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 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 Water Resources and Irrigation Ministerial Decree No. 383 of the year 2011

On amending certain provisions of Ministerial Decree No. 402 of the year 2009. Promulgating the Executive Regulations of Law No. 48 of the year 1982. On the protection of the River Nile and waterways against pollution. Postponing the application of Ministerial Decree No. 402 of the year 2009. Promulgating the Executive Regulations of Law No. 48 of the year 1982

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin

Date of publication: 23 October 2012, issued on 4 October 2011.

Decree No. 859 of the year 2012

On the amendment of some provisions of the Executive Regulations implementing the provisions of import and export law and inspection and control procedures of imported and exported goods.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 31 October 2012, issued on 30 October 2012 and shall come into force as of the day following date of publication.

Ministry of Health and Population Decree No. 575 of the year 2012, as amended by Decree 645 of the year 2012

On the amendment of some provisions, rules and procedures of the human drugs registration.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 10 October 2012, issued on 19 July 2012 and shall come into force as of the day following its date of publication, nullifying all decrees in contradiction thereto.

Prime Ministerial Decree No. 1115 of the year 2012

On the formation of the Ministerial Group for the settlement of investment related disputes.

Official Journal, issued on 25 October 2012, date of publication 1 November 2012 and shall be applied by the competent bodies.

General Authority of Red Sea Ports Decree No. 11 of the year 2012

On the identification of the delay fine and service fees of re-entry and modification of data at the ports of the General Authority of Red Sea Ports.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 1 November 2012 and shall be effective on the its date of publication.

Presidential Decree-Law No. 95 of the year 2012 amending Certain Provisions of Law No. 5/2012

On cancelling the application of the law on and system of transforming the city of Port Said to a free zone and the law on the free zone system in Port Said promulgated by Law No. 12 of the year 1977 amended by Laws Nos. 1/2006, 5/2009, 119/2011.

Official Journal, issued on 12 November 2012, date of publication 17 November 2012 and shall be enforced as of 23 January 2013.

Decree of the Minister of Finance and the Minister of Industry and Foreign Trade No. 559/2012

On the identification of the delay fine and service fees of re-entry and modification of data at the ports of the General Authority of Red Sea Ports.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 8 November 2012, issued on 8 November 2012 and shall come into force as of its date of publication.

Prime Ministerial Decree No. 1208 of the year 2012

Regarding determination price of Benzene Octane No. 95.

Official Journal, issued on 24 November 2012, date of publication 24 November 2012 and the entity concerned shall put it into force.

Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade Decree No. 915 of the year 2012

On the non-application of the export duty on crushed plastic (whether beaded or grained).

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 21 November 2012, issued on 20 November 2012 and shall come into force as of its date of publication.

Constitutional Proclamation dated 21 November 2012

Official Journals issued on 21 November 2012, date of publication 21 November 2012 and shall apply as of its date of publication.

Ministerial Decree No. 555/2012

Amending certain provisions of the executive regulations of the Customs Law issued by Decree No. 10/2006.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 4 November 2012, issued on 4 November 2012 and shall come into force as of the day following its date of publication.

Ministerial Decree No. 191 of the year 2011

Regarding the rules governing the disbursement of the increase in pensions as established by Presidential Decree No. 55 /2011.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 3 November 2012, issued on 5 May 2011 and shall come into force as of 1 April 2011.

Ministerial Decree No. 436 of the year 2011

Regarding the rules of executing the provisions of Decree Law No. 102 of the year 2011. Amending some provisions of Law No. 114 of the year 2008. On establishing a special rise for state civil servants, public sector and increasing pensions.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, date of publication 3 November 2012, issued 10 August 2011 and shall come into force as of 1 July 2011.

Law No 96 of the year 2012

On the protection of the revolution.

Official Journal, issued on 22 November 2012, date of publication 22 November 2012 and shall apply as of its date of publication.

Kuwait  

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

Decree Law No. 27 of 2012

Amends some provisions of Law No. 47 of 1993 relating to residential support and Law No. 27 of 1995 relating to contribution towards private sector activity in the reconstruction of house on the state-owned land  

Promulgated on 26 November 2012                    Effective from 29 November 2012

Decree Law No.25 of 2012 issuing the Companies Act

Issues the new Companies Law for the State of Kuwait. It provides for a completely new corporate legal system. It is yet to be approved by the Kuwaiti parliament.  

