regions of Morocco. Maintain a high level of vigilance at all times, especially when travelling in the southern and border areas of Morocco.

Demonstrations

Demonstrations occur and have the potential to suddenly turn violent. Demonstrations take place mainly on Friday afternoons and on Sundays. They can lead to significant disruptions to traffic and public transportation. Avoid all demonstrations and large gatherings, follow the advice of local authorities and monitor local media.

Women’s safety

Women travelling alone may be subject to certain forms of harassment and verbal abuse. Consult our publication entitled Her Own Way: A Woman’s Safe-Travel Guide for travel safety information specifically aimed at Canadian women.

Crime

Petty crimesnotably pickpocketing, purse snatchings (sometimes by motorcyclists), scams and other theftstake place frequently in the medina, market areas, in parks and on beaches. Thefts occur around automated banking machines. Credit card fraud is also frequent. Panhandling is increasing and some panhandlers can be aggressive toward tourists. Ensure that your personal belongings are secure and do not show signs of affluence, particularly when walking at night.

Do not accept food, drink or invitations from strangers, or change your planned itinerary at their request. While Moroccans are generally very friendly and hospitable, you should always exercise common sense and travel wisely.

There have been reports of tourists being taken to certain stores and intimidated into making purchases. Stay on major roads, especially in the medinas, exercise caution and politely but firmly decline.

Exercise caution in the mountainous Rif region, on the northern coast of Morocco, since drugs are produced in this area and tourists are occasionally tricked into unknowingly committing drug offences.

Transportation

Road conditions vary according to location and weather (for example, in the high mountains or during the rainy season). National roads are generally in good condition but narrow and heavily congested. Driving is generally easier on the highways.

Morocco has a very high traffic mortality rate. Despite police enforcement, traffic regulations are not respected by all drivers. Pedestrians, scooters and animals on roadways can also pose risks. Avoid driving at night.

If an accident occurs, first ensure your personal safety, but avoid moving the vehicles before the police arrive, if at all possible, even if this makes the traffic jams worse. If no one has been hurt, an accident report drawn up by the parties involved will suffice.

Carry your identification and vehicle documents at all times, as checkpoints are frequent.

Be extremely careful when driving on the Rabat“Casablanca highway, and on certain national highways because of high traffic volume. Accidents, which are numerous and often attributed to poor driving practices, have resulted in serious injuries and deaths.

The rail network is developed, reliable and safe.

See Transportation Safety in order to verify if national airlines meet safety standards.

Border areas

The border with Algeria is closed. Do not attempt to cross into Algeria by land.

Internet romances

Exercise caution if travelling to Morocco for romance, especially in cases of relationships initiated on the Internet. Find out beforehand about the country’s customs and laws on conjugal relations and marriage. Ensure that you hold on to your return plane ticket, your money and your passport in case problems arise.

For more information, consult our Marriage Overseas FAQ and our Overseas Fraud page.

General safety information

While swimming conditions in tourist areas are generally safe and problem-free, public beaches in major cities are often polluted and unfit for swimming. Check with your hotel for advice on conditions.

Emergency services

Dial 19 for police services and 15 for firefighter or ambulance services.

Annual Cases

Budget Autonomy Yes
Annual Budget of the Agency (US) $ 1,787,472
Per Capital Expenditure $(US) 0.06
Expeniture as % of the GDP 0.001 %
Are employees protected by law from recrimination or other negative consequences when reporting corruption (i.e. whistle-blowing)? No
Does your country have freedom of information legislation? No
Does your country have conflict of interest legislation? No
Does your country have a financial disclosure system to help prevent conflicts of interest? Yes
Who appoints the head of your agency? The Prime Minister.
Who has the authority to remove the head of the ACA? No One.
Is there any term limit for the head of the ACA? Yes , six years and non-renewable.
Does your agency measure performance? No
Full access to Government Yes

Address Format

RECIPIENT

[BUILDING] [SUBBUILDING]
[HOUSE_NUMBER] [STREET_NAME]
POSTAL_CODE LOCALITY
MOROCCO

Sample

Ali Amam
Appartement no. 2
23 RUE DU SEBOU
93150 MARTIL
MOROCCO

Summary

Calendar GMT Reference Actual Previous Consensus Forecast
2014-04-15 11:00 AM Q1 2.5% 4.5% 5.25%
2015-01-08 10:20 AM Q4 2.7% 2.6% 1.39%
2015-04-08 11:00 AM Q1 4.4% 1.8% (R) 2.46%
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