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, the Sultanate of Oman and the United Arab Emirates) where SNR Denton has offices. We also include Lebanon updates from our associate firm in Beirut. Turkey updates are contributed by Salans LLP.

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.

Presidential Decree No. 6 of the year 2013

Regarding Cabinet Reshuffles.

Official Journal, published and issued on 5 January 2013.

Decree-Law of the President of the Republic No. 161 of the year 2012

On the establishment of Zewail City of Science and Technology (Egypt's national project for scientific renaissance).

Official Journal, published and issued on 20 December 2012 and shall have the force of law and apply as of the date of its issuance.

Minister of Manpower and Immigration Decree No. 271 of the year 2012

Regarding The Formation of a Committee Handling the Exemption from the Ratio Legally Established for foreign Labor to Egyptian Labor.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 9 December 2012, published on 25 December 2012 and shall come into force as of the day following its publication date.


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

Regulation for Licensing and Classification of Freight Agents and Transporters

Sets out the requirements for licensing of road transporters.  

Issued on 16 January 2013.

Institute of Public Administration Regulation No. 72 of 2012

Establishes a Public Administration Institute for the purposes of building administrative and functional capabilities to improve the performance of the public sector and to form a link between the requirements of the labour market and the educational system.  

Issued on 14 November 2012.


New legislation published in the Official Gazette and on the Kuwait Stock Exchange website in Capital Market Authority (CMA) Announcements.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministerial Resolution No.555 of 2012, concerning the right of the consumer to replace or return purchased goods  

Provides for the consumer to return the goods within five days of their purchase in a good condition such that they can be sold in the store again. The condition for the return is that the defect must not have been obvious at the time of the purchase. However, the store is not under an obligation to accept a request for replacement or return of the goods purchased during a sale period. Any shopkeeper who does not abide by the rules can be penalised and may have his licence cancelled.

Promulgated on 28 November 2012 and shall come into force on 1 January 2013.

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministerial Resolution No.606 of 2012, concerning the recall of products

Requires the traders in Kuwait to comply the guidelines of sale of goods in Kuwait, such as displaying their country of origin, ingredients/contents, date of manufacture and expiry, etc. In case the goods are found to be non-compliant with the prescribed standards may be ordered to be recalled, and the trader may be penalised.  

Promulgated on 28 November 2012 and shall come into force on 1 January 2013.

Sultanate of Oman

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette

Ministry of Social Development, Decision No. 352/2012

Amends the regulatory provisions for family care and nursery promulgated by MD49/2007.

Promulgated on 30 December 2012           Effective from day following publication  

Ministry of Justice, Decision No. 2/2013  

Confers juristic capacity to some of the employees of the Ministry of Manpower.

Promulgated on 5 January 2013                Effective from the day following publication  


New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.  

The Council of Ministers Decree regarding determination of the companies which shall be subject to independent auditing (Official Gazette No. 28537)

Indicates the procedures and principles regarding the companies which shall be subject to independent auditing within the scope of Article 398 of the Turkish Commercial Code. As per the Decree, a Turkish company will be subject to independent auditing and required to have a website if it meets (solely or together with its subsidiaries and affiliates in Turkey) any two of the following criteria:

  1. The amount of the total assets being equal to or higher than TRY 150,000,000;
  2. The net annual turnover being equal to or higher than TRY 200,000,000;
  3. The number of employees being equal to or higher than 500.

Furthermore, the Council of Ministers listed some companies in the aforementioned Decree. Those listed companies will also be subject to independent auditing regardless of meeting any of these criteria.

Promulgated on 23 January 2013             Effective from 1 January 2013  

The Council of Ministers Decree numbered 2012/4116 (Official Gazette No. 28515)  

Amends certain withholding, stamp duty and charge rates. Particularly, pursuant to Article 11 of the Decree, as of January 1, 2013, the Resource Utilisation Support Fund withholding ratios applicable to loans in the form of foreign currency and gold received from foreign banks / foreign financial institutions by persons residing in Turkey are as follows:

  • Average repayment term up to 1 year 3%
  • Average repayment term 1 to 2 years 1%
  • Average repayment term 2 to 3 years 0.5%
  • Average repayment term more than 3 years 0%  

Promulgated on 1 January 2013               Effective from 1 January 2013

Stamp Tax Code General Communique numbered 56 (Official Gazette No. 28515)

Increased fixed tax rates. Below are some examples of the papers and documents subject to stamp duty.

As a result of a fifteen per cent increase in stamp tax rates:

  • 9.48 per mil instead of 8.25 per mil stamp tax is applied to agreements;
  • 1.89 per mil instead of 1.64 per mil stamp tax is applied to lease contracts  (as per contract period over the amount of the lease price)

Furthermore, there is also an increase which has become effective from 1 January 2013, due to the revaluation rate, in the maximum limit of stamp tax. According to this increase TRY 1,487,397.70 is the maximum stamp tax limit for any kind of executed paper.

Promulgated on 1 January 2013               Effective from 1 January 2013  

Regulation on Electronic Notification (Official Gazette No. 28533)  

States the principles and procedures of electronic notification and determines the companies which are required to use an electronic notification system. Pursuant to the Regulation, electronic notifications can be made by certain public authorities, regulatory and supervisory authorities, notary publics, municipalities and bar associations etc.

Electronic notification is deemed to be made on the fifth day as of the date of arrival to the electronic notification address.

Joint stock companies, limited liability companies and limited partnerships divided into shares are required to obtain and notify their electronic notification addresses (an e-mail address sufficient for the notification). In case the e-notification cannot be made, the notification will be made in accordance with the applicable Notification Law.  

Promulgated on 19 December 2012           Effective from 1 January 2013

Lebanon and Turkey Updates contributed by: Elias Chedid, Chedid Law Offices (Beirut) and Galip Selcuk, Salans LLP