This Update is produced on a monthly basis. It provides an update on new legislation in certain Middle East countries (Egypt, Jordan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Turkey, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates) where Dentons has offices. We also include Lebanon updates from our associate firm in Beirut.
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.
New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.
Ministry of Manpower and Immigration Decree No. 126 of the year 2013
Concerning the conditions and procedures of granting work licences to foreigners.
Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 13 April 2013, published on 21 April 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.
Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade Decree No. 235 of the year 2013
Regarding terms of export of certain commodities.
Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 18 April 2013, published on 20 April 2013 and shall come into force upon publication.
Law No. 8 of the year 2013
Amending certain provisions of the Central Bank, the Banking Sector and Money Law promulgated by Law No. 88 of the year 2003.
Official Journal, issued and published on 9 April 2013 and shall come into force upon publication.
Decree No. 133 of the year 2013
Amending certain provisions of the Executive Regulations of the Industrial Register Law No.24 of the year 1977.
Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 14 March 2013, published on 1 April 2013 and shall apply as of the date of its publication.
Prime Minister Decree No. 317 of the year 2013
Establishing a Ministerial Committee for the development of the golden triangle area of mining (Safaga-Al Koseir-Qena) for the extraction of mineral and quarantine ores, under the chairmanship of the Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade.
Official Journal, issued and published on 1 April 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.
Decree No. 109 of the year 2013
Amending certain provisions of the Executive Regulations of Building Law No. 119 of the year 2008.
Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 14 March 2013, published on 20 March 2013 and shall apply as of the date of its publication.
Presidential Decree No. 184 of the year 2013
Concerning the issue of the Customs Tariff.
Official Journal, issued on 21 March 2013, published on 26 March 2013 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.
Law No. 7 of 2013 approving the agreement between the State of Kuwait and the Commercial Arbitration Centre for the Gulf Countries Council to open a representative office for the Centre in Kuwait
Based on Law No. 14 of 2002 approving the establishment of the Commercial Arbitration Centre for the Gulf Countries Council (GCC) (the Centre), Kuwait has approved the foundation of an independent office for the Centre in Kuwait. The Centre’s employees are entitled to privileges and immunities as agreed between Kuwait and the Centre. In addition, the Centre will ensure compliance with Kuwait’s rules and regulations. The said agreement is valid for five years and shall be valid for similar periods unless terminated in writing.
Promulgated on 7 April 2013 Effective from 7 April 2013
Law No. 101 of 2013 concerning insurance against unemployment
Establishes a new fund under the Public Institution for Social Security (PIFSS) for providing insurance against unemployment for Kuwaitis working for the private or oil sector. The insured is entitled to 60% of its salary in addition to government allowances. This insurance covers individuals who are between 18 and 60 years old; hwo have subscribed with PIFSS for at least six months; who have the capability to work; and who are not entitled to a retirement salary under the Social Security Law. Finally, the Law prescribes in detail the circumstances whereby such payment is ceased.
Promulgated on 21 April 2013 Effective from 21 April 2013
Law No. 102 of 2013 amending some provisions of Law No. 11 of 1995 concerning the Judicial Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Matters
Adds paragraphs (2) and (3) to Article Two of Law No. 11 of 1995 concerning the Judicial Arbitration in Civil and Commercial Matters by limiting the jurisdiction of the body to disputes of not more than KD 500,000 including financial disputes arising from administrative contracts.
Promulgated on 17 March 2013 Effective from 17 March 2013
Capital Market Authority Decision No. 19 of 2013 regarding the issuance of CMA Fees
Lists the fees required to be paid for listing securities, licensing of investment portfolios and funds, Stock Market’s broker, rating and clearing agency, and all other activities governed by the CMA.
Promulgated on 1 May 2013 Effective from 1 May 2013
Capital Market Authority Decision No. 20 of 2013 concerning rules of investment fund’s purchase of security of an entity where the fund manager is its subscription manager or sale agent
With regard to paragraph three of Article 345 of the Executive Regulations of Law No. 7 of 2010 Concerning the Establishment of the Capital Markets Authority, the Decision prohibits the investment fund from purchasing any securities of the entity where the fund’s manager is its subscription manager or sale agent. This prohibition will not apply after the expiration of the period where the fund’s manager is its subscription manager or sale agent.
Promulgated on 9 May 2013 Effective from 9 May 2013
Lebanon - Oil and Gas: the prequalification phase is completed
Lebanon has been making significant progress towards its goal of commencing the exploitation of its offshore oil and gas resources. The appointment of the Petroleum Administration Authority (the Authority) has allowed for the decision-making mechanisms provided for by Law No.132/2010 to start functioning and for the selection process of the petroleum right holders to be launched. This process has a number of phases involving the Authority, the Minister of Energy and Water, and the Council of Ministers.
Article 15 of Law No.132/2010 provides that exploration and production agreements may only be awarded to prequalified joint stock companies.
An implementing decree (Decree No. 9882/2013, the Decree) was therefore issued on 2 February 2013 by the Council of Ministers to allow the start of the prequalification phase. The Decree specified the conditions for prequalification that both operators and non-operators must meet as well as the requirements that the process relating to the prequalification phase must follow. The Decree also provided a form to be filled out by the candidates and a list of documents that the latter must produce.
The candidates’ proposals are to be assessed based on the legal, financial, technical and QHSE criteria set out in the appendix of the Decree. These mainly relate to the assets of the candidates (the thresholds vary depending on whether an operator or a non-operator is involved, their experience and evidence that they have established and implemented QHSE management systems. The Decree also provides additional specifications related to candidates that belong to a group of companies.
