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UAE amends 3 commercial laws to drive economic development

ABU DHABI, December 7, 2021

The UAE has enacted amendments to three laws in a manner that accelerates the transformation towards a new model of the national economy based on flexibility and sustainability. 
 
The Federal Decree-Law No. 32 of 2021 on Commercial Companies, the Federal Decree-Law No. 37 of 2021 on Commercial Registry and the Federal Decree-Law No. 26 of 2021 on Trademarks developed and updated in cooperation between the Ministry of Economy and its partners from government entities and in consultation and coordination with the private sector, put in place proactive legislative frameworks that drive long-term economic growth in the country over the next 50 years of the UAE.
 
During a media briefing Abdullah Bin Ahmed Al Saleh, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Economy, said the legislations represent key drivers for enhancing the flexibility of the economic climate, stimulating innovation, developing the intellectual property system, and increasing the country's attractiveness to companies, investors, entrepreneurs, talents and innovators from around the world in vital and strategic sectors.
 
Others who participated in the briefing included  Maryam Al Suwaidi, CEO of the Securities and Commodities Authority; Ahmed Al Hosani, Director of the Commercial Registration and Certificates of Origin Department at the Ministry of Economy; and Fatima Al Hosani, Director of the Trademarks and Intellectual Works Department at the Ministry of Economy. 
 
Al Saleh said: "The laws that were launched in conjunction with the UAE’s golden jubilee represent an important milestone in the development of the legislative system to drive national economic growth in accordance with the vision of the wise leadership and in line with the Principles of the 50. They also support the achievement of the outputs of the Fifty-Year Charter announced by the government of the UAE.” 
 
Meanwhile, Al Suwaidi noted that the new set of legislative amendments issued by His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the State, on the occasion of the country’s golden jubilee keeps pace with the UAE’s developmental aspirations and is an unprecedented step forward in building the most competitive economy in the world. 
 
It would enhance the UAE’s economic environment and the investment structure in terms of the country’s attractiveness to foreign investments and their competitiveness among the most dynamic investment destinations in the world. 
 
Furthermore, she noted that it contributes to the development of the legislative structure and the provision of a legislative environment that is most conducive to investment, which is one of the most important factors that differentiate countries in terms of their attractiveness to investments. 
 
This is especially so since the foreign investor always focuses on the quality and development of local legislation and the availability of a transparent and fair environment under the scope of the law, she noted.
 
She added: "Legislative modernisation and the constant development of the legislative structure are necessary to keep pace with global best practices. It is also a reflection of the achievements made by the UAE over the past fifty years in line with the vision of its wise leadership and the aspirations of its people, and further encourages the country’s comprehensive, sustainable development. 
 
“It provides necessary support for various economic sectors and enhances the UAE’s overall competitiveness and position on the map of the future and various global indicators of competitiveness, especially in the field of economy and investment.”
 
COMMERCIAL COMPANIES LAW 
The new amendments include a comprehensive review, during which, 51 articles were replaced, 3 new articles were added, and one article was deleted, with a total of 55 updates. The updates include a number of new provisions that support the shift towards the new economic model in the country in accordance with the principles of economic openness, flexibility and proactiveness, and in line with the goals of the fifty.
 
The law amendments include development of financing solutions for companies and restructuring operations and finding solutions to the challenges facing business activities in the country.
 
Most prominent provisions and amendments to the law:
*Allows the establishment of companies for the purposes of acquisition or merger, and SPVs, and establishes a legal framework for these new legal forms and excludes them from some provisions of the Companies Law through a decision issued by the SCA to regulate the work of these forms of companies; ensure their effectiveness and economic feasibility; and enhance growth and positive impact on the business environment.
 
*Abolishes the maximum and minimum percentage of the founders’ contribution to the company’s capital at the time of the public offering, and cancels the legal limitation of the subscription period, and leaving the two matters to what is specified in the prospectus.
*Eliminates the requirement for the nationality of the members of the board of directors and upholds the organisation shareholders’ decisions in the election of board members, in accordance with the terms and conditions set by the competent authority.
*Allows companies to transform into a public joint stock company and sell its shares or offer new shares in a public subscription without being restricted to a certain percentage, by following the price-building mechanism of the security.
*Allows companies to divide and create legal rules governing division operations, thus contributing to diversifying the company’s activities and fields of work and increasing its projects and growth opportunities.
*Allows companies to determine the face value, and to determine the percentage of the offering.
 
*Finds financing solutions for companies through the issuance of other types of shares.
*Allows branches of foreign companies licensed in the country to transform into a commercial company with UAE citizenship.
 
COMMERCIAL REGISTER LAW
Most prominent provisions and amendments to the law:
*It establishes the economic register as the official reference for data and information for establishments with economic activity in the country.
*Enables use of the unified economic register number as a digital identity for establishments.
*Through the Economic Register, a unified database is provided to all registrants in the Commercial Register, trademark owners, commercial agency activities, etc., and information related to merchants and economic activities licensed in the country, and any updates or modifications to this data, ensuring its validity, accuracy and updating periodically.
 
*Provides a comprehensive and reliable digital knowledge base that can be accessed via advanced digital platforms available at any time and from anywhere to serve businessmen, investors, policy makers, economic researchers, academics, students and all stakeholders.
*Facilitates the provision of official data to economic consultancy, research, classification and evaluation institutions, and relevant international organisations, and supports analysis and research related to economic activities, market trends, and current and promising future opportunities in the country.
*Enables data sharing, integrating economic information from the concerned authorities in the country, and provides advanced services based on partnership in order to facilitate customer journey. Eliminates the need to submit the same data more than once to more than one party in the country.
*Allows all transactions to be conducted through the unified economic registry number, without the need to re-use documents and data across different government entities.
 
TRADEMARK LAW
Most prominent provisions and amendments to the law:
*Accelerates the issuance of licences and the completion of government approvals and procedures, which contributes to enhancing integration in the work of service providers and increasing their supportive contribution to SMEs.
*Determines the procedures for registering a mark locally and internationally, providing it with protection and preventing and addressing infringement with deterrent penalties.
*Provides a comprehensive database of trademarks to be open and free of cost to the public, which was formerly a paid service.
*Introduces option to renew the mark within 6 months after the expiry of the period and gives extension of another 6 months, if provided justifications are accepted by the Ministry of Economy.
*Provides legal protection for non-traditional trademarks after developing materials dedicated to these aspects, including smell, sound, hologram, tones and others, which are the latest types of non-traditional trademarks.
*Raises the ceiling of penalties for violators of the Trademarks Law and its executive regulations.
*Introduces new penalties that protect non-traditional trademarks.
*Provides protection for "geographical indications", which encourages research in local geographical indications and presents them to the world, such as "types of date crops" or trees and water and contributes to strengthening the status of the country and its local products globally.
*Allows the submission of multi-category applications, which will encourage companies to protect their trademarks.-- TradeArabia News Service
 



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