By Greg Mayew and Silvia Pretorius
Greg Mayew joined Afridi & Angell in 2004 and is the partner in charge of the Abu Dhabi office. He is involved in the firm’s corporate and commercial, capital markets, construction, project finance, and banking practices. Greg holds a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School, a master’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA from the University of Denver. He is a member of the New York State Bar. Prior to joining Afridi & Angell, Greg was an associate at the London and New York offices of a leading firm.
Silvia Pretorius is a senior associate at Afridi & Angell’s Abu Dhabi office. She is involved in the firm’s corporate and commercial, banking, real estate, and project finance practices. Silvia holds an LLB and BA from the University of Natal, South Africa. She is a member of Side Bar (Natal and Transvaal Provincial Divisions), South Africa.
Further to our previous inBrief dated 7 July 2019, which discussed UAE Cabinet Resolution 31 of 2019 Concerning Economic Substance Regulations (the UAE Economic Substance Regulations or the Regulations), and inBrief dated 10 October 2019, which discussed the Guidance on UAE Economic Substance Regulations issued by the UAE Ministry of Finance, Cabinet Decision No. 58 of 2019 has now designated the regulatory authorities (the Regulatory Authorities) to regulate compliance with the UAE Economic Substance Regulations.
Under the Regulations, a Licensee engaged in any one of the nine Relevant Activities listed therein must meet an Economic Substance Test in relation to each Relevant Activity carried on by such Licensee. This includes but is not limited to demonstrating that its State Core Income-Generating Activities are carried out in the UAE.
The Regulations contemplated that a yet-to-be designated Regulatory Authority (the Regulatory Authority under the Regulations is different from the Competent Authority) would regulate compliance with the Regulations. The Regulations read as if there would be a single Regulatory Authority for the entire UAE; however, the Guidance on Economic Substance Regulations, in certain places, contemplated the possibility of more than one Regulatory Authority.
Cabinet Decision No. 58 of 2019 has appointed a number of different authorities as the Regulatory Authority, depending on the nine Relevant Activities and where these Relevant Activities are undertaken.
The concerned Regulatory Authorities are as follows:
|Relevant Activity||Regulatory Authority|
|Investment Funds Management||
|Financial Leasing Activities||
|Holding Company Activities||
|Intellectual Property Activities||
|Distribution and Services Centres||
The appointment of the Regulatory Authorities means that businesses licensed in the UAE should fast track an assessment to determine if they are subject to the UAE Economic Substance Regulations. It remains to be seen what approach such Regulatory Authorities will take in enforcing the UAE Economic Substance Regulations. ■
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