Promulgated on 26 November 2012                     Effective from 29 November 2012

Decree Law No. 26 of 2012

Amends some of the Decree Law No. 42 of 1978 relating to the Sports Authority and Law No. 5 of 2007 relating to the organization of some aspects of the work of Kuwaiti Olympic Committee, Sports Federation and Clubs

Amends the laws relating to sports in Kuwait to meet with the recommendations of the International Olympic Committee with an intention to meet international standards.

Promulgated on 26 November 2012                     Effective from 29 November 2012  

Lebanon

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.

Law No. 224/2012: developing a safe and open market for goods and services in Lebanon

Law No. 224/2012 (the Law) was enacted on 22 October 2012 in an effort to build a safer market for Lebanese consumers while safeguarding the flow of international trade.

The Law sets out a procedure for the adoption of mandatory technical requirements that will govern the goods and services offered on the local market where such regulations are needed1. It also develops a certification/conformity procedure and provides for sanctions to secure the adequate implementation of those technical requirements.

Law No. 224/2012 amends and complements former statutes: the one that was enacted in 1962 relating to LIBNOR (the Lebanese Standards Institution), the one that was enacted in 2003 relating to COLIBAC (Conseil Libanais d'Accréditation) and the Consumer Protection Law, which was enacted in 2005.

The Law attempts to engage the relevant ministries and public entities together with LIBNOR in the making of technical regulations: by involving several public entities and granting such entities the power to trigger the regulation-making process, the Law attempts to rally the technical know-how and expertise of the entire public sector.

The procedure provided by the Law involves a committee chaired by the most relevant public ministry/entity, but which encompasses participants from LIBNOR and from any other ministry or entity concerned by the considered goods or services. This committee is entrusted with drafting technical regulations2. The Ministry of Economy and Trade is also automatically drawn into the process so as to ensure that the draft requirements do not violate international trade rules or international treaties. The relevant public entity chairing the committee shall be in charge of coordinating the procedure and referring the draft regulation to the Council of Ministers. The ultimate issuance of the mandatory technical requirements remains, however, the sole prerogative of the Council of Ministers3.

In addition to the aforementioned normative mechanism, the Law has the significant advantage of allowing for quick responses in the event that a product or service comes to threaten the safety of the state, the environment, the industry, public and private property, or the health or safety of individuals and animals despite the absence or inadequacy of the regulations in force. Under such circumstances, the relevant public entity may issue, in a reasoned decision, mandatory technical requirements, subject to referring such norms, within 15 days, to the Council of Ministers for approval. It may also retrieve the goods or services from the market provided, here again, that it refers its decision to the Council of Ministers for approval.

It is worth noting that the Law's provisions extend to all professionals and encompass manufacturers, importers, distributors as well as any person entrusted by the manufacturer to secure compliance with the Law's provisions. The Law indeed sets out the duties of each of these players and defines a chain of liability whereby each of them is held liable for his actions as well as for the other players' compliance with the Law, further up the chain. It also subjects all professionals to recordkeeping duties so as to be able to trace any dangerous product or service distributed on the local market and to engage the liability of any player involved in the process of introducing such product or service on the market.

The manufacturer's obligations notably relate to labelling, recordkeeping4, conformity marking and submission to testing where required. As for the importer, in addition to specific liabilities related to his duties (such as securing transportation methods that do not affect the product's safety), he is also held responsible for securing the product's and the manufacturer's compliance with the Law and is subject to a set of labelling requirements. The distributor is also under the obligation to verify compliance of the goods or services with the Law; moreover, it must request any document necessary to establish that the manufacturer and the importer have acted in accordance with the Law. It is to be noted that both the importer and the distributor are subject to the obligations of the manufacturer where they significantly amend the product or where they sell it under their own name or brand.

The Law finally provides for the awarding of the technical conformity mark: this is granted by a certification committee designated by decree for each technical norm and approved by COLIBAC. The Law also deals with the recognition of foreign conformity marks where international treaties call for such recognition but also where the rules and assessment procedures followed abroad are deemed by the Council of Ministers equivalent to local norms. This should avoid the standards and requirements issued pursuant to the Law hindering international trade.

Law No. 224/2012 does not require major implementing decrees as the main authorities entrusted with its implementation are already operating; the decrees to be issued should directly deal with the making of technical regulations. The sanctions defined by the Law are also dissuasive enough5 to encourage swift compliance. Hence, the main challenges will lie in the willingness of the different authorities to take action and collaborate to achieve its adequate implementation.

Sultanate of Oman  

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette.

