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.

Egypt

New legislation is published weekly in the Official Gazette.

Prime Minister Decree No. 110 of 2013

Amends certain provisions of Decree Nos. 1257 and 1258 of the year 2012, regarding prices of natural gas, mazut and diesel fuel.

Official Journal, published and issued on 14 February 2013.

Prime Minister Decree No. 144 of 2013

Regarding the establishment of a Ministerial Committee for the project concerning the development of the Suez Canal region as a global logistic hub.

Official Journal, issued on 19 February 2013, published on 20 February 2013 and shall be enforced the day following its publication date.

Ministry of Industry & Foreign Trade Decree No. 61 of 2013

Amends certain provisions of the Statute of Rules enforcing the provisions of import and export and the system of imported and exported commodities examination and control procedures.

Al-Wakaye Al-Mesreya / Government Bulletin, issued on 12 February 2013, published on 13 February 2013 and shall be enforced following its publication date.

Presidential Decree No. 80 of 2013

Amends certain provisions of the Presidential Decree No. 176 of 2005 on increasing pensions.

Official Journal, issued and published on 3 February 2013, and shall be effective as of 1 July 2012.

Jordan  

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

Regulation on Exempting Renewable Energy Source Systems, Facilities and Equipment and Energy Efficiency No. 10 of 2013

Provides for the exemption of renewable energy source systems and energy efficiency and the manner of applying for such exemptions, and the requirements which must be met in order to qualify for an exemption.  

Issued 14 February 2013

Qatar

Law No. 13 of 2012 Qatar Central Bank and the Regulation of Financial Services  

A new law to pave the way for the Qatar Central Bank (QCB) to act as a single financial regulator has been published and is effective from 31 January 2013.  The law replaces the previous QCB Law No. 33 of 2006 and positions the QCB as supreme authority with overall control, regulatory responsibility and supervisory powers for all financial services providers in the State, including banks, Islamic financial institutions, investment companies, insurance and reinsurance companies, finance companies, exchange houses and such companies currently licensed by the Qatar Financial Centre and the Qatar Financial Markets Authority (QFMA) to conduct financial activities.

The new law states the objectives of the QCB, which will act as the competent supreme authority and shall set policies or regulation, control, licensing and supervision of all financial services, operations, markets and activities carried out in or through the State. The provision of any financial service or the conduct of any financial activity or business (including insurance and reinsurance) is prohibited unless a licence is granted by the QCB.

The QCB shall, amongst other things, be responsible for maintaining currency value and monetary stability and shall develop financial services in line with objectives of economic development and growth. It shall also implement procedures to prevent financial crimes

The Governor of the QCB shall manage the affairs of the QCB, shall carry out the functions of the Minister in respect of the Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority (QFCRA) and shall supervise the activities of the QFMA. A Financial Stability and Risk Control Committee shall be established formed of the Governor and Deputy Governor of the QCB and the Chief Executive Officers of the QFMA and the QFCRA. This Committee shall coordinate the regulatory, control and supervisory authorities in the State with the aim of establishing a consistent and cooperative environment of financial services control and regulation. It shall also propose policies for regulation, licensing, supervision and combating money laundering.  

Sultanate of Oman

New legislation is published in the Official Gazette.  

Sultani Decree No. 6/2013

Establishes the Supplementary Fund (to provide loans to projects in the following categories: persons receiving social security, young job seekers, professional craftsmen, women in rural areas) and publishes its by-laws.  

Promulgated on 28 January 2013           Effective from day following publication

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Decision No. 12/2013

Adopting International Standard Specifications (for safety requirements relating to lead-acid batteries, household electrical appliances and water heaters) as binding Omani Standard Specifications. Companies and institutions are given a grace period of six months (from date of promulgation) to exhaust their imported stock named in the decision.  

Promulgated on 9 February 2013           Effective three months following promulgation

Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Decision No. 12/2013  

Replaces standard specifications for unpacked drinking water specified by Decision No.129/98 by 8/2012 specifications as new binding Omani standards.

Promulgated on 13 February 2013          Effective on day following publication  

Capital Market Authority, Decision No. 1/2013

Amends the clearing and settlement guidelines.  

Promulgated on 16 February 2013           Promulgated on 16 February 2013 Effective on day following publication

Turkey

New legislation is published daily in the Official Gazette.  

General Communique of Tax Procedural Law No. 424 (Official Gazette No. 28566)

Explains the application process for the electronic receipt system. As from the effective date precious metal purchase and sale document and exchange purchase and sale documents will be issued instead of a sole document of precious metal purchase and sale documents.

Promulgated on 21 February 2013           Effective from 21 February 2013  

Regulation Amending the Regulation on Processing Personal Data and Protection of Confidentiality in Electronic Communication Sector (Official Gazette No. 28560)  

Defers the execution date of the Regulation on Processing Personal Data and Protection of Confidentiality in Electronic Communication Sector to 24 July 2013.  

Promulgated on 15 February 2013            Effective from 15 February 2013

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