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.  

Egypt

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.  

Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade Decree No. 561 of the year 2012  

On the Competence of the Egyptian Organization for Standardization & Quality to Grant the "Halal" Label

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin; came into force on 11 July 2012  

Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade Decree No. 568 of the year 2012  

On Establishing the National Council For Industry Quality Assurance

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin; came into force on 21 July 2012  

Decrees No. 541, 542, 543 of the year 2012  

On the Abidance by the Egyptian Standard Specifications

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin; came into force on 11 July 2012  

Collective Labour Agreement  

On Deciding the Disbursement of a Special Raise to Private Sector Workers in the year 2012

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin dated 9 August 2012. The present agreement has been registered and lodged (as a collective labour agreement) at the central department for work relations and group negotiation affairs within the Ministry, sub no. 51 of the year 2012. The measures required for publishing and lodging the present agreement shall be in accordance with the provisions of labour law no. 12 of the year 2003.  

Sultanate of Oman  

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette

Sultani Decree No. 43/2012

Amends some of the provisions of the Municipal Councils Law promulgated by SD 116/2011.  

Promulgated on 8 August 2012           Effective on day following publication

Sultani Decree No. 44/2012

Ratifies an Annex to the Agreement on the Avoidance of Double Taxation between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the Republic of France.  

Promulgated on 27 August 2012        Effective on promulgation

Sultani Decree No. 45/2012

Ratifies the Agreement on Mutual Exemption of Visas for Holders of Diplomatic, Special and Service Passports between the Government of the Sultanate of Oman and the Government of the Republic of Belarus.  

Promulgated on 27 August 2012        Effective on promulgation

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries

Decision No. 177/2012  

Promulgates the Regulations for the cultivation and quality assurance of aquatic organisms.

Promulgated on 4 August 2012         Effective on day following publication  

Ministry of Manpower  

Decision No. 420/2012

Amends MD 1/2011 promulgating the regulations organising the activities of expatriate recruitment companies.  

Promulgated on 22 July 2012           Effective on day following publication

Ministry of Manpower

Decision No. 432/2012  

Amends some of the provisions of MD 490/2010 promulgating the regulations relating to private training institutes.

Promulgated on 1 August 2012        Effective on day following publication  

Capital Market Authority, Decision No. KH/45/2012  

Amends some of the provisions of the Standard Unified Form for Vehicle Insurance promulgated by Decision No. KH/8.2008.

Promulgated on 13 August 2012      Effective on the day following publication  

Turkey  

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.

Regulation introducing Amendments on the Regulation concerning Petroleum Market Licence (Official Gazette No. 28373)

Amends the minimum capital requirement of applicant companies (both limited liability companies and joint stock companies) for refinery, transfer, storage and distribution licences.  

Sets forth 31 December 2013 as a date for refinery, transfer, storage and distribution licence holders to bring their capital up to the minimum capital requirement.

Prohibits the sale of jet fuel by the distributorship licence holders. It should be noted that this amendment will be effective from 1 January 2013.  

Promulgated on 3 August 2012        Effective from 3 August 2012

Regulation on Electronic General Assembly of Joint Stock Companies (Official Gazette No. 28395)

Introduces the procedures and principles to participate, deliver an opinion and vote in an Electronic General Assembly (EGA).  

Brings forth the necessity to include an EGA clause in the articles of association. An example for this clause that renders the shareholders able to attend EGA and vote electronically is also included in the Regulation.

Requires a notification made to the Electronic General Assembly System (EGAS) that is supplied by the Central Registry Agency (CRA) to participate in the EGA. If a representative attends the EGA, it is also mandatory to record the identity information of the representative to EGAS.  

Stipulates that each agenda item must be voted on separately. The vote cannot be altered once it has been cast.

States that delivering an opinion must be made electronically.  

Promulgated on 28 August 2012    Effective from 1 October 2012

Communiqué on Electronic General Assembly of Joint Stock Companies (Official Gazette No. 28396)

Brings forth a deadline for the participation notification made to the EGA as two days before the EGA. The companies, whose shares are monitored by CRA, must notify EGAS one day before the EGA.  

Limits the time for signing into the system as between one hour prior to the announced beginning of the EGA and five minutes until the beginning of the EGA. The voting period is restricted to five minutes.

States that two opinions, which can be 600 characters long for each at most, can be delivered for each agenda item.  

Promulgated on 29 August 2012  Effective from 1 October 2012

United Arab Emirates

New legislation is published monthly in the Federal and Local Gazettes.  

Dubai/UAE Federal Law  

The UAE Security and Commodities Authority (SCA) has issued its much anticipated investment funds regulation. This has transferred the responsibility for the authorisation and supervision of investment funds from the UAE Central Bank to SCA.

The regulation will apply to the setting-up, management and distribution of domestic investment funds (excluding those set up in free zones such as the DIFC), and also to the promotion of, and offering of, foreign funds in the UAE. Foreign investment funds (whether public or privately placed) need to be authorised by SCA and can only be offered by entities licensed by SCA or the UAE Central Bank.  

The regulation shall become effective only once published in the official gazette.