22 July 2019
UAE: 1,500 Government Fees Abolished or Reduced
The United Arab Emirates is cancelling/reducing government fees on around 1,500 government services as part of efforts to make the business environment more efficient and to attract a higher level of overseas investment into the country.
According to the Ministry of Finance statement on 11 July, the UAE Cabinet has approved the cutting or cancellation of about 1,200 Ministry of Interior fees, 110 Ministry of Economy fees and about 200 Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation (MoHRE) fees, in line with Cabinet Resolution No. (51) of 2019. The new rates will be introduced before the end of July.
A number of the changed rates will have a direct impact on overseas-invested companies and foreign trade. The Ministry of Economy, for instance, has reduced the fee for lodging a dispute between agents, appointed representatives and collectors from a trade agent from AED12,000 (US$3,267) to AED8,040 (US$2,189). Registration and renewal of a trademark or trademarks for a group of goods, products or services has also been cut, falling to AED6,700 (US$1,824) from AED10,000 (US$2,722). The fee for publishing official announcements by foreign private joint stock companies has been cut half to AED10,000 (US$2,722), and the fee for sale, merger or acquisition of a foreign company has been cut to AED10,050 (US$2,736) from AED15,000 (US$4,083).
Fees for 145 of the services offered by MoHRE have also been reduced by between 50% and 94%. In specific terms, work permit fees across all categories have been halved, while fees for two-year work permit renewals have also been reduced.
According to Cabinet Economic Minister Sultan bin Saeed Al Mansouri, it is hoped that these latest rate amendments will act to boost the business community in the country as the cost of conducting trade and investment activities will drop for both Emiratis and resident business owners, including large, medium and small enterprises. He also mentioned that the measures will increase the appeal of the local business climate, generate more job opportunities and, ultimately, establish the UAE as a preferred investment destination.
The decision to cut/abolish charges was made following a comparative study of UAE service fees and those of neighbouring jurisdictions. This prompted the Ministry of Finance to propose immediate measures to reduce fees and set a fixed maximum for incoming revenue.