This Update is produced on a monthly basis. It provides an update on new legislation in certain Middle East countries (Bahrain, Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates) where SNR Denton has offices. We also include Turkey and Lebanon updates from our affiliate and associate firms in Istanbul and Beirut respectively.

This Update is not an exhaustive list of all new legislation, but a summary of new legislation that we feel may be significant for clients. Should you require further detail on any of the laws referred to in this Update, please contact the relevant managing partner. Please note that, in some jurisdictions, new laws may come into effect which have not been officially published in the publications we have reviewed as mentioned below. Also, some of the official publications in these jurisdictions are not published on a regular basis.

A copy of this Middle East Update and previous editions can be found on our website at snrdenton.com.

Egypt  

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.

Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade Decree No. 219 of the Year 2012

Amending Certain Provisions of the Law on Import and Export and The System of Procedures of Examination and Control of Imported and Exported Commodities.

The following items shall be added to annex no. 8 attached to the referred to statute of the rules enforcing the provisions of law no. 118 of the year 1975.

  • Raw Fabrics
  • Raw Yarns
  • Dyes and Colours used in textile industries.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin

Dated 29 March 2012

Effective from 30 March 2012  

Issued on 28 March 2012  

Prime Minister Decree No. 287 of the Year 2012

Regarding Determining Certain Customs Duties Exemptions. "The Referred to Decree no. 302 of the Year 2011 shall extend to apply till 31 December 2012".

Decree 302 of the Year 2011

"The quantities of raw sugar to be imported till the end of 2011 shall be exempted from customs duties. Moreover, the quantities of refined sugar to be imported till 15 February 2011 shall be exempted from customs duties."

Date of Publication 29 March 2012

Issued at the Cabinet of Ministers on 18 March 2012 and The Competent Entities shall execute the present decree.

Minister of Tourism Decree No. 151 of the Year 2012

Applications for Establishing Tourism Companies of different Categories shall not be accepted, temporarily, for a period of one year as of the expiration date of decree no. 84 of the year 2011, as there is no need therefore in the country during the current period.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin

Issued on 5 March 2012, Date of publication 12 March 2012 and the entities concerned shall implement same.

Ministerial Decree No. 121 of the Year 2012

On obliging the Tourism Companies & Tourism Transportation Companies to install tracking devices in their Tourism Vehicles.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin

Issued on 29 February 2012, Date of publication 13 March 2012 and shall be effective on 14 March 2012

Prime Minister Decree No. 322 of the Year 2012

On the Executive Rules of the Provisions of the Decree-Law No. 242 of the Year 2011.

Regarding the Maximum limit of Incomes and linking it to the Minimum limit.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin

Issued on 28 March 2012, date of publication 4 April 2012.

Jordan

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette. There is no set date for publication.  

Law No. 10 of 2012 Amending the Anti-Corruption Commission Law  

Grants additional duties and authorities to the Council of the Anti-Corruption Commission, including the authority to undertake the necessary decisions regarding corruption cases, including transferring such cases to the competent judicial authorities and the authority to participate in recovering money obtained from corruption actions, whether within the Kingdom or outside it, and handing it back to those entitled to it.

Issued 3 April 2012  

Independent Elections Commission Law No. 11 of 2012  

Establishes an independent Elections Commission for the supervision and coordination of parliamentary elections and any other elections determined by the Council of Ministers.

Issued 9 April 2012  

Kuwait  

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette and Kuwait Stock Exchange (KSE) Website in the Capital Market Authority (CMA) Announcements section.

Decree No. 4 of 2012 Amending some Articles of Decree No. 210 of 2001 Regarding the Executive Regulations of the Environment Public Authority (Official Gazette Number 1073)

Amends Articles 76 and 79 of the Executive Regulations of the Environment Public Authority, which provides strict rules and regulations on maintaining a higher quality of fresh air in Kuwait. It sets out the standards for the quality of air in Kuwait and lists the chemicals that cause air pollution in Kuwait in a separate Annexure.  

Promulgated on 1 April 2012

Effective 1 April 2012

CMA Announcement No. 1 of 2012 on Instructions on Guidelines and Procedures for Implementing the Acquisition System (KSE Website, CMA Announcements)

Introduces new procedures for shareholding companies controlled by CMA on the acquisition and merger system. It prescribes certain procedures that need to be followed before and after the acquisition offer in order to protect the minority shareholders' interests. All the shareholding companies intending to engage in a merger or acquisition must adhere to these procedures.  

Promulgated on 10 April 2012‏

Effective 10 April 2012

Saudi Arabia

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette. The following are the latest legislative updates in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia according to the latest bulletins of the Official Gazette.

Council of Ministers’ Decision No. 27 dated

15/2/1433H

Approving the treaty on economic, trade, investment and technical cooperation between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Malaysia.

Council of Capital Market Authority’s Decision No. (1-4-2012) dated 28/2/1433H

Amending the following:

  1. The Registration and Listing Rules.
  2. The Definitions provided in the Capital Market Authority’s Laws and Regulations.

Council of Ministers’ Decision

Approving the Memorandum of Understanding between the Health Ministry of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Health Ministry of the United Kingdom in the field of health care cooperation.

Council of Ministers’ Decision

Approving the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperating in Investigating Money Laundering and Terrorism Financing between the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Interior and the Financial Investigation Unit of the Netherlands.