Official Gazette 989 – Published on 3 November 2012  

Ministry of Oil and Gas, Decision No. 14/2012

Promulgates the by-laws regulating the inspection of wells, the burning of petroleum material and natural gas and condenser emissions.  

Promulgated on 16 October 2012                 Effective from day after publication

Official Gazette 990 – Published on 18 November 2012  

Sultani Decree No. 54/2012  

Establishes the General Secretariat of the Council for Judicial Administrative Affairs and approves its organisational framework.

Promulgated on 10 November 2012               Effective on promulgation  

Sultani Decree No. 55/2012  

Amends Annex 1 to the Civil Service Law promulgated by Sultani Decree 120/2004, which relates to civil service employees' grades and salaries.

Promulgated on 10 November 2012                Effective from 1 January 2006  

Sultani Decree No. 56/2012  

Amends the schedule of grades and salaries annexed to the by-laws for Employees of the Royal Court of the Diwan promulgated by Sultani Decree 51/2007.

Promulgated on 10 November 2012                Effective from 1 January 2007  

Sultani Decree No. 57/2012  

Regulates the Omani Olympic Committee and the unions for sports teams.

Promulgated on 10 November 2012                Effective from the day following publication  

Ministry of Housing, Decision No. 115/2012  

Amends some of the provisions of the Executive Regulations of the Social Housing Law promulgated by Ministerial Decision 6/2011.

Promulgated on 23 October 2012                   Effective from day after publication  

Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Decision No. 250/2012

Bans the import of live poultry from the Republic of India.

Promulgated on 10 November 2012              Effective on promulgation  

State Financial and Administrative Audit Institution, Decision No. 100/2012  

Publishes the annual disclosure form for government officials.

Promulgated on 14 November 2012             Effective from day after publication  

State Financial and Administrative Audit Institution, Decision No. 101/2012  

Regulates the financial disclosures of government officials.

Promulgated on 14 November 2012             Effective from day after publication  

Official Gazette 991 – Published on 24 November 2012  

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Decision No. 128/2012

Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, Decision No. 128/2012  

Promulgated on 29 September 2012            Effective from day following publication

Turkey

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.

Regulation introducing amendments on the regulation concerning the description, qualities and classification of small and medium-sized enterprises (Official Gazette No. 28457)  

Describes the small and medium-sized enterprises as enterprises or initiatives that employ fewer than 250 employees with a net annual sales revenue or financial statement of less than 40 million Turkish Lira (approximately 23 million US dollars).

Promulgated on 4 November 2012                 Effective from 4 November 2012  

Regulation introducing amendments on the regulation concerning electric market tariffs (Official Gazette No. 28467)  

Stipulates that in case privatisation administration prior to the receipt of final tender offers demands an amendment to the parameters of the public distributor companies, the Energy Market Regulatory Board must assess this request.

Promulgated on 14 November 2012                Effective from 14 November 2012  

Communiqué on capital increase for joint stock and limited liability companies up to the minimum amounts and determination of the joint stock companies that are subject to approval prior to incorporation and amending the articles of association (Official Gazette No. 28468)  

Sets forth 14 February 2014 as a date for joint stock and limited liability companies to bring their capital up to the minimum capital requirement if their capital amounts are below 50,000 Turkish Lira and 10,000 Turkish Lira respectively.

States that companies that do not bring their capital amount up to the minimum capital requirement within the specified period will be deemed to be dissolved at the end of this period.  

Promulgated on 15 November 2012                  Promulgated on 15 November 2012

United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi

Circular No 14 of 2012 concerning the housing policy for Abu Dhabi government employees  

Employees of the Abu Dhabi government, other government bodies and government-owned companies must reside in the Emirate. Housing allowance may not be availed directly or indirectly by employees who opt to live outside Abu Dhabi for any reason. Government employees living outside the Emirate have been given a grace period of one year to move to Abu Dhabi.  

Issued on 12 September 2012

Decision of the Chairman of the Department of Transport, No. 35 of 2012 concerning regulating school transportation service in Abu Dhabi

The Surface Transport Sector is the competent body that will regulate school bus services in Abu Dhabi. It will determine the requirements and standards to practise such service and monitor compliance with them in coordination with other competent authorities.

The regulation is concerned mainly with the safety rules and responsibilities of taking good care of school students. It sets out the requirements and standards for school bus drivers, interior and exterior specifications for school buses and safety equipment on board school buses. It clarifies the responsibilities of schools, operators, parents, drivers and escorts.

Issued on 17 September 2010                          Effective from 30 September 2012