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The UAE Federal Tax Authority (FTA) announced that any person or group proven to have violated the provisions of tax legislation has the right to apply to the FTA to reduce or be exempted from an administrative penalty, provided that there is an excuse acceptable to the FTA, and that there is evidence available justifying the excuse and the violation related thereto, which led to the imposition of an administrative penalty.

On April 8, 2021, the US Treasury Department published an updated List of Countries Requiring Cooperation With An International Boycott (the “Treasury List”). Significantly, Treasury announced that it had removed the UAE from the Treasury List following the UAE’s repeal of its law requiring participation with the Arab League Boycott of Israel and subsequent implementation of the new policy.

Dubai senior associate Andrew Massey discusses the scenarios where the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Courts take jurisdiction over claims. Andrew also talks about how the DIFC Courts have adopted an expansive approach to jurisdiction over disputes and how it has introduced the necessary and proper party jurisdiction into DIFC law to help resolve multiparty and multijurisdictional disputes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has not gone away and the prolonged business issues will continue to affect various market players in the short and long-term. As anticipated, this has resulted to a rise in increasingly complex disputes across all industries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region as well…

The UAE Federal Supreme Court recently dismissed an appeal filed by the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) against taxes and administrative fines and penalties imposed by the FTA against a UAE company, a Dubai-based beverage distributor, in connection with excise taxes. Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla represented the company. The court also ordered that the FTA repay the full amount of the penalties to the company. This was considered to be the first time the Federal Supreme Court issued a judgment in favor of a taxpayer and removed all taxes and administrative penalties levied by the FTA.

On January 25, 2021, the Federal Register published Proclamation 10139 of January 19 – Adjusting Imports of Aluminum Into the United States, which modified the terms of Proc. 9704 of March 8, 2018, imposing a 10% additional ad valorem duty on aluminum imports from most countries under section 232 of the Trade Expansion Act…

The long awaited Federal Law No. 15 of 2020 on Consumer Protection (“Consumer Protection Law”) has been issued on 10 November 2020 and is a major update which aims to revamp and repeal the old UAE consumer protection laws, being Federal Law No. 24 of 2006 (“Old Law”). Due to the rapid rise of e-commerce globally, including in the UAE, the Consumer Protection Law now acknowledges and captures e-commerce service providers. The Consumer Protection Law has also now imposed a restriction on using personal data of customers for marketing and promotion purposes.

Earlier last week, Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), issued a decree introducing a number of fundamental changes to the UAE Commercial Companies Law (CCL Amendment) and to the UAE’s approach towards foreign direct investment (FDI) in general. The CCL Amendment adopted a new general rule of, in principle, allowing foreign investors to fully own certain types of companies in the mainland of the UAE.

The current UAE Commercial Companies Law No. 2 of 2015 (as amended) (CCL) was issued in 2015 and was a long awaited development. The CCL, however, maintained many of the foreign investment restrictions of its predecessor.

In 2018, the Decree Law No. 19 of 2018 regulating Foreign Direct Investment (FDI Law) was issued with an aim to relax the investment restrictions and facilitate the establishment of companies with up to 100% foreign capital in certain strategic sectors. This was a welcome change and a milestone in the development of the UAE foreign investment rules.