On 12 February 2013, the Minister of Energy and Water issued a decision (Decision No.2/2013) announcing the opening of the prequalification phase. By 28 March, the deadline for the submission of proposals, 52 companies had applied to prequalify for the first licensing round. Based on Article 8 of the Decree, the Authority has reviewed the applications and submitted to the Minister of Energy and Water the names of the prequalified candidates. On 18 April 2013, the Minister of Energy and Water published a list of their names. 12 operators and 34 non-operators were qualified.
The next phase - the licensing round - is scheduled to take place between May and November 2013. The successful completion of the licensing round will require the appointment of a new Council of Ministers since the Cabinet resigned on 22 March 2013 and it only has authority to deal with current affairs.
Sultanate of Oman
New legislation is published in the Official Gazette.
Sultani Decree No. 23/2013
Ratifies the supplementary protocol amending the agreement between the government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the Republic of South Africa for the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal evasion with respect to income tax.
Promulgated on 8 April 2013 Effective on promulgation
Ministry of Environment and Climate Affairs, Decision No. 53/2013
Amends some of the provision regulating obtaining approvals of clean development mechanism (CDM) projects under the umbrella of the Kyoto Protocol.
Promulgated on 7 April 2013 Effective from the day after promulgation
State Audit Institution, Decision No. 13/2013
Promulgates State Audit Law executive regulations according to the annexed document.
Promulgated on 3 April 2013 Effective from the day after promulgation
Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Decision No. 38/2013
Amends some provisions of the Implementing Regulations on Mining (77/2010) according to the annexed document.
Promulgated on 2 April 2013. Effective from day after publication except for Articles (1) and (3) of provision 6 (bis) which will be effective six months after promulgation for those with valid licences.
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Decision No. 106/2013
Amends some of the provisions of the Implementing Regulations on Fishing and Protection of Living Aquatic Resources (MD 4/1994) according to the annexed document.Promulgated on 9 April 2013 Effective from the day after publication Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Decision No. 116/2013Lifts the ban on importing live animals from the Republic of Tanzania according to the annexed document.
Promulgated on 16 April 2013 Effective from the day after publication.
Ministry of Manpower, Decision No. 222/2013
Fixes the minimum wage of Omanis working in the private sector at OMR 325.
Promulgated on 20 April 2013 Effective from 1 July 2013
Civil Services Council, Decision No. 2/2013
Amends some of the provisions on the Implementing Regulations of the Civil Services Law (MD 9/2010).
Promulgated on 20 April 2013 Effective from the day after promulgation
New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.
Communiqué Amending the Communiqué on Application and Determination of Corporate Governance Principles (Official Gazette no: 28610)
Amends Article 5 of the Communiqué on Application and Determination of Corporate Governance Principles. States the ex officio appointment of the independent board members by the Capital Markets Board to the companies subject to Capital Markets Law and quoted on the stock exchange, in case of vacancy which prevents the Company from acting in accordance with the Corporate Governance Principles. In addition, it should be noted that although the Company has enough board members yet cannot act in accordance with the Corporate Governance Principles, the Capital Markets Board grants a period of 30 days to the Company and appoints ex officio independent board members.
Promulgated on 6 April 2013 Effective from 6 April 2013
Law on the Amendment of Customs Law and Certain Other Laws and Statutes (Official Gazette No: 28615)
Among others, amends the provisions of the Turkish Commercial Code numbered 6102 and the Turkish Code of Obligations numbered 6098. The amendment to the Turkish Commercial Code numbered 6102 provides that in case of companies subject to independent audit which failed to carry out that audit, such companies' financial statements and annual reports shall be null and void. By virtue of the amendment to the Turkish Code of Obligations, in case of security provided in favour of a commercial enterprise by real persons who are shareholders to or managers of such enterprise, the spouse's consent is no longer required.
Promulgated on 24 April 2013 Effective from 1 July 2013
Regulation on Principles for Establishment and Operations of Financial Leasing, Factoring and Financing Companies (Regulation) prepared by the Banking Regulation and Supervision Authority (BRSA) (Official Gazette No. 28627)
Sets forth the procedures and principles on establishment and operation of financial leasing companies, factoring companies and financing companies (Companies). Concurrently with publication of the Regulation, the former Regulation on Principles for Establishment and Operations of Financial Leasing, Factoring and Financing Companies which was published in the Official Gazette dated 10 October 2006 and numbered 26315 has been repealed.
Under the Regulation:
- incorporation of Companies,
- obtaining of and cancellation of operation permit,
- opening of branches within and outside Turkey,
- amendments on articles of association,
- acquisition and transfer of shares,
- merger, demerger and liquidation procedures, and
- appointments to be made on the upper management of the Companies
are subject to prior permission of, and/or, notification to, BRSA.
Promulgated on 24 April 2013 Effective from 24 April 2013
The Statute Amending the Petrol Licence Regulation (Official Gazette No: 28627)
Issued by the Electricity Market Regulatory Authority, sets out the change in the Petrol Licence Regulation dated 17 June 2004 and numbered 25495, Article 44. Article 44 explains the procurement and sale of petrol and petrol goods. Although the prior statute regarding this matter states that there are no limits on the importation of petrol goods, the brand new amended provision states that the procurement of petrol goods except for fuel oil is going to be regulated through statements.
Promulgated on 24 April 2013 Effective from 1 July 2013
The Statement regarding the Procedures and Principles of Procurement of Petrol Goods except for Fuel Oil (Official Gazette No: 28627)
Following the amendment of Article 44 of the Petrol Licence Regulation, the statement regarding the procedures and principles of procurement of petrol goods except for fuel oil is issued by the Electricity Market Regulatory Authority. Explains the procedures and principles regarding the procurement of petrol goods except for fuel oil and completes the change in the Petrol Licence Regulation.
Promulgated on 24 April 2013 Effective from 1 July 2013
Lebanon Update contributed by: Elias Chedid - Chedid Law Offices (Beirut)