Council of Ministers’ Decision

Approving a treaty to avoid double taxation and tax evasion between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Republic of Romania. Council of Ministers’ Decision Approving the new Anti Money Laundering Law. Please note that the provisions of the former Anti Money Laundering Law promulgated by Royal Decree No. (M/39) dated 25/6/142 5H are still in force until the new the new Anti Money Laundering provisions are issued.

Council of Ministers’ Decision No. 97 dated

5/4/1433H

Approving the amendment of several provisions of the Press and Publications Law.

Council of Ministers’ Decision

Approving the new Arbitration Law replacing the Arbitration Law promulgated by Royal Decree no. (M/46) dated 12/7/1403 H.

Council of Ministers’ Decision

Approving the Railway Transportation Law.

Sultanate of Oman

New legislation is published twice monthly in the Official Gazette.  

Sultani Decree No. 18/2012  

Approves the Petroleum Agreement between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and Oman Oil Company for Exploration and Production LLC Area no. 42.

Promulgated on 21 March 2012

Effective on promulgation  

Ministry of Higher Education, Ministerial Decision No. 17/2012  

Imposes application fees for the establishment of private universities, colleges and higher education institutes.

Promulgated on 17 March 2012

Effective on the day following the date of publication  

Public Authority for Consumer Protection, Decision No. 136/2012

Regulates the marketing, distribution and advertising of natural and processed herbs, plant extracts and medical equipment.

Promulgated on 19 March 2012

Effective 30 days following the date of publication  

Royal Diwan, Diwani Decision No. 15/2012  

Promulgates the Executive Regulations of the Municipal Councils Law promulgated by SD 116/2011.

Promulgated on 25 March 2012

Effective on the day following the date of publication  

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministerial Decision No. 12/2012  

Adopts the Gulf Technical Regulations No. 246/2011 relating to the labelling of tobacco product packages.

Promulgated on 18 March 2012

Effective from 9 August 2012  

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministerial Decision No. 66/2012  

Bans the supply of live poultry from the Republic of Myanmar and the Kingdom of Bhutan.

Promulgated on 21 March 2012

Effective on promulgation  

Sultani Decree No. 23/2012

Ratifies the Legal and Juristic Co-operation Agreement between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the Kingdom of Morocco.

Promulgated on 1 April 2012

Effective on promulgation  

Sultani Decree No. 24/2012

Ratifies the Headquarters Agreement between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Secretariat for the Memorandum of Understanding of Riyadh, for the inspection and control of ships.

Promulgated on 1 April 2012

Effective on promulgation  

Ministry of Social Development, Ministerial Decision No. 105/2012  

Summarises the regulations of the Omani Association for Land Transport.

Promulgated on 19 March 2012

Effective on promulgation  

Ministry of Social Development, Ministerial Decision No. 108/2012

Summarises the regulations of the Omani Real Estate Association.

Promulgated on 19 March 2012

Effective on promulgation  

Turkey  

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.

Regulation  

Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) Regulation Introducing Amendments on the Regulation concerning Electricity Market Free Consumers (Official Gazette No. 28257)

Amends the documentation period of the “free-of-obligation” certificate to be given by the previous supplier that is mandatory for the free consumer who wishes to change its supplier and sets forth such period as within two business days as of the date of application.

Promulgated on 7 April 2012

Effective from 7 April 2012  

Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) Regulation Introducing Amendments on the Regulation concerning Oil Market Licence (Official Gazette No. 28257)

Amends the documentation to be issued in accordance with the Tax Procedure Law by licence holders and sets forth such documentation to be invoices and waybills.

Promulgated on 7 April 2012

Effective from 7 April 201  

Turkish Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA) Regulation Introducing Amendments on the Regulation concerning the Control of Industrial Air Pollution (Official Gazette No. 28263)  

Amends the validity of the emission measurement report for the facilities within the scope of the Regulation regarding the Permits and Licences to be obtained in accordance with Environmental Law and sets forth this validity as two years.

Amends the filing period and retention of the facility operator’s report about the developments in the facility and possible deviation in the emission data when compared with the date of the permit and/or licence where granted and sets forth this filing period as three years. Limits the retention requirement to only one copy to be kept by the facility operator and, if requested, to be presented to the competent authorities.  

Stipulates application process within the scope of the Regulation regarding the Permits and Licences if the emission permit application process was not concluded by 1 April 2011.

Promulgated on 13 April 2012

Effective from 13 April 2012  

United Arab Emirates

Dubai/UAE Federal Law

Real Estate - Investor Protection, Draft Law on the Protection of the Property Investor

Dubai’s Land Department has hailed the law as the first of its kind in the world. Main features of the draft law are that it seeks to ensure protection for property investors and regulate the relationship between them and developers throughout the entirety of development projects.

The law is expected to be implemented from June 2012.

Abu Dhabi

New legislation is published monthly in the Abu Dhabi Gazette  

Law No. 2 of 2011 establishing the Abu Dhabi Authority for Tourism and Culture

Establishes an independent authority in Abu Dhabi to preserve and protect the emirate’s cultural heritage and realise tourism development. This law determines the general tourism and cultural competencies of the authority, sets out its management structure, financial budget and resources, and prescribes the applicable legal regime to its employees and assets. This law further cancels Law No. 7 of 2004, which established the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, and Law No. 28 of 2005, which established the Abu Dhabi Culture and Heritage Authority.  

Issued 8 June 2011

Effective from 8 June 2011

Law No. 6 of 2011 amending Law No. 8 of 1976 regarding Alcoholic Drinks

Constitutes the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority as the licensing authority in substitution for the Ministry of Interior.  

Issued on 3 October 2011

Effective from 29 February